Although I have been following NJ Woods & Water for some time now this is my first entry and I could not have asked for a better way to start. I took an awesome buck on the second day of Permit Bow in NJ, Sunday 10/27/2013. At work the next day I showed the pictures to Matt and he convinced me to post the story and some pictures.
It was a beautiful day for a hunt. The sun was shining, cool temps and a slight breeze. My brother and his two sons were on stand in different parts of the property so I was in good company. We were all in radio contact.
I was in a stand we call the Sky Box. A twenty-two foot ladder stand on a huge Oak tree located in a low lying section of hardwoods, right on a small creek that leads to a clover field. I had some activity early in the sit. A few small bucks and a couple does. Shortly before 17:00 I picked up a few bucks coming through the woods, way far off from my right to my left. They proceeded until they got to a reed line under power lines and turned in my direction. I glassed them as they moved through the woods and realize there was a shooter in the group. As they moved down the reed line the big buck suddenly pick up his head, looked around, then calmly walked into the reeds. My heart sank. I was still shaking and concentrating on controlling my breathing. The small buck in the lead was still headed towards the creek. I put out a few grunts on the grunt call. Ten minutes later I did the same thing, nothing drastic, very subdued. All the time watching the small buck moving down the reed line and watching the spot where the big guy went into the reeds. The small buck eventually got to the creek about sixty yards to my left. I was concentrating so much on them that I didn’t see the big Y buck that came up right behind me. Did he come in because of the grunt calls? I hope. He crossed the creek and hooked up with the spike buck that was down the creek line. They sparred for a while and ran around in circles checking each other out. It was a blast to watch. It’s the kind of thing hunters love to see.
Suddenly I picked up some movement where the big guy went into the reeds. I glassed. He was coming out of the reeds with another white-horned buck that I had not seen before. They stood along the reed line just looking around for ten minutes. The white-horned buck finally made a move but it was completely in the wrong direction. At this point I am dying. The other big buck starts walking towards the creek where the two little bucks are sparring. I couldn’t believe it. Again, control the breathing. He got to the creek and chased off the two little guys which headed right for the clover field. He is sixty yards to my left. He is sniffing the area where the other bucks were playing. Raked a few bushes, did a little scraping and then went down into the creek for a drink. When he came up from the creek he turned in my direction, headed for the clover field that I learned later was full of does. At this point he is directly downwind of me. I can only hope that he doesn't wind me and turn off. Now he is slowly moving from my left to right. Fifty yards, forty, thirty. I could not believe how long it was taking him to move down along the creek. At twenty-five yards he stopped again. He was behind a big tree. That was my queue to draw. Undetected, I stood waiting for his next move. He walked a few more steps and I shot him in the boiler room at twenty yards. He ran thirty yards and piled up.
Here’s the kicker. It turns out that this is the deer my brother Stephen shot eight days prior on an awesome walk n’ stalk on the clover field. Unfortunately, his shot nailed him on the shoulder and got no penetration. The two entry wounds were inches apart. Showing true character, he was still glad that one of our gang got this deer and that it did not die without being found. That would have been a real loss.
This was an amazing experience for a guy that has only been deer hunting for ten years. I started at the age of fifty but I am younger than that now.
The lion share of credit goes to my brother Stephen who farms the land, maintains the crops and clover fields and fosters an environment that attracts, supports and grows incredible deer like the one I harvested on this hunt. I like to help out when I can. It’s fun when I get to do a little farming or brush-hogging to get things ready for the season. It gets me out of the office and into some sunshine and fresh air.
I am glad my nephews Stephen and Nicolas where there too. An experience like this is always better when shared with those you love. S & N, stick with it. Your day will come.
Thanks for checking out my story.
This shot is a blurry because I am still shaking.