January 18, 2016 at 7:14am
It was December 31st and my last chance for a deer for 2015. The alarm went off and after spending the past 2 days tracking a friend's deer I was tired. My wife rolled out of bed to duck hunt and couldn't believe I was going to sleep in. After some encouraging words I was convinced 20 minutes later to get up. It was duck hunting Thursday and after having duck hunters under my tree on Tuesday I decided to move areas to get away from the duck hunters. I try to have multiple stand locations in an area. If I get to a spot and there is a 4 wheeler I continue on to the next one. Arriving at my first location no 4 wheeler. Given the number of vehicle's in the parking lot I figured I better stop here. After a brief walk I quietly used my climber to ascend what would be the tree I would always remember. I had hunted this tree in the early season and had found good sign of deer feeding on acorns. I hadn't been back in 6 weeks but it was on an open ridge and past experiences have convinced me bucks prefer these areas during the rut where they can keep an eye on the doe they are courting. At first light I heard deer crossing a small area of water to the North. I slowly stood anticipating some action. Then nothing. 20 minutes later I spotted movement over my right shoulder. A large doe was coming to me with a buck on her tail. I was able to stand and draw back as she lead the buck through the only possible shooting hole. Not perfect and dead down wind. Just before crossing he froze in his tracks. Busted I thought. Then I heard another deer coming and quickly glanced moving with only my eyes. Another buck. As he got close my buck moved into the opening. I quickly stopped him with a grunt and released my arrow. He dropped immediately. The arrow was deflected by a small vine and I spine'd him. The huge buck was paralyzed from the waist down but he violently thrashed from side to side in an effort to escape. Stories raced through my mind of deer paralyzed temporarily only to regain there mobility and run off never to be found. I quickly notched another arrow and with no real shooting hole let it fly. A clean miss. Then another finding its mark. I quickly climbed down while the deer was still trying to drag itself off with only its front legs. On the ground I grabbed for my 4th and last arrow. No arrow. I looked around and up in the tree to no avail. Screw it I thought as I ran to recover the arrow that had missed its mark. It was easy to spot with the bright green glow of my Nocturnal. As I pulled it from the ground covered with mud I thought better than to try to clean it as I was shaking with anxiety and fearing a sliced finger. If I get close enough I thought I can put it through both lungs, mud and all. The deer was now lying on his side calmly. As I approached with bow drawn the deer lunged with everything he had trying to take me out. As I fell backwards I released the arrow and hit him thru his throat, head on. I had fallen for his trap. I now had 3 arrows in him and couldn't find my 4th. I went back to my stand and got out my license. As I turned and looked over my shoulder I saw the beast lying dead. It was only at this point that I realized how big he really was. Trembling I texted my wife. I just shot the biggest buck of my life. Photos will follow. Get error screen downloading photos.