September 28: Eric Bothun

It has been a long discouraging year already with new places to hunt and not being able to draw tags. I had to go back to my old faithful and get the job done in my home state right out of the gate. I worked hard all summer long, preparing, food plotting, and running trail cameras as consistently as I could without disturbing the deer. Lord knows its easy enough to go into places with Reconyx in hand and not thinking about the places a guy shouldn't be going. So I played it smart, hanging cameras on a lot of field edges and it paid off in huge dividends.

This time of the year everyone knows all the deer are thinking about is feeding and bedding, so I glassed interior food plots from vantage points and wasn't see the mature bucks coming in before dark. So when September 29th came around, the wind switched to a NE wind, I snuck into one of my rut spots earlier than I normally would and booted one buck out on the way in. I was a little skeptical about hunting the stand that night.

Despite my skepticism, the night started off well. Does entered the area within 10 minutes of the hunt. Shortly after, I could hear bucks sparring 360 degrees around us but could not see them due to the early season foliage. So luckily I had my rattling horns with me. I waited until about 45 minutes before dark and lightly tickled the horns. Much to my surprise, shortly after I could hear footsteps coming down the revine, directly down wind. I reached for my binoculars to see what its was, and quickly realized it was a shooter. I grabbed my bow and he stopped directly in one of my shooting lanes, offering me a great quartering away shot. The PSE Omen did its job. He went 60 yards and expired making a short tracking job and an excellent start to my 2009 season. Good luck to everyone this season.