Even with years of whitetail hunting experience under his belt, Coondog knows the importance of not “guiding the guide.”

And with seasoned outfitters like Mark Scroggins and Danny Pierce at Rush Creek Guide Service, it’s easier to trust their instincts even though they’ve asked you to sit in the lowest treestand of your life.

Maybe it should have been called a tree “squat” since Coondog could reach up and touch the seat of the stand from the ground. Most bowhunters like the security that comes from a high perch, but the guys at Rush Creek have tuned their tactics for the brushy Texas terrain on their properties…and it seems to be working.

After leaving from a few slow days of hunting in Illinois, Coondog’s Dream Season partner Joe Shults was up to bat in Texas with his bow. Four days of watching deer with no opportunities led to Steve’s turn with the Winchester XPR on Saturday.

The morning brought in a few does, but no shooter bucks. The evening would be different. Down a nearby sendero, some does milled about. Coondog caught movement from a large rack and alerted Joe on camera. The deer was over 150 yards off and quickly disappeared into the brush.

It wasn’t long before he reappeared back into the fire road though this time he was at 80 yards and walking toward Coondog and Joe. The buck stopped broadside at 60 yards and Coondog let him have it with the Winchester. The buck ran 60 yards before dropping.

Later on after Coondog made the recovery on his 163 inch Texas buck, he realized he’d been cheated out of three inches. The outfitters hadn’t seen this deer since October when a bowhunter, shaken by buck fever, shot this deer in the rack, breaking off a point. He’d gone M.I.A. until November 5.

Even though it wasn’t the treestand or blind setup Coondog was used to, he heeded the counsel of the local experts and didn’t guide the guide. As a result, he tagged a great chocolate antlered Texas whitetail.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik