That First Buck
|Bows - Compound Bows|
One never forgets her first deer. I have not, but your first buck is always the best. After six years of hunting whitetail deer, I've finally taken a buck. I had set a personal goal of no fork and no spike bucks, so a lot got passed up over the years.
This was one incredible hunt. I hunt a 45-acre section of woods I lease about six miles north of my house. This is my first year on this property, which is owned by a very gracious senior citizen and her ex-husband. They are quite an interesting couple, claiming they do best divorced but are best friends! The wood is a deciduous mix of soft maple, elm and some small white oak with underbrush of cloning dogwood. There are some excellent bedding areas for the does and a huge cornfield off one side of the boundary. I share the property lease with my local archery shop owner, who is also the man I wish were my father growing up.
We have several tree stands and a couple ground blinds situated on the property with none near the bedding areas. In mid-October the scrape activity was peaking and this was creating some excellent daydreams of nailing a buck. I've never hunted a property with so much deer sign. In time I was seeing bucks. I spotted a shy spike, a very pretty three point, a possible six point, and my hunting partner let an arrow fly over the back of a ten point. He also had seen a tineless racked buck making scrapes one day. Does, well, there were dozens of them. I deliberately let them go, this year seriously hoping for a magical buck.
October came and went. One early November afternoon I was sitting in my stand thinking very negatively how I had always bagged a deer by now, and it was always a doe. It was a fairly quiet afternoon with a little cool breeze tinkling through the remaining leaves on the trees.
Deep in thought, I first heard a deer about 80 yards behind me. He wandered about browsing and moving out over to my right side. Right away I could see a rack; he was sporting six points. Definitely a shooter buck for me, the first one I had ever seen while I was hunting. I didn't think he was going to come my way as he swung further off to the north, still browsing. I watched with anticipation and sadness, thinking, again, just another pretty view. Then, for an unknown reason, he made a complete turn around about 50 yards out and approached me head on. He offered me a chance to draw my bow as he passed behind some elms about 30 yards out. I was shaking; thinking my time had finally come. While I was ready and waiting, he continued to come straight to me. I drew my bow silently as he passed behind the trees.
No!!!! He stopped a little over 20 yards out and then looked right up at me, still facing me head on. There were a lot of branches hanging down, but he was framed in a perfect hole. It was not the shot I wanted, but I quickly calculated the distance and at the same micro-second-turned-hour, checked to make sure my sleeve was out of the way. I was looking through my peep, was bent at the waist, my pin was locked on target, and my anchor was set. Whew, all in a fraction of a second! As soon as the buck saw me, his eyes got very big and I knew I had to let the arrow go. This was a now or never scenario, and I didn't have to think twice. I said to myself, "This one is mine," and the arrow flew. My arrow hit him nearly in the spot I aimed. As the arrow launched, the buck started a spin to get away. He was no match for that arrow and my determination. The arrow struck him just to the off center of his chest/lower neck area, cutting the two major blood vessels. I can still picture him as the arrow hit its mark and he turned with it sticking out the front of his chest. I knew he was going down.
In three seconds it was over. I could hear him fall due north. It turned out that the arrow penetration was all the way to the heart. I had an easy to track deer. The buck was only 60 yards away. The actual shot was 22 yards lasered. My rubbery legs quickly found their way down the ladder after sending my gear down. I had no need to wait; I knew I had my deer.
I shoot a Parker Ultra Lite Pro set at 60 pounds, Muzzy broad heads and Easton Redline arrows. I've taken this bow all over the world and THIS is my most sought-after trophy! It was definitely the right place and the right time; my first buck was in the bag.
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