I Shoot Mathews

Big P&Y Image
Location: Page County VaAlbum: Whitetail & Mule DeerAnimal Harvested or Shoot Type: Whitetail

Big P&Y

November 11, 2004 by Mike Turner

I had been bowhunting about 8 years (started late at 39) and taken a few does and some basket bucks, nothing close to P&Y. I had found some private land about 4 miles from my work in Page County Virginia that was approx 30 acres but bordered big mountain land that was off limits to hunting. I knew big bucks roamed that big mountain land so anything bordering that had potential. I hunted quite a few days on that private property only seeing does and not one single rub or scrape so I pulled my stands and went to another piece of private land thinking that may offer better buck sign and it did. I took a decent 9 pointer the last day of October 2004. On November 11th of the same year a co-worker (Jeff) called in while on vacation and told me he took a nice drop tine 6 year old buck with his muzzleloader and it had me down, not that he took another great buck (I was happy for him) but it just seemed I was destined to never even see a buck like that. I walked up to one of the operators that ran a machine I worked on at The Genie Company in Shenandoah and told him about the buck Jeff took (he knows Jeff as well) and he said I should go back to the land I had pulled my stands from, he knew that area well and back when he hunted he stated it had been known for huge old bucks but not a high number of deer just the occasional nice buck. I happened to have a stand in my old Blazer and decided what the heck, go try it out after all it was my daughters 18th birthday and also Veterans Day plus the peak of the Virginia Rut was on and I decided to give it a shot and get back in there. I got off work at 3pm and grabbed a bite to eat at Micky D’s on the way and was headed in to the woods by 3:45. Walked to the middle of the property so I could see the top half and the lower half since the leaves were pretty much done for figuring this was a scout trip and seen what looked to be a good doe trail in the saddle so I climbed up to about 30 feet, I knew the height since my strapper that I pull my bow up with had about 2 feet of the 30 total on it left. I got all situated facing the big mountain land expecting that would be a buck’s path later in the evening and settled in. The weather was comfortable at about 45 degrees and I had trouble staying awake with the fading sun. About 4:30 I heard something, thinking it was one of the many squirrels that were all around me but something made me stand to look, I can’t hear well out of my left ear and have trouble with direction but once I stood and turned to my left, I looked straight down and directly behind my tree about 8 feet out was this guy, sniffing the ground as aggressive as a big old bloodhound after an escaped convict or something. Needless to say the nerves set in quick. I did not have a shot to my left if he turned and went that way and I also noticed I had dropped a bungee on the accent to my hunting height and it was just a few feet from him. I thought, if he smells that he is gone but he turned and came to the side I had a clear lane on. I started talking to myself in my mind to keep cool and must have said oh god in my head 20 times. At about 12 yards he stopped and gave me the best shot he was going to and I took it. I shoot a Mathews LX but don’t shoot a peep so I placed the HHA crosshair sight for the right spot where I felt I needed to and let it go, hoping that Gold tipped Muzzy made my dream come true. The buck tore out, ran up slightly and to the side hill and stopped in some small cedars about 30 yards out and looked back in a never forgettable majestic pose, looking my way. I quickly looked down at the shot area for my arrow but did not or could not see it. I thought to myself what have I done I just missed the biggest buck of my lifetime and started to get all sick. I thought no one will ever believe this one I went from the highest high to the lowest low in all of 30 seconds, then while standing there watching him he disappeared, I looked closer and he had just fallen, not even a kick. That is when I really went to pieces, I just could not stop shaking and it took me maybe 15 seconds to get down the tree, heck I don’t remember even coming down to be honest. I practically ran the 30 yards or so to him, not believing what had just happened to me. I dropped to my knees and just looked at him for about 10 minutes. I pulled him out of the area about 100 yards and was going to field dress him and my wife had bought me these gloves to use (never used any before) and I was shaking so bad I just put them away, could not get them on my shaking hands and went the bare hand method! After field dressing was complete I had an easy but exciting downhill drag for about 300 yards to a field edge and only 200 yards or so walk to my old K5 Blazer. I decided to leave the buck at the wood edge for safety and go back and get my stand, gear and bow. I knew that I would not be able to get this big buck in the back of the Blazer by myself so I stopped at the land owner€™s home where I was parked to see if they could help. The land owner came to the door and when she seen all the blood and that I was still shaking she thought someone had been hurt and screamed out who’s hurt. I figured that was from the fact she knew my wife bow hunts there as well but this evening she was at work. I told her no one but Tammy you’re not going to believe what I just shot! Her daughter and her boyfriend came out and the boyfriend rode back up to the wooded edge of the field to help me load it and he was in awe as I was and to this day I still am. Once we got it loaded the landowners and others from the area came over to see what I was lucky enough to take with a bow and do it during muzzleloader to boot. I have been strictly a bowhunter thru all the firearms seasons since I had joined a local archery bowhunting club, The Bowhunter’s of Rockingham so even if I have to wear blaze orange I still carry my Mathews but during muzzleloader here in VA camo only is ok. After all seen the buck, off I went to check it in and I wanted to find a place that still checks in since that year Virginia had went to a call in system but if you wanted to enter your buck in a state contest it must be checked. The first place I went that used to check in deer no longer did it and since I was so close to my work and my wife’s work I decided to stop and show her. I went in the plant and knowing she would be at break at that time and she took break in my office and I ran right by my office and had to turn around and come back. She was shocked when I walked in but I said baby you aren’t going to believe what I just shot and she responded good one and I said, come see. She told her supervisor about it and he being a bowhunter as well came out to take a look and see it. When she walked around behind my Blazer she screamed like the landowner did when she had seen the blood and me shaking and my wife Dixie said after she stopped screaming oh my god that she almost peed on herself and I laughed at that one. She turned to her boss and said, I got to go and he said no problem with a chuckle. We then headed to a town west of where I shot my buck called Elkton Virginia and there was a place that checked deer in but also rented movies, no joke, what a combination. Once there I had to leave the buck and go inside to check it in and there were other hunters sitting outside so I told my wife guard him with your life she still kids me about that statement still today. We finally got him checked in, I called a friend that has taken many big bucks that is in the same archery club we were in and asked if he could help me cape him out, that I did not want to screw him up. He said what did you get and I said, I am no expert at judging antlers like you but I would guess he is 160. He said in an astonished tone, you’re kidding right and I said not sure but he is a nice one. He (Terry Dorman) suggested I take him to his personal taxidermist and have him do it and he would meet us there. By this time it’s pushing 9pm since we had taken him by my home which is wooded and had Dixie take some photos so we headed to the taxidermist. As soon as Terry seen him he just kept giving me hugs and high fives like a brother would do, and that made me feel good coming from such an accomplished bowhunter. Once they had him caped and the anther/skull plate removed both had a tape measure on his rack and once they totaled it up they both just looked at each other then looked at me and grinned and said you know what you have done I said took a good buck and they said probably top 10 all time in Virginia for a bowkill 11 pointer. Turned out he went 167 P&Y and in the Virginia scoring system went 207â€Â and he also won the State Title for archery for 2004. I still to this day can remember exactly how everything transpired that eventful day of 11/11.

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply