Date: October 11, 2012, Time: 5:45 p.m., Weather: It was sunny with temps in the low 50’s. It was the first bout of cool weather we had in central PA thanks to a very windy cold front that just pushed through.
Q: Tell me a little about what happened when the buck was harvested?
This hunt was originally planned as a “scouting” hunt in order to gain more info on deer movement in the area. The patch of woods I was hunting is relatively small and surrounded by fields. There was about 80 acres of cut corn to my back. However with a great mast crop, deer were not coming into the field very often. I found a white oak about 50 yards into the woods to place a treestand in. I have learned from past experiences to treat this area with extreme care. I try to just hunt the edges during the early season and, save the better stand locations that are deeper in the woods for when the rut kicks in.
Despite a very awkward climbing/sawing episode I finally made it up this unique white oak. The tree quickly tapered off and I found my climber at an awkward angle which I was able to adjust with some acrobatic maneuvering; just in time as it turned out. I had just leveled my stand and made sure it was dug in securely when I heard some crashing in the creek bottom below me. I immediately turned and spotted a really nice buck and two does about 60 yards off and headed my way. I had a very uneasy feeling as I realized my bow was still sitting in the leaves at the base of my tree!
I had not had time to even hoist up my bow. Next came a series of tending grunts from the buck as he was semi chasing these two very uninterested does. I realized he was big enough to try to put an arrow in, but I didn’t recognize him because he was not one of the bucks on my hit list. Still, I had to get the bow up the tree or all of this meant nothing! Luckily the doe ran up a bank to my left and I got my opportunity to get the bow in my hands and get ready.
Sometimes all you need to do is be in the right place at the right time….like Scott Sanderson was when he arrowed this fine P.A. buck.
I watched as the buck made two scrapes about 80 yards near the field edge. The does played their part as they came down off the bank and within range to my left. I tried to calm myself for a shot that seemed likely…..if the does didn’t bust me first. After several minutes the does headed back towards the creek bottom and to the left and I lost sight of them. I figured the buck was probably going to follow them in that direction as well. However, he seemed to lose interest in the does and started to head my way! As he drew closer I was totally committed and sure I was not passing on him. I drew back as he stepped behind a tree and prepared for the shot.
The buck stopped directly behind some brush and the stare off began. He was now facing me and I was at full draw. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, he turned and started walking broadside. I grunted to stop him, but instantly knew my shooting opportunity was quickly passing and released the arrow! I watched the Blue Nockturnal nock enter back a little far. The buck took off crashing through the woods in the direction of the does. I was not very pleased with the shot placement, but was 99% sure I heard him crash. Buck Down Baby!!
After celebrating in the field, Scott headed to a good friends shop to take care of the butchering duties and continue celebrating.
I turned off my GoPro, climbed out of the awkward tree, made it back to my ATV and headed for home. I wanted to view the footage and give the buck a little time because I was still not 100% sure of the shot placement. About an hour later, with my dad accompanying me we returned to the location of the shot. With light quickly fading, we started the tracking process. The blood trail was what you would hope to see, heavy and wide. The buck made it about 75 yards and expired right beside the small creek. I was thrilled to have taken this great deer! All of my hard work had paid off! This was my first filmed hunt. The deer’s body was huge with an estimated live weigh of about 220 lb.; which is really big for a PA deer. It certainly wasn’t the biggest buck I have ever seen, but I was tickled with the respectable dark racked 8 pointer. After much celebration we loaded the brute on the ATV and took him to a friend’s butcher shop to finish the job.
Q: What were the major factors that helped you harvest this buck?
A: I’ll be honest there was a lot of luck involved in this hunt. This was really supposed to be a “scouting” hunt. However, the cold front put the buck on his feet and in search of some does. Knowing the sensitivity of this wood patch put me in a non disrupting position with the wind in my favor.
Q: Anyone you would like to thank, for their help with this harvest?
A: I would like to thank my dad Jerry Sanderson for helping me recover the deer and putting the DVD of the hunt together. I would also like to thank my good friend Jason Lesh for the use of his butcher shop.
Bow = Mathews Switchback
Broadheads = Wasp Jak-Hammer 100 gr.
Arrows = Beman ICS 400 w/ Blue Nockturnal lighted nock
Camouflage = Realtree AP HD
Treestand or Blind = Summit Climbing Treestand
Calls = Bone Collector Flextone grunt call
Scents = Primos Silver scent eliminator
Clothing = Realtree AP HD Redhead Bone-Dry pants/vest with matching long sleeve t-shirt
Other = GoPro Hero2 camera
But most importantly…….my bowhunting.com Lost Camo hat!