Tuesday morning dawned cold and windy. Monday night, a massive cold front moved through our area and temperatures had plummeted. Getting dressed for my morning hunt, I had to break out the woolens for the first time this season. I hoped that the colder temperatures would have the deer moving.
I arrived at Glendora around 5:15 a.m. and began formulating my plan for the morning hunt. Still riding the high from killing a fine 8 point buck on Friday the 13th, I did not want to miss too much work. As a result, I only planned on sitting in the stand until 8:30 a.m. at the latest.
Next was the matter of deciding where to go. My initial plan was to bring a climber into a prime bedding area my wife and I had scouted the weekend before and hunt there. However, due to my time constraints, I elected to hunt a lock-on stand known as the …Hidden Stand.- Only five days earlier, I had killed a nice 1.5 year old doe from this stand.
I parked the golf cart at the end of Deadwell Rd. and made it to the stand by 5:50 a.m. There I sat for over two hours seeing nothing but cardinals and squirrels. Due to the slow activity, I pulled out my GPS and looked at the waypoints I had marked while out scouting with my wife. The tree I had marked and had contemplated hunting that morning was only .15 miles away from Hidden Stand.
At 7:55 a.m. movement to the southeast caught my attention. Looking through my binoculars, I observed a doe and fawn working their way along the edge of a thicket 100 yards away. These deer were headed towards the hot sign I had found and marked on my GPS. Once they moved out of sight, I decided to climb down from my stand and head in their direction.
The wind was blowing pretty steadily out of the west-northwest, and it helped to mask my movement as I slipped quietly through the woods. Following my GPS, I covered the .15 miles between Hidden Stand and the bedding area and arrived after about 20 minutes. I thought it was strange that I had not jumped any deer out of the bedding area, …Where were they?…
I started working my way back towards the golf cart to the west of me and eventually made my way to the edge of a slough about a quarter-mile away from the golf cart. Deadwell Rd. dead ends into the west side of this slough, and I was on the east side. Looking out into the flat of oak trees which borders this swamp, I immediately spotted several deer about 80 yards away.
Through my binoculars, I could see several does, and then a huge buck stepped into view. He was breathing heavily with his mouth agape…clearly there was a hot doe in the area. The woods were thick in this area…with briars and vines seeming to choke out the daylight. As he stood panting, I peered through the bramble to see five beautiful tines on the left side of his rack. Despite the low visibility, the buck looked over my direction as if he could see me clearly…and trotted away.
I looked at my watch, …8:30 a.m.- Should I try to sneak out and come back later with my climber to hunt this buck? Had he seen me, and it was all for nought?
Movement ahead of me snapped me from the trance. A doe was coming my direction on a bee line. She moved quickly, and I had get in position quick so as not to get busted. A few feet in front of me, a large ditched drained water into the slough. I got down in the ditch and laid on the ground. With video camera in hand, I watched with amazement as the doe walked only 15 feet to the right of where I was laying. She looked nervously behind her, and I heard a grunt. A 2.5 year old 6 point passed by only 10 feet to my left. Although both deer knew that something was up, they both continued on their same line of travel and did not run back towards where they had come.
Pumped up to have had such a close encounter with rutting deer, I replayed the footage. Wow! Then it hit me……I just had a hot doe come past me; I better get ready!!- I crossed back over the ditch and set up behind a large oak tree. I nocked an arrow and took a deep breath.
No sooner did I get set up than I caught movement to the southeast of me. A big deer was coming on a parallel path 40 yards downwind of the hot doe…s trail from earlier. I watched in disbelief as he moved towards me slowly and deliberately…carefully shrouded in thick brush. As he neared the drainage ditch, I adjusted my HHA OL5519 sight to 30 yards and prepared for my opportunity.
He stopped at the edge of the ditch and was now almost directly downwind. Nearly his entire body was obstructed by low-hanging vines, but a small triangular-shaped opening revealed the front of his heart and lungs. As he was slightly quartering towards me, I knew it was now or never.
I brought my BowTech Admiral to full draw and was nearly dumbfounded when I looked through my peep and he was still standing there, regal and statuesque. My sight pin settled in the middle of the small opening, and I slowly squeezed the trigger on my Scott Little Goose release. My arrow arched beautifully through the air missing all of the vines and impacted his chest with a solid …thud.- The FOB fell to the ground, and the buck wheeled 180 degrees and sprinted back in the direction from which he came. As he passed through an opening at 80 yards, I saw him stumble and his back end nearly touched the ground…He was getting wobbly-legged!
I was giddy with excitement as I snuck out of the area and to the golf cart. Dale, Johnny Rap, Mr. Tommy, and his son Todd all came out to help with the tracking job. We gave the deer about an hour and a half before tracking just to be on the safe side. The arrow was found quickly and was covered in blood from end to end…a clean pass through. We followed a steady blood trail from about 150 yards until we found my prize: a beautiful P&Y 10pt buck.
He was pretty scarred up from fighting, but his rack was in perfect condition. It looked as if he had taken a tine to the midsection which had resulted in a large hernia (see pic). This ole-boy was truly a fighter, and I am proud to have taken him on the ground on his terms.
After getting the deer back to camp, I realized that he was …White Trash……a buck I had seen on a couple of different occasions (see journals from 10/10/09 and 10/24/09) entering the Waszek field. He was officially scored at 127 2/8 P&Y…my best bow buck to date!
OK...the bar has been raised. After watching the video just now I think this is the best journal entry I've seen yet on PHJ. Awesome Job Matthew! Great journal entry, cool editing, awesome deer. Very happy for you and congrats again.