My goal for this hunt was to leave behind my antsy elk chasing habits and try to sit all day – for at least a few of the five days. As we all know, and as my whitetail-junkie comrades constantly remind me, a lot of mature bucks killed during the rut are shot in the middle of the day. But for the first three days, I did not stay in the tree all day. The thought of a hot lunch, toasty lodge, and a chance to get some blood pumping through my frozen veins was too much temptation. On day three, after leaving my morning stand at 11 a.m., I decided to sit a new farm across the county road where my hunting partner Ben Summers from True Ball had seen a couple dandy bucks on his morning sit.
That afternoon at about 2, we walked out to our stands. My stand sat about 300 yards down from his, just inside the hardwoods from a small patch of CRP and not 100 yards from a corn field. I harnessed in, slipped my face mask on, nocked an arrow, and did my usual routine of checking shooting lanes. To my left was a perfect 15 yard slot framing a small flat between two deep ravines with a perfect deer trail feeding right into it. I drew, anchored, and imagined a buck in my sight picture.
I settled into to my seat, checked my lanes, scanned the area, no movement in sight. A dozen minutes later, a buck came like a dream right into my sweet spot.
I drew, anchored, followed him into the clear and released. All that showed were four white fletches, stuck low and right behind the shoulder, quartering in. Beyond them, a pierced heart. I watched him tip over at 50 yards.
Many thanks to my friends at Grandview Media Group for putting this hunt together.