LAST UPDATED: May 1st, 2015
A long time beta.bowhunting.com member ends a seven year drought.
Date: September 29th, 2013
Time of Day: Hunt started around 3:30pm eastern, Shot was around 6:50 eastern
Weather: Sunny with a few clouds, but a front was moving in overnight
Location: Medina County, OH.
Q: Tell me a little about how the buck was harvested?
A: When I joined the beta.bowhunting.com forums in 2006, I had just purchased my first bow; the same Hoyt Lazertec I still use today. I was in my first year of being a self-taught bowhunter. I ended up taking a 6 point from a ground blind that I had made in a small stand of pine trees next to a lake that sat in between 2 crop fields. I had missed my first 2 shots on deer that fall, and finally connected on my 3rd. That particular deer he ran 30 yards and died. I had it all figured out…. or so I thought. Fast forward to this summer.
Six seasons have gone by since I killed that original 6 point buck. I’d taken 9 does during that stretch, but I had been at full draw a number of times on shooters, but for whatever reason, it hadn’t happened. Three nice bucks had been taken on my farm during that time frame by family and friends, which included a 199″ bruiser. I also had a long growing list of deer that I had been following with my cameras for years. Some were named: Grandpa Kickers, Hightower, The Narrow 10, Brett Favre, Handlebars and Freak Daddy Jr.
After a long drought, Caleb Siman connects on his trophy buck thanks to the help of a few close friends.
This year, the local farmer, who happens to be one of my lifelong friends and actually helped me track the first buck that I harvested six years earlier, decided to plant corn on our north farm for the first time in a decade. The previous year had been beans, and for a handful of years before that it was just grassland. This was a new experience for us. Normally, our farms had been used primarily by does, with a lot of cruising rut traffic. Well, with beans the year before and corn this year, the property started holding a number of good shooter bucks. Three of them were regulars on camera, including a particular deer that we soon named the garden buck.
All 3 of these deer were relatively young (2-3 year olds) and “small” by “Trophy Whitetail” hunting standards, but all 3 would easily be the biggest and most mature buck that I had ever harvested. I quickly made the decision that I would not hesitate taking any of the 3 identified bucks. We also started using feeders and bait stations more than we ever had in the past. Some hunters will frown on this, but as far as we were concerned, it kept the deer fat and happy, made the deer easy to inventory, and also kept them bedding on the property. This was a huge advantage that we never had in the past. All summer long, a buck that we had named the Garden Buck was showing up on my game cams; always within the same 200 acre area.
The evening of the hunt I got in my stand early. There was a front approaching, so I knew the deer would be on their feet. Just as I got settled in my stand I could not believe my ears. I could hear my uncle fire up the tractor and commence to brush-hogging a field that was 75 yards away on the other side of the cornfield I was set up on. Not less than 10 minutes after he had finished mowing, the Garden Buck made his appearance. He came in from behind me, and I never heard him until he was literally 5 yards away. He stepped out onto the edge of the cornfield and made his way straight to the apples.
Thanks to the use of game cameras, the Garden Buck was discovered to be living in a 200 acre area.
As I maneuvered to get a shot I quickly realized the cover I had left around my stand to camouflage my perch was not going to allow me to get an easy shot. I shuffled my feet to try to get into a better position. As I moved I heard the stand creak and my heart sank as he trotted off to the woods to my right. He did not bolt and I did not hear him continue to run. I knew that he was still in the area, but I could not find him even with my binoculars. While I strained to see where he had gone I decided to make sure I was in the correct position in case he decided to come back.
Lucky for me, a minute later he stepped back into the field. I had him at 12 yards, quartering slightly away. I let him have it. My shot was perfect; slicing both lungs. It sounded like a baseball hitting concrete, and he wasted no time racing off into the woods to my right. I heard his final crash and I knew he was down. I made the appropriate texts to my friends and family, to let them know I had a deer to track. I climbed down from my stand with much anticipation. As soon as my feet touched the ground I started to look for my arrow. As I stepped into the field I could see his white belly only 30 yards into the woods. My 7 year buck drought was finally over. I walked back to my house with a huge sense of pride.
The Garden Buck cruising Caleb’s hunting area during the summer months leading up to archery season.
Q: What were the major factors that helped you harvest this buck?
A: Honestly, food, cover and trail cameras. He had an unlimited cornfield and unpressured bedding. He was a happy deer no doubt.
Q. Anyone you would like to thank, for their help with this harvest?
A: My brothers (Isaac, Luke, Ethan) and Matt Spaniel/Jimmy Salsgiver for helping me all spring and summer with food plots, camera checks, hauling corn and apples, setting up treestands, etc. Throw Justin Zarr and Todd Graf, a thank you for starting such a great website that I visit daily and have made many friends through.
Q: How long have you been a member of beta.bowhunting.com?
A: Since November of 2008. I am in the 200 member range.
Q: How long have you been coming to the GTG?
A: Since the very first one. I came to the first two in 2009/2010 and then came back this year (2013).
Q: Why do you like beta.bowhunting.com?
A: The reason I come to BH.com has to be the members. I have made so many friends from this site, I cannot even list them. Dan Schafer, Scott Abbot, Dan Richardson, Pat Howard, Tom Lester, Hank, Justin Zarr, Dustin DeCroo, the list goes on forever. All good guys that bring their own unique perspective to hunting.
Type Equipment Used:
- Bow = Hoyt Lazertec
- Broadheads = Rage 2 blade
- Arrows = Easton ST Epic
- Camouflage = Realtree Extra
- Treestand= Cheap $30 sticks and cheap $30 stand (So uncomfortable)
- Clothing = Lacrosse Boots