Episode 3 of “Bowhunt or Die!” was easily our best one yet! Over 300 inches of antler hit the ground during this past week’s episode, and that’s just from two bucks! If you are looking for blood pumping, monster buck hunts, and a couple doe harvests along the way, then look no further than Episode 3 of “Bowhunt or Die!”
Staff member John Hermann got things started off with a thrilling bowhunt for a giant Wisconsin 8 pointer. John had been hunting this particular buck for the first four weeks of the season and despite several close encounters, wasn’t able to close to the deal. However, on October 12th during his fifth encounter with this giant buck, the bruiser 8 pointer finally made a mistake and John was able to put a lethal shot on him. The big bodied Wisconsin buck went less than 100 yards before dying and the chess match between John Hermann and “The West Gate 8” was over, advantage Johnny Hermann! John’s dedication and discipline was put the test, but he stayed persistent and was rewarded with a genuine once in a lifetime buck.
John Hermann and the fallen "West Gate 8." John was finally able to outsmart this 6 year old, Wisconsin brute and came away with a once in a lifetime trophy.
“Bowhunt or Die!” then makes the trip south to West Central Illinois to the big buck capitals of the world, Pike and Brown County. Justin Zarr and Jeremy Enders, along with Bowhunting.com cameraman/video editor Brian McAllister and myself, made the 5 hour trip south and were excited to lay down some exciting bowhunts on film. It didn’t take long for things to heat up as Justin was forced to make the brutal decision of “to shoot or not to shoot?” A 3 year old 8 pointer made his way by Justin’s stand at 22 yards, but Justin elected to pass. It was a tough decision for Justin, but one he felt better about making after reviewing the footage. Less than an hour later a mature doe made her way by the stand Jeremy and I were in and Jeremy made a perfect double lung shot on her using the NAP Nitron. This was Jeremy’s first deer and it was truly exciting to share that moment with him and capture it all on film. A big congrats to Jeremy on a perfect shot on your first deer! Less than an hour later Justin followed suit by making a perfect 27 yards shot on a doe himself, also with the NAP Nitron. The unique thing about these two hunts is that Justin and Brian were no more than 120 yards from Jeremy and I across an open CRP field, so we were literally watching each other’s hunts unfold! Talk about an exciting morning!
Jeremy just as he was about to harvest his first deer ever.
Justin before he came to full draw on his doe. Just seconds later, he made a perfect double lung shot on her at 27 yards.
Pictured above is the buck Justin chose to pass on. Hunting is purely a personal sport and you should only shoot a buck that makes you happy. I think Justin is happy with his decision to pass on this buck!
We certainly saved our best hunt for last for Episode 3, as we followed Todd Graf on a hunt for a Northern Illinois bruiser. Last week, Todd had a nice encounter with a beautiful mid 150s white racked monster, but the buck was just too far away for a shot. This week, Todd was presented with another opportunity at this buck, and this time the buck made the mistake of walking in front of the big buck killer that is Todd Graf. Todd made a perfect shot and his NAP Spitfire Maxx made a quick, clean kill and the buck fell over dead within 40 yards. The excitement and thrill on Todd’s face was priceless; I’m not sure if there is anyone else who gets the shakes like Todd Graf does when he arrows a big buck. Watching Todd get excited about hunting big bucks is contagious, and hopefully it gets you ready to get out there and harvest a monster buck yourself!
Words cannot fully describe Todd's buck harvest, so I feel it best to simply enjoy the following series of photos.
Without a doubt, Episode 3 of “Bowhunt or Die!” will be tough to top, but our dedicated Pro Staffers are out there every day putting their gear to the test, trying to lay down the best possible footage to share with everyone. It’s late October which means two things: Episode 3 should have you pumped up and ready to rock and roll for the rut and you should make every concerted effort to get in the woods during the next two weeks. Good luck to all the hunters out there, stay safe and check back every Friday for the latest episode of “Bowhunt or Die!”