The Grapevine 10
Last year while bow hunting I had a very wide 10 pointer that I had several trail camera pictures of heading my way. I was situated in a Walnut tree looking over a thick and nasty bedding area. As the 10 pointer got closer his wide rack became entangled in grapevines. The deer panicked and as he spun he became even more entangled. After the buck broke free he trotted off not knowing what had just happened. A week later the same buck came by and offered a clean 30 yard shot, but after getting a better look at his body I thought he was a 3 year old and gave him a pass that season. A month after this encounter I found his sheds and was elated that he survived the season. Scoring the sheds and with a modest spread he would have scored around 150 typical inches. In June of 2012 I started getting pictures of a giant 10 pointer that I was sure was the Grapevine 10. He had exploded into giant I thought he would for sure hit that magical 170 mark. Thinking I would only have one chance at a giant whitetail like this I was shooting My Mathews Z7 Xtreme Tactical every day at distances up to 70 yards to build confidence when the moment presented itself. After a slow start to the season and not seeing the Grapevine 10 I changed tactics and decided to give the area a rest until the rut got closer. At the end of October we got a cold front that I was waiting for. With Northeast winds I could hunt the fringes of the bedding area the Grapevine 10 called home. I climbed into my stand at 3:00 and strapped in. At 4:00 I had 3 does walk by and was excited about the start of the hunt. At 4:15 I saw another large doe coming my way, in tow was a big buck that a had a very nice rack. At first I thought it was a 155 class buck with split g4′s but as he got closer and turned my way I saw it was the Grapevine 10 and he was enormous. The doe and Grapevine 10 were around my stand within 20 yards for about 15 minutes but due to the thickness of the underbrush I could not get a shot. Finally the doe walked up the hill to my left and stopped at 7 yards. The Grapevine 10 was at 10 yards but under a large bush and facing me. I was at full draw just waiting to let the Z7 rip. After a few minutes I had to let down and wait for a better shot. The buck and doe were clueless I was hovering 20 feet up waiting to cash in. Finally the doe started to walk and when she did I drew the Z7 Xtreme. I grunted at the buck and he stopped broadside at 5 yards and before I knew it the Z7 Xtreme cut loose and I saw the arrow bury behind the bucks shoulder. The Grapevine 10 mule kicked and went about 2 yards and stopped. The doe just stood there and looked back at the buck wondering why he had just jumped. The doe did not hear the Z7 Xtreme and did not spook. This calmed the buck down and as they both started to walk down the trail I could see the giant hole in his side and the crimson trail he was leaving. I could not believe I had just smoked a Booner and he was walking off as if nothing happened. The quietness and speed of the Z7 Xtreme did not alarm the deer and I was sure he didn’t even know what had happened. After phone calls to my wife and Joe; our Mathews dealer and one of my best friends, I climbed down to look at the arrow. The arrow was soaked and needless to say the blood trail looked like a sidewalk through the woods. After a short wait I started to trail the deer and found him collapsed not 60 yards from my stand. after all the long distance practice with the Z7 Xtreme I ended up having to make a 5 yard shot on my biggest buck to date. The grapevine 10 was green scored at 182 7/8 and nets 178 5/8. To my delight he was a little bit bigger than I thought. Thanks you Mathews for producing the best bows in the business. The Z7 Xtreme Tactical is by far my favorite. I still have 2 Switchback bows 60 and 70 pounds, and a Drenalin.