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October 27: Chris Comstock

Everyone knows the phenomenon of ‘ground shrinkage’ after killing a buck and only after recovering him you realize he wasn’t as big as you thought. Chris had the opposite experience on his Missouri hunt.

Time in the stand was a difficult thing for Chris to muster with the busyness of work, but he was able to manage a first hunt on October 22nd. Reconyx trail cam pictures showed a mature eight and ten pointer frequenting his farm. On that first hunt of the season, the big ten pointer got within 35 yards, but never presented a shot.

Chris’ next sit was during the evening of Friday, October 26th on the leading edge of a cold front. Buffeted by 30 mile per hour winds in his Muddy tree stand and tethered in with a Muddy safety harness, Chris kept watch over his patch of timber and the adjacent field. Off in the distance, the ten pointer stepped out. Despite Chris’s rattling, he couldn’t draw him into bow range. The sun set on that hunt without another encounter. Before he left though, since he hadn’t hunted that particular stand in three years, Chris did some trimming to clear out overgrown shooting lanes. He’d be back to hunt the next morning.

Suited up in his Mossy Oak Nomad gear, Chris stayed occupied Saturday morning watching multiple does and young bucks. His eight pointer never showed.

After taking a quick lunch break, Chris was back in the tree by 1:45 and was again surrounded by deer for the remainder of the day. As the sun sank towards the tree line, a sound to his left caught his attention. Turning his head to look for the source of the sound, Chris saw the eight pointer standing at 12 yards. Unsure if the buck was in frame for the camera, Chris held off on shooting as the buck continued to walk under his stand.

While the buck walked, Chris noticed his Leupold binoculars were situated close to his bow string. Concerned they might get in the way of his shot, he moved them. That bit of movement caught the attention of a nearby doe, causing her to bolt and spooking the buck. He ran out to 30 yards before pausing. Chris quickly drew his PSE Evolve and took a shot. He watched as the arrow dipped and rotated oddly, cleanly missing the deer. Something was wrong with the arrow. The buck tore off, this time out to 150 yards. Chris tired a snort wheeze to bring him in, but the eight pointer would have none of it.

Disheartened that he had missed the opportunity at his buck, Chris began filming an interview detailing the miss. From near the spot the woods where the eight pointer retreated, a buck stepped back out. Was Chris going to get a second chance at his deer?

Switching gears from filming the interview to back hunting with the PSE Evolve, Chris watched as the buck began closing distance. At 52 yards and about to step back out of a shooting lane, Chris put a pin back on the deer and made the shot. The Rage Chisel-tipped arrow penetrated both lungs, piling the buck after 70 yards.

Chris turned to his camera guy who knew what happened before Chris did.

“That was the ten pointer we’d been seeing!”

It wasn’t the eight that stepped back out that Chris shot. It was another, bigger deer he had killed. He’d upgraded without knowing it. When he did the recovery, ground shrinkage wasn’t even a remote possibility. After a strange series of events in the stand, Chris may be one of the few deer hunters who’ve experienced ‘ground growth.’

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.