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January 5: Aaron Lewis

As told by Sergeant Major (ret) Glen Simpson

SITUATION: 6 January 2010, Ohio, WNW winds at 10 M.P.H, 6 degrees

MISSION:
Seek-out and harvest a post-rut, late season Ohio buck without being detected and without mission failure!

EXECUTION:
I can’t believe that the archery season has come and is now almost gone! Well not soon enough for a buck on the Wolf Creek Outfitters high value target list called “The Chocolate Eight”.

This story began back in early November when Aaron and I had an encounter with this buck on our first visit with Ben and Jarrod at Wolf Creek Outfitters (WCO) in Coshocton County, Ohio. Little did we know that on a cold winter’s day in January the story would come full circle.

Aaron and I had made the trip to Ohio in early November with the hope of knocking a big mature buck down during the pre-rut. Ben and Jarrod (WCO) put us on nice deer every day; however the bucks, though scoring in the 140’s, were just not mature enough to harvest and so Aaron passed several during our stay at WCO. After having such a great hunt, Aaron made arrangements for a return trip in late archery season and so the scene was set for another trip to the “Buckeye” state in early January.

Arriving at the Lodge brought back familiar sights but different conditions as everything was under a heavy blanket of snow with the conditions for the week going to be nothing less than BRUTAL! Temperatures were not going out of the teens with the wind-chill factor dropping it down into the single digits. The only good thing is that this would definitely make the deer move seeking out the food source early and often.

The first afternoon found us high in a stand located in the head of a deep draw. The deer movement didn’t take long but unfortunately the bigger bucks didn’t show up until just after camera light. Back at the Lodge we ate like kings, told stories, and strategize the next day’s adventure. The decision was made to forgo the morning sit as the most recent information on the Reconyx had shown little to no big buck movement in the morning.

That afternoon brought more cold temperatures, wind, and deer movement. This time we were located on a north/south ridge with the wind out of the west, perfect wind for this set. As in the evening before, the deer moved early and often with a steady flow of deer all the way until dark. Aaron again had the opportunity to harvest two bucks in the 140 class range but due to them being just three year olds he elected again to pass.

Our final sit in the stand would find us on the edge of a cut bean field and very high in a huge oak. The view was spectacular as the deer tracks in the snow made it evident that we were in the right spot yet again. Deer began to move early as several does and little bucks made their way into the bean field. About an hour before dark, Aaron looked at me and said “Shooter at the point”. I turned the camera on, zoomed across the bean field and at 300 yards there he was “The Chocolate Eight.” The only question, was he going to turn and head to the deer above him, below him, or stay content where he was? The answer didn’t take long as he turned toward us and walked in on a rope to 38 yards. Aaron sensing that the buck wasn’t getting any closer drew his PSE X-Force, settled the 35 and loosed the arrow. The buck made a desperate attempt to exit stage left but the rage tipped carbon force arrow struck him hard dropping the big buck in his tracks.

Mission complete! Until next time… waiting for helicopter extraction and follow-on orders.

“Wolf Creek Outfitters is simply an amazing place with amazing accommodations and guides that truly know whitetail deer but more importantly, make you feel like family. I can’t wait to go back again!”

-Aaron Lewis
Lead Singer of STAIND