LAST UPDATED: May 1st, 2015
Date: October 30, 2012, Time of Day: 4:18 pm, Location: Minnesota (Bluff Country, “funnel” located in a valley), Weather: Cool (34 degrees), bit of a windy day, but was starting to calm down in the evening. This was a self-filmed hunt. The entire hunt, and others, can be seen on Bow Hunt or Die, Episode 17:”Smackdown”….click here https://www.bowhunting.com/videos/season-3–2012/episode-17-smackdown_2383
An aggressive attitude payed off when it came to getting within bow-range of this buck.
Q: Tell me a little about what happened when the buck was harvested?
A: I started this hunt by traveling four hours from home to a property that I had not visited since November 2011. As I sat in my planned stand location, I saw a few smaller bucks and does exhibiting all of the signs of the oncoming rut. Then suddenly, out of nowhere I saw the buck I was hoping to find, slowly cruising the top of a nearby ridge looking for a receptive doe. I tried to get his attention but my efforts proved futile because he was on a mission and completely ignored me. I knew if I was going to have chance at this buck, I was going to have to make a move.
Being aggresive doesn’t mean being careless. When making a bold move such as this, you need quiet, dependable equipment that won’t let you down when the shot presents itself.
I had a theory regarding his travel pattern so on day three around mid-day I hung a stand in the location that I had imagined he was traveling. It was a small funnel in a valley that really pinched down the deer movement. This particular area was loaded with rubs and scrapes and I knew this would be the perfect spot to set my trap. I got into my stand that afternoon and it did not take long before the smaller bucks started to filter through my area. I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye and immediately I could tell it was a big healthy doe coming straight toward me. Slowly moving through the brush just above my stand she stopped and decided to urinate right in my shooting lane at 17 yards! I did not dare move. I knew this could be the break that I had been waiting so patiently for. It did not take long for that thought to become a reality.
A lot of guys concentrate on bucks when the rut is on. However, savvy bowhunters know the key to success is knowing where the does are. Locate the ladies and the bucks will eventually find you.
It was as if that buck was on a rope, following the perfectly placed scent of the doe that had just left my location. I could tell by the antlers that this was the buck I had seen earlier in the week. As I watched him, nose to the ground gathering every last morsel of scent to help him find his long lost love, he took that fateful step and gave me the perfect shot. With bow drawn, I touched my release trigger and watched my arrow bury right in the sweet spot. As he ran up the hill and out of sight, I could not believe what had just transpired. I had dreamed of this perfect scenario and now it was a reality.
Q. What were the major factors that helped you harvest this buck?
A. Being aggressive and not simply waiting for something to happen; making a move to a new stand location and having the confidence in my decision. In addition, using the lay of the land to my advantage played a tremendous role as well. There is no doubt that areas that force deer to “funnel” through specific geography really helped increase my odds of tagging a buck. Of course, beyond all of that, having a hot doe walk past my stand and urinate in my shooting lane most likely sealed the deal. If that doe had not enticed that buck into that exact spot the outcome may likely have been much different.
Although hunting land is getting harder and harder to find, some land owners are still willing to grant you permission to hunt on their land. All it takes is a little footwork to find the one that will say “yes”.
Q. Anyone you would like to thank, for their help with this harvest?
A: The landowners (they know who they are). Without their permission and privilege to hunt their property, this hunt would have never been possible.
Bow = Mathews Z7 Xtreme
Broadheads = New Archery Products Killzone
Arrows = Carbon Express Maxima Hunter 350
Camouflage = Lost Camo
Treestand = Lone Wolf Alpha
Scents = Tink’s
Safety = Hunter’s Safety System UltraLite Safety Harness