The second buck worthy of the wall was taken October 27, 2012. This buck was not believed to be a resident buck as I did not have trail camera photos from the summer. I believe the drought was a factor driving this buck to the property early. This was primarily due to the crops coming out extremely early because of the dry weather. This made my green plots choice for the deer and we saw a huge influx of deer coming to the plots in October This buck pictured below was the largest I have taken to this day.
A switch was flipped October 1st and I didn't realize it until the third week of the month. I was following the path from last year by staying out of the property and only hunting the extreme edges away from the plots. I think by the third week, I had hunted twice all season. On October 21st, I finally went in and pulled the camera cards. They had sat untouched for over three weeks. Upon viewing the card from the East Plot, I was quickly surprised by the number of bucks hitting the field starting October 1st. The pattern was pretty clear with the bulk of the bucks entering from the NE.
Upon consulting Jim Ward, his comment was to get on these bucks quickly since I had patterned them. The fear was that the pattern would change as the rut would soon be here. Therefore, I went in on Sunday evening of the 22nd. The wind was out of the south and I saw nothing. As I drove home, I was kicking myself because patience was needed for the correct wind. I had used my extreme scent control, so I felt confident, but the reality was the wind wasn't right to give me the total edge needed.
I eagerly watched the weather all week long and the forecast was perfect for Saturday, October 27th.....north wind!!! My kids had a soccer game that Saturday and I informed my wife that we would be driving separate as I had an appointment with a buck that evening. Entering the stand went perfect as planned with nothing bumped. The sit went well and does began to pour into the food plot to feed on the chickory. At 6:22 pm, I heard a grunt to the west of the plot and saw a glimpse of rack heading directly towards me. The Pin Oak branches shield me early on from getting a good look; however, that would soon change.
The buck entered the plot grunting to make all of the deer in the area aware of his presence. He then proceeded quickly to the scrape right in front of the East Plot Stand I was in. Raking his horns and pawing at the ground. My bow was already in my hand and the range had already been taken with the range finder.....20 yards on the nose. The buck turned from the scrape and headed straight north and walked right into my west facing shooting lane. As soon as he turned from the scrape I drew the bow back. Upon sounding a doe bleat, the buck took one step and stopped. I released the arrow and it hit him hard. I was thrilled the shot as he ran to the NW and disappeared along the trail that connects the East Plot with the Main Plot. The trail camera actually snapped three pictures capturing just before the shot, with two shots taken as he ran away (see below).
I was shaking and the adrenaline was super charged. As I crawled down from the stand, it was a miracle I did not loose grip and fall. Entering the plot, I found my arrow quickly in laying atop the tall brassicas planted. The arrow was bloody and was a complete pass through. I was excited as I felt this tracking job would be quick. I waited about 20 minutes and began looking at the blood, noticing bright pink bubbles on the leaves of the brassicas. A lung shot wasn't a surprise given what I had witnessed and the trail was very pronounced. As I began to track the buck, it soon became clear that something was wrong. After 100 yards, I couldn't believe he was not dead. With the amount of lung blood, I was confident this was a lethal shot so I pressed on.
Another 100 yards passed and my wife and kids had now arrived to help me with the search. As we tracked through a main valley of the property, the trail led to the small creek or stream that dissects the property from east to west. Another problem was the blood trail, which began to be faint. Now I was worried.
We continued to move slowly and then heard a deer jump up and run. It was clear that we were pushing this deer, but how? What had happened with the shot? It looked perfect and we had lung blood from a pass through shot. I made the call at that point to back out knowing when he was jumped that he ran off of the property.
Date: October 27, 2012
Score: 143 3/8" total
Age: Based on jawbone aging evaluation, believed to be 3.5 years old.
Wind: North - Buck was shot to the west of my position. With the wind from the north he never had a chance to pick up my scent. He was facing north walking towards the does when shot was made.
Property Location: East Plot Whitetail Chickory
Location of Shot: Right side Lung (pass through shot)
Buck Activity at Time of Shot: Entered field grunting to does present and raked antlers on Pin Oak Branches
Sightings: Multiple trail camera pictures starting Oct. 1st., with one being the heading on this page. The date shot was the only date seen from the stand.
Don't under estimate the change in angle when bleating at the buck and he takes one more step before stopping. Buck quartered towards me more than I realized when shot was made. This was the second time I attempted to stop a buck using a doe bleat and he changed from a broadside angle.
The presence of lung blood (bright pink with bubbles) doesn't necessarily mean both lungs where impacted by the arrow.
Single lung shots doesn't not equal a quick kill.
Do not push a buck after the first 150 yards.
Utilize the information from the trail cameras to pattern the bucks.
Adhere to wind direction needed based on trail camera photos.
Once pattern is established, take adavantage and begin hunting before pattern changes.