First Bow Harvest
It was the last day of my second trip to my Grandpa’s farm in Illinois. I was first there in Mid-October for ten days and while there I missed a nice buck. Then, I had to head back to Montana to guide for Mule Deer, when I was finished with that in late November I was on my way back to Illinois. I had grown up spot and stalk gun hunting, and this was my first time hunting with a bow out of tree stands. Needless to say I was hooked! It was the 28th of November now and I had been hunting for 10 long days. I was not seeing many deer because it was after the 1st shotgun season and there was a full moon. It was the last day of my hunt and I was in the stand early; the moon was so bright I didn’t even need a light going in. The morning started off with some action, as I started to see deer right away. At about 7 I had this little buck run a doe right downwind of me. She stopped and sniffed then ran off the way she had come; luckily she was not spooked but didn’t want to stay downwind. I watched as she went back the way she came then stopped looking ahead. That’s when I first saw him about 80 yards out coming my way towards the trees. I knew right away he was a shooter buck, but I didn’t know just how big he was till I got my binos up. I waited as he got to the doe and started so push her back towards me, but she had smelled me and didn’t like it over here. So she veered off behind me and he followed her, then he was gone.
About three hours later I was sitting in the stand when I heard something behind me. I slowly turned around and saw antlers flash through the trees. I got up and stood in the ladder stand facing the tree. I couldn’t believe my eyes when he stopped in a little clearing 60 yards out, it was the buck from earlier! I watched as he chased three does around heading off to my left, he was going to go by me again. But then a group of five does came down this cow trail towards me, they walked right back the three does with the buck. All the does grouped up and came towards me, stopping in a clearing 20 yards from me. They milled around, as the buck stood off in the trees 40 yards out. Then all of a sudden here he came running right into the middle of the does. He stopped broadside at 20 yards and I knew it was now or never. I drew back, took a breath and released the arrow. I heard it hit and saw it disappear into his body. He ran 10 yards then stopped and stood there for a few minutes, the does just hung around not knowing what had happened. Then he limped off into a small ravine, I heard him crash to the ground a few seconds later. I waited in the stand for a few hours just to make sure then went and got him, he was quite dead.
Walking up to him was like coming down stairs on Christmas day, I was full of excitement and anticipation. When I got up to him and truly saw his rack for the first time I couldn’t help but give a whoop. He is a beautiful big buck and almost perfectly symmetrical, and not bad for my first bow kill! I want to thank Mathews for making such a great bow and my grandpa for giving me the opportunity to hunt on his land. But most of all I want to thank God for blessing me with the experience and trophy I left with.