ND Archery Buck

Jamen

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 5, 2013
Messages
504
Location
North Dakota
Well, my deer season ended a lot sooner than i had anticipated this year. I have shot all my archery deer within the last 10 days of the season in late December. Something about sitting in the bitter cold sometimes -30 that i really enjoy. This year was different though. I have never been a horn hunter myself and have never had a shot opportunity on what I would consider a big deer. My dad always said you can't eat the horns, he's right but they are nice to look at. I have always wanted a mature animal and scores mean nothing to me. Most years i end up taking a nice doe to put meat in the freezer, or a small basket rack.

I had acquired permission last fall from a classmate of mine to hunt this 1/4 he had bought. Since it was already September, we tossed up a blind and hoped for the best. My sister shot a doe and that was it. We had nice deer on camera but nothing coming in at the right times. I spent the off season looking at satellite images and walking out there looking for trails and tracks. This spring I had the plan in place. I had taken an educated guess where these deer were moving to and from and by some luck i was right.

I have 5 nice deer on camera this one was #2 on the hit list. With life being busy i had only sat a dozen or so times this fall, all with no luck of even seeing a deer while sitting i was almost ready to wait a few weeks and wait for the rut.

With luck on my side, we had a really nice cold front come in last night. Excited i left work early to head to the stand. As i drove down there and got to my spot i had noticed my friend was harvesting his beans but 20 yards behind my blind. Discouraged i checked the clock to see if i had time to drive to my other blind 45 minutes away but there wasn't enough time. I hiked in with no hopes of seeing a deer and sat down. Watching them harvest and seeing the squirrels run through the trees and the leaves falling with a brisk autumn air coming through the blind no place id have rather been even if i didn't think I'd see any deer.

Sitting there reflecting on life and daydreaming of a big buck walking in like i typically do while bow hunting. The sun started to set in the west, But we had movement! My group of 3 does that had no fawns were coming in. One came straight in and was right out in front of my blind for a good minute or so before she ran off to her group. Happy that i had finally saw a deer this season while sitting i chalked up the night as a win. No matter the size or sex of a deer when they come that close my heart always races.

With 20 minutes of light left i now am holding my bow because it's the "witching hour" as my family would call it. Having forgot my gloves on the couch the mid 20-degree breeze made my hands cold. But I noticed a deer running through the freshly harvested bean field hopped the fence and into a posted pasture. Not being able to get the binoculars on it i told myself it was a doe so i felt better about it. Thinking the combine spooked it out of one of the sloughs. 5 minutes later there he was trotting in the bean field at 70 yards... Pulled up the binoculars and knew right away it was the one i named #2

With under 10 minutes of light left he started his walk toward the trees i am sitting in. The steam from his nose would have made an amazing picture with the orange sunset in the background. Thinking to myself do I take the shot or do I wait. I chose to wait and see how life unfolds. He walked through the trees north to south i am facing due west. He got to the south side of the trees and started walking the edge to the east towards me. I feel like i can hear my own heartbeat and hope he couldn't hear it too. He is behind me now and still on the field edge at about 11 yards. I check my watch one last time to see what i have left for time. 4 minutes is what i have left.

He then turns and starts to head my direction. 11 yards soon turns into 10... 9... 8... 7 is where he stopped off to my 10 o'clock. I do not have any windows open on that side and there is a pillar in between the closed windows and the open ones. I draw back and wait. Thinking he was just going to cruise in. I was mistaken i couldn't see him because of the tint on the closed window and the pillar. Earlier in the day when i was sitting after using scent block which i don't really buy it was a gift and also i smoked my clothes with a beehive smoker. I have used that as scent protection for years and had great success. But earlier in the day i could smell my dryer sheets on the pants i was wearing. Now with the buck 7 yards away and in a spot i can't see all the thoughts happen. Did he see me draw, did he hear me, can he smell my freaking fabric softener pants. Still at full draw for what seemed like a lifetime he stepped out and was broadside in front of me at 14 yards. With one small tap of my broken index finger the arrow left my bow...

Early in my archery years i had a chronic problem of peaking my shot before i would hit my release. I would at the last second look at the animal to see if i hit it rather than watching my pin and follow through by continuing watching the pin. Thus, always missing the deer. Once i corrected that issue i have not missed a deer with my bow since.

I heard the unmistakable WHACK of an arrow hitting a deer. He whizzed around so fast and took off down the trees. I saw the lighted knocked and then the arrow fell out. In what was less than 10 seconds i had thought i hit shoulder and the arrow never penetrated and just fell out. We ran 20-30 yards and stood broadside... I just messed it up i was thinking as i was reaching for my other arrow then he disappeared.

Having realized he went down the excitement set in of what just happened. I didn't miss my shot, i knew i held and followed through replaying it back in my memory's replay. 16 years i have been hunting deer and in 16 years i have never had 1 shot opportunity of an animal like this. He is not the biggest one out there i have one bigger on camera, but he is perfect. The hours and hours spent over the years. Last year tested me more than anything. Having spent over 70 days chasing deer i was mentally drained. Didn't have the ambition this year when the season started. But it has all been worth it.

Walking up there as i seen his body i thanked him and the good lord for the opportunity. Phone calls happened told my dad i got the 5x7 and to ready the garage for cleaning it. I called my mom and well i told a small lie...

Growing up her side of the family deer hunting was life. Everyone got together for 2 weeks, some of the greatest memories i have were at deer camp. I called her and my step dad and told them i got a deer. She asked which one. I told her "socks" a small 4x4 who came in one day with mud up to his ankles and looked like he had socks on. She was happy i got a deer but she knew i was waiting for bigger one. Little did she know i had gotten one of the ones i was after.

Her and my stepdad came out to help me "look" for him. I told them i had found a little blood over in this direction. I was in the front with my head lamp i made sure it wasn't on the deer, i grabbed his head and told my mom i had gotten the big one. Once she saw it and knew which one it was the screams and cries and hugs, she had did made the entire night. I knew she would react that way and that's why i wanted to surprise them. I took a recording of that moment as we walked up there and surprising her and that to me is the real trophy. Ill cherish that moment until my memory fades away.

So, my season came to a close earlier than i had thought but i am happy with the turn out! He will be the first one i have put on the wall. The grim reapers did short work of the top of his heart. 20-30 yards and less than 10 seconds later he was dead.
 

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TLowell02

Active member
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Messages
342
Location
Sedan, NM
Congrats on a nice buck! I sure enjoyed my one season of deer hunting when I lived there in 2007.
 

Northwoods

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 24, 2016
Messages
554
Location
MN
Heck yeah! Great buck! Now you can spend the rest of the fall bird hunting.
 

Henry22

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
112
Location
Indiana
That’s a dandy! It’s fun to get them early sometimes and have time to take out others and do some other hunting in the fall. Congrats!
 

Jamen

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 5, 2013
Messages
504
Location
North Dakota
Thanks everyone!! It will be nice to go chase some pheasants this fall now that my fall is freed up!
 

BradA

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
588
That’s a great whitetail one I wouldn’t pass on congratulations
 
Gastro Gnome - Eat Better Wherever

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