I posted a few pics of this guy in one of the live hunt threads when I first got him but figured I’d share the story. Let me start by saying I’ve hunted hard and long this season. I’ve put countless hours in the stand chasing two specific bucks in two different zones. The other was a giant 8 that I never saw in my stand but did see on foot back on 11/10. I jumped out of my stand early and went to go take a peak at a close-by overgrown field. Don’t you know that SOB was coming straight at me tailing a doe. I got set up and waited but he didn’t follow the script. After waiting what felt like an eternity (6 or 7 minutes), I ended up seeing him go back out in the direction from where he came. I drew my bow and waited for an opening. I had him at 40 yards. Unfortunately he saw me too, and as soon as I hit my release, he ducked my arrow and took off like a bolt of lightning. Only then i realized there was another buck back behind him that he was probably going back to fight off. I was fortunate that it was a clean miss. I had this deer last year as a solid 7, and I hope he makes it through another year. I hunt small suburban patches of woods and in this particular spot, after the rut and the leaves are off the trees, the deer are much more sparse. So until next year......First two pics are him.
Anyway, fast forward up to the first day of December. I was home and spent the morning catching up from not being home the previous weekend (in PA for a couple days of rifle), and doing some stuff to get ahead for the upcoming week of shotgun here in NJ. My wife took both kids to a birthday party and after looking at the weather, I knew I had to give it one more shot. I got out to my spot around 1 and shortly after I was getting rained on. I expected it though with a decent size front pushing in with some patchy light rain in the afternoon and good rain coming in shortly after dark. Before I even got all the way up the tree in my climber, I had a button buck walking under me. It was a good sign and I was hopeful for good movement. My first pic of the deer I was after came the last week of October. After that he was visible with consistent enough pics day and night. It was the rut, so I couldn’t come up with a specific pattern but there were noticeably more daytime pics of him when the moon was small. Just so happens, we were approaching a new moon.
Well, I watched a fair amount of deer that night when off in the distance I got a glimpse of horn quartering away in the brush about 75 yards out. 10 minutes later and a 6 pt popped out within range. Maybe that was the deer I saw but I really though what I saw was bigger. He browsed for a few when I looked over and saw this guy standing there assessing the situation. He walked away and then back, and went out of range and back again. Definitely toying with my emotions. Eventually he made his way to the 6 pt and they started tangling horns. I was having a hard time getting a clear shot since I was in my climber and had no specific shooting lanes. Just picked a tree that worked with the wind and crossed my fingers. Eventually I had a quartering to shot that was tough but I was able to sneak the arrow between two trees and into the vitals. All jacked up on adrenaline, I climbed down to check out my arrow. Once I hit the ground and took my climber off the tree, I realized I left my quiver 20+ feet up. So after I climbed back up and then down, I finally went over and looked at the arrow. I had solid blood but also body cavity fluid. No guts, but fluid. As soon as I saw that, I backed straight out. Didn’t take one step in the direction I last saw him. I figured if he was dead then, he would still be dead in the morning.
A mere 13 hours later I was staring out the window waiting for the sun to come up. I had one of my buddies pick me up and off we went. Got to the spot and headed in the direction I had last seen the deer. He was only about 20 yards further lying against a big log. The rest is history.
He’s not the tallest or widest but he does have some mass. A good mature buck and a solid adversary. His right side brow is broken and he had a split G2 on the left that was also broken off. I had a similar buck at the same spot a couple years ago but the split G2 was on the opposite side. Could it be the same deer? I’m not sure but definitely the same genes. Check out the pick from 2016 and let me know what you think.