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First bow stalk (pics and story)


HuntEmDown505

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So I just stalked my first big buck with a bow. 

I'm in the blind for 20 minutes and I see a nice 10 I've had on camera for 2 years now to my 2 o'clock at 55 yards. He's just licking a branch and hanging out. He starts moving further away towards a creek, and starts to rake the trees with his rack.

Now I've wanted this buck for a while, and he rarely comes out, so I'm thinking what do I do now? I call my buddy and ask if I should go after him. To which he replies, "yep, go after him." So I shed my pack and other small items, grab my bow and awkwardly get out of my blind.

He's moving down the creek now, but there's 2 major trails I know they like, so I sat on the hillside for 15 minutes until I just had to pick one. The wind is perfect, blowing over him and right into my face as I crouch walk along the hillside, having to use my left hand to stabilize myself due to the incline.

I get to a group of cedars and wait to see if I chose correctly. I'm shocked to see he's coming right towards the path. Further up the hillside I go until I'm on flat ground overlooking the area by about 12 feet. I track him in my binos for 15 minutes until he disappears in a thicket. That's when I move to a trail intersection I know they like. I range it at 30 yards. Perfect.

He has to come this way. But it's been what feels like forever, and I convince myself he's doubled back and is going away from me. I'll push up to the trail so I can see down it. My first 3 steps slowly crunch in the leaves, which to me sounds like a semi driving through a China shop.

On my fifth step, I realize I screwed up. There he was. About to cross the path I was set up on. (Picture 1 is him staring at me). He flicks his tail as I stand still for a while, then turns and bolts for 30 yards, (pic 2) stopping to mock me from the safety of the cedars. All I had to do was wait! 

Exciting as all hell, and so frustrating that I was distracted by it all day at work. But for my first time creeping up on a whitetail, I'm pretty okay with it.

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Edited by HuntEmDown505
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You will remember forever! I did my stalking in Texas. The area was so rich with game if you blew a stalk you had another in 10 minutes! 

Javalina are a great place to start. Then hogs then whitetail in my opinion. You will learn something every time you try a stalk. 

If you had fun that is all that matters thankfully for most of us we do not rely on what we kill to eat tomorrow lol ( especially me i would be a lot thinner) 

After several blown stalks you will be on cloud 9 when you connect! good luck to you !

 

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Great story!Stalking a mature buck Whitetail is a challenge!

I've taken a few.Let me tell you it's nerve racking!mine were after the crack of dawn,early October,Misty damp ground,still ,calm air.Knowing the lay of the land is crucial.This can take a season or 3 of hunting a particular area.Takes time to put a puzzle together.Many, many hour's.A deer lives it's life in like us four seasons. You can scout April see a pattern then it changes in August then the fall comes.My favorite time of the year.Deer feeding habit's change,groups separate.A band of Buck's in September... October each begin's going there merry way.Tis the time stalking them is possible.Beginning of rut there more prevalent to wandering and slipping up in daylight.Back to the lay of the land,no two scenarios are alike as compared to cape may to the kittatinny's.All my references are North.Taylor Ham country!Blairstown and Andover.Huntemdown50 I'm assuming zone 50.Your go fer him,buddy's suggestion was spot on.So was your thinking, go high.The themals rise in the morning, my experience hunting North Jersey woods/Hill's and mountains,Buck's tend to bed on ridge's during the day,wind to there back to the Wood's looking down the Hill's overlooking field's perhaps crops.My Quess is your encounter was this buck had a late night with the girls,and was late going to bed.Your move to head em off at the pass IMO was justifiable. Sorry it didn't work out.My 2 cents on the matter.Once you were above him you had the upper hand.Shoulda held packed and waited em out,sniper mode,they have ALL day!Well again enjoyed your sharing your experience!.I suggest careful how you get in there but set back up on that hill grasshopper!

GOOD LUCK!!!

“In a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen.” -Theodore Roosevelt

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7 hours ago, Slayer1962 said:

You will remember forever! I did my stalking in Texas. The area was so rich with game if you blew a stalk you had another in 10 minutes! 

Javalina are a great place to start. Then hogs then whitetail in my opinion. You will learn something every time you try a stalk. 

If you had fun that is all that matters thankfully for most of us we do not rely on what we kill to eat tomorrow lol ( especially me i would be a lot thinner) 

After several blown stalks you will be on cloud 9 when you connect! good luck to you !

 

I guess you're right! If God puts that animal in front of me again, it will be even more sweet when I connect. I've never really blown it that badly before, so definitely a humbling experience in what has been a deer filled season.

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6 hours ago, BowhunterNJ said:

That's awesome!  Truly a hunt you'll always remember and what it's all about!  And you learned a few lessons along the way!  As I was reading I could envision feeling that doubt creep in that he doubled back and wanting to continue the stalk.  Very cool experience!

Very cool to be so close to my most elusive buck! At the time, that doubt seems so justifiable, then later when you think about it, there was really no reason to think he wasn't going to come in. Definitely a tough lesson that will help later on down the road.

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