November 8: Steve Mackanos

As a sales representative for Drury Outdoors I cherish my time in front of the camera as it does not happen often. So, not having much time to bow hunt Missouri this season; Nov the 8th and the 9th were going to be my only chance to do so on camera and before gun season. The rut was in full swing and the weather was going to cool down after a week of temps to warm for Nov.

I was hunting a property that I had hunted last season and one that had shown signs of a good age class of deer in the area. Last season we had many encounters but no bucks over a 2 1/2 year age class. Our hunt on the 8th started from a stand location that had been showing good buck sign. The first morning we had seen several deer and had a 2 1/2 year old 8 point make a scrape 10 yards from our stand! Very Cool! We had many encounters with this buck chasing and working the ridge that we were on. The next day we decided to get back in my favorite stand from the previous season…the “Beaver” pond. This stand proved its worth again on the morning of the 9th.

We had a buck approach us in the dark and get within ten yards of us on the ground…the Rut was on! By 8:00 am we had watched at least four bucks chasing does pretty hard and the deer where running in all directions. Then at about 8:40 a much larger body buck came in with a doe he was trailing. I decided to try and grunt and do a few doe bleats with the MAD Calls. The doe decided to check out the calls and proceeded to walk the buck to us. The buck worked his way through the timber behind the doe and offered me a shot at 32 yards. The cameraman was on the buck and let me know he was ready. The Rage 2-Blade hit the buck solid but further back than I wanted. We decided to wait several hours before tracking to give him some time, which proved to be what we needed.

We went back after a long wait and had a tough tracking job but recovered my buck. The shot was a liver hit and I was glad that he was within 120 yards of my stand site. Two things played out as key factors to the recovery; the Rage 2-Blade and its incredible performance and being patient during the tracking process. I am very happy with this buck as he appears to be a very old deer. I’m anxious to have him aged to determine his exact age!