Bowhunt or Die team member, Dan Richardson, made good on his Indiana buck tag this past weekend with a hunt that he will not soon forget. With cold weather moving across the midwest during the first couple days of November, the stage was setting up nicely for the perfect scenario as Dan made his way to the woods. Here’s his story…
November 2nd – My plan was to hunt a stand I hung a month previous. It was chosen after hunting an observation stand the previous year and lessons learned from that. It was on an outside corner of a cattail swamp on the lower section of a slight ridge and below where a slight saddle came off the ridge creating a natural funnel area for cruising bucks looking for does. Around 8:00 am I pulled out the grunt tube and gave a few grunts and clicks. Less than a minute later a 2.5 year-old eight pointer came looking, passing 20 yards in front of me. I never even grabbed my bow. I just filmed him as he came by.
He went into the thicker saddle and I could hear him running around. Seconds later, while I was still sitting, I saw a buck coming straight toward me from the saddle. I thought it was him so I stayed seated. Then I realized I screwed up. It was a gorgeous chocolate, mature 10 pointer. I couldn’t move as he passed a mere 15 yards broadside in front of me. As I tried to power up my camera, he heard me and stared me down. Finally, he got behind some trees. I stood, grabbed my bow, and prayed he would give me a shot.
When he finally stepped clear, I ranged him at 39 yards, but it was an angle I didn’t like. I passed the shot. Then I noticed his body language was changing. About that time a bigger 9 point came into view just passed him. They both postured and side stepped each other. The 10 didn’t want any part of it, so he walked off.
I heard something in front of me again, looked over and it was a young doe. The big 9 had seen her and came to investigate. I came to full draw knowing what yardage he was at. I tried to get him to stop by mouthing a meh…meh…meh. When he did stop, it was behind a tree. I remained at full draw waiting for him to step out. When he did step out, he moved by too quick. I stopped him again. I crouched down to make the shot and let it go.
I thought the shot looked good but I had a lot of arrow hanging out when he ran off. I questioned my shot. I filmed the replay with my phone and sent to some of the BHOD team members. Everyone said they thought it looked and sounded good. Being cautious, I decided to go home and give it 2 hours.
I checked the first blood before leaving and immediately found bubbles in it. That made me feel better. After the 2 hour wait, I came back and took up the trail. It was slight at first, but then really opened up. I found my arrow 200 yards down the trail. It had made it all the way in, but had bounced back from hitting the off-side shoulder. My fear of a shoulder hit was now gone. The NAP Spitfire XXX made for an incredible bloodtrail that led me right to my big Indiana buck.
I stood in awe as I walked up on my buck. His size was impressive. Then I noticed the mane on his neck. He was a buck I had named Mr. T because of his neck and the mane he sported that looked like a mohawk. It was a buck I had 3 years of history with – and now he was mine.