Deer numbers were down big time for me on this farm and I’m not sure why. I had planted a corn/soybean plot and removed the fence around September 20th. It was common to see only 1 or 2 deer per sit and frankly, I don’t do well with that kind of boredom. I was starting to think it was going to have to be a late season spot after all the surrounding crops were gone because I had the most incredible 2 acres of food you’ve ever seen.
I hunted the morning on November 14th with a 17 mile an hour wind hitting me right in the face and temperatures close to 20 degrees. I was back at the truck by 10 after only seeing one yearling. I ran to town and had a big breakfast and headed back to the lease. At high noon, after running a fork horn off the plot, I pulled my card on my Reconyx and headed to my stand 200 yards from there.
Of eight stands on this property, this was one of two I had not hunted yet. It was buffered from the wind with a perfect entry from the southeast. I noticed numerous beds on the ridge watching the soybean field on my approach which gave me renewed faith that there might still be deer on this lease. So I made it to my tree and began my ascent. This grown up pasture is full of hedge trees so sycamores are almost the only trees in which to place a stand. I think archery hunters are really still just little kids that like to climb trees. This truly is a monkey-bar experience as I weave in and out of branches to my destination. When I near the top, I realize my Lone Wolf has slid down the tree a good 18 inches because last year on my exit I had to tip the platform up to get out. With my bow tied onto a rope that was tied to the platform, I had a problem. After about 5 minutes of hanging there and breaking a sweat, I finally got up and settled in for the afternoon.
I pulled out my iPad and downloaded the pictures from the card I had just pulled. I had been getting very few pictures, even on my mineral licks through the summer. One evening in late summer, I caught a big ten with 10 inch G4’s and the next morning got a picture of a long beamed deer. I thought these two shooters probably got bumped off their home territory as I never saw them again. I was hoping one of them would go 160. As I’m going through these pictures, I see the tall G4 deer strolling through on the early morning of the 8th, 11th, 12th and that morning around 4:30. I never had a daytime picture but figured he had to be close.
An hour and a half into the hunt, my Ozonics battery dies and my thing to forget this day was the spare battery. As I am sitting there, I decide that a screw in step in my pack placed right there might help my descent. So, at about 5 till 3:00, I step off my stand into a crotch of the tree and try to screw it in. This brand new piece of junk step absolutely will not screw in! So I get back on my stand and grab the Ozonics hanger to make a pilot hole. I get the step in and straighten up and there he is at 40 yards!. I took the heavy glove off my right hand that I used for the step and placed it in a fork behind my stand with the Ozonics screw on top of it. He looked to his right and I stepped back onto my Lone Wolf and grabbed my bow all in one motion. As I rotated my body, the tether of my safety harness knocked the glove and screw off the tree making a significant clank on a branch below. Fortunately hedge apples were falling by the dozens and he never gave it a second thought, he just kept coming but in no real hurry. He stopped at about 20 yards, I’m at full draw and his head is covering any vitals. I’m pretty sure I was leaning to my right as to help my wind stay out of his nostrils. As fate would have it, he took one step to his left and I put one through the top of his shoulder. He ran 30 yards to the top of the hill and tipped over in the briars.
It is rare for them to be bigger than you thought. I soon realized this one deer was actually the two deer I thought I had on camera in late summer. His fourteen scoreable points green scored 180 to the credit of 26 ½ inch main beams and 40 inches of mass. I have to give credit to Lone Wolf for not making a peep and Slick Trick broadheads that never fail me.
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