The start of the 2010 deer season was like many others, I had set my sights on putting my tag on a big buck. I knew from my many trail cam photos and scouting missions on the farms that I hunt, that there were some big deer around. So if I stuck to my plan and didn’t shoot the first “good buck” that came by I would have a chance at a real trophy.
In the early season it’s not unusual to see many does and young bucks still in their summer patterns out in the fields feeding without a care in the world. One evening while hunting over a standing soy bean field I caught sight of a great buck that fell into the trophy category.
I put my Vortex binoculars up to see a mature heavy 9 pointer as he was feeding all alone working his way across a field. I grabbed my Excalibur crossbow and readied myself for the shot. All I had to do was get his attention and call him in like I have done with many other bucks before. I decided to grunt to him lightly at first, but after no sign of him hearing me, I grunted again and again louder….Nothing! He couldn't hear me so I let out a loud snort wheeze and he heard that!
Picking up his head with that massive rack looking my way. I thought “here we go he’s mine” but he just ignored my call and put his head back down in the beans and started to feed again. Now it was time to get out the big guns, my rattling antlers. I hung up my crossbow, grabbed my antlers and did a short sequence.
Once again he looked up my way to see what all the noise was about. but he wasn‘t too interested. By now he’d had enough of my pestering and made his way across the field entering the bush and out of my life. So I thought.
The encounter with that buck made my mind up to concentrate my efforts on that farm and that deer. Days later I relocated a ladder stand to were he had left the field in hopes of getting the right wind to hunt him again. On October 24th.with the wind in my favor I made my way to the new setup.
When I reached the field my heart sank, the beans were off! My mind was racing “have the deer moved on to another food source or are they still using it?” The field was now empty of all that high protein soybeans that they have been feeding in all summer long.
I knew from the large rubs and a scrape not far from my new stand location there still might be a chance to kill that buck. I thought I could tip the scales my way by putting out some feed on the harvested field. At 20 yards out from my stand I poured out 4 piles of deer feed in hopes that they would smell it and come closer to my location. After settling in and glassing the field and surrounding bush the deer started to come to the newly harvested field.
Through my binoculars I watched one doe getting chased by some over aggressive young bucks, It looked like the pre rut was kicking in! When the big buck entered the field he immediately ran off one of the younger bucks from his doe. That made all of the deer in the field a bit edgy and they started down to my end of the field.
Two of the does worked their way down and started to feed right out in front of me. The “hot doe” with the big boy in tow also came down to my end of the field just beyond the feeding deer .There he was in all of his glory the King of the woods with a tall heavy 9 point rack and huge body. He defiantly was the deer that I had seen earlier in the month and had my heart set on harvesting.
This is the buck that has kept me awake at night hoping for a chance to see him again. I raised my crossbow and when he got broadside I grunted and stopped the massive buck. He looked in my direction I squeezed the trigger and the bolt was on the way. A perfect double lung shot, he ran off and tipped over out some 80 yards from were I had shot him.
I have taken my fair share of bucks with my crossbow over 25 years of deer hunting but walking up to this buck was a site to behold. He has a massive 9 point frame and grosses 163 5/8 and nets 156 1/8.A true trophy and one that will have a special place in my trophy room.
Like they say…When all else fails Persistence Prevails.