The story of 2016:
This was the 16th day sitting with the crossbow this year. It had been a very slow year. I have only had does in front of me and there wasn't that many of them. It wasn't that there wasn't that many deer around, they just weren't around when I was. But like every year I was going to stick it out and wait for a buck if possible. There were a couple doozy bucks around this year.
On November 7, I decided to try my luck again even though there was a stiff Northwest wind. I usually don't have very good luck with a strong wind. It was so windy my pop-up blind even started blowing away. Luckily it happened when someone was around to stake it down before I was alone. I got into the blind around 2:30 PM. I had mom soak the scent wick with some Hunter Specialties mock scrape juice above a live scrape and I was good to go. Sitting in this spot I know nothing happens until "Happy Hour" comes around. That is the time I call that is half-hour before sunset and half hour after sunset. So I had a good couple hours to let the woods settle down.
At about 5 PM the wind decided to settle down to just about nothing. There was still a little breeze from the West Northwest. That is perfect for this spot because the deer always come from the West or North. At 5:13 PM I looked to my East and I saw a buck walking my way. Evidently my Earth wafer cover scent patches work because he did not suspect a thing. He walked right to the scrape and put his head down. This is within 12 yards of my blind and straight out. I thought for a couple minutes if I should shoot this guy or let him go and wait for Mr. Big but the longer he stood there I knew this opportunity does not come by that often. He put his head up one more time looked around and then put his head down and I took the shot. It looked like a good shot and he kicked like a mule and ran to the West. I was pretty confident it was a lethal shot and it was just a matter of time before we would find him.
At 5:18 PM I called my tracker extraordinaire, Don B. He said he would be out as soon as he could. Meanwhile I called the house and mom came out with some water and let me out of the blind. I decided to look at the area I shot him and see if there was any sign. There was a tuft of hair and I couldn't see any blood. As we were standing there I could hear deer walking towards us so we froze. A young doe came walking into the belt and was coming right towards us. She got within 10 feet before she realized something was afoot. Even when she ran away she was not freaking out. About that time I heard Don B's pickup pull into the yard. When he got back to us he said he almost hit a big buck while he was driving into the yard. The buck was with two doe and was headed to the belt I was in but that little doe we scared away must've alerted them. Don said he was big.
So first things first we looked for the arrow and Don found it. It had blood on it all the way with one fletching missing. It was a complete pass through. The Carbon Express Intercept shooting at 360 ft./s does its job. It didn't take long to find some blood and the tracking started around 6 PM. The blood was kind of watered-down so we thought maybe it was a bad shot. It wasn't thick with bubbles. But they continued to find blood and tracked it out of the little belt across the combined corn field and into another belt. That is about 120 yards. They continued to find blood and bumped the buck and he staggered off so we decided to let him settle down and expire without pushing him anymore, he wasn't going anywhere. By the time Don B and mom got back to me the coyotes were going absolutely nuts. I knew it was only a matter of time before they would find the buck.
We decided to go back to the house and warm up for a little bit. We called up a couple other guys and asked their opinion and they all said we should go back after him in about an hour. I agreed. I knew those stinking coyotes would eat him alive if we left him over night. At that time dad pulled into the yard and we told him the story. Also, another friend T-Rav said he would come out and help. So the plan was Don B and T-Rav would go tracking from the last spot they saw him and dad and I would watch at the end of the belt to make sure he did not come out. It didn't take long and they found him laying on the south side of the belt. He was done. So dad and I burned back to the house while the other two started gutting him. Dad went out there in his pickup and brought him back to the yard. That is when I wrapped my tag around his antler and 2016 is in the books.
After examining where I shot him. It looked like a real good shot. The shot was about 6 inches back from the front leg, not too high and not too low. It just goes to show how strong these deer are.
I would like to thank Don B, T-Rav, mom and dad for making this hunt and year successful.