Two Years in the Taking
Back in the Summer of 2009 I was going to be hunting a City wide area hunt that happens every two years. It was Hot Mid summer time, and I set my feeder up early. I Wanted to get the deer coming to the feeder well before season. I set my Bushnell game camera up to watch what was coming in to eat. For weeks I pulled the chips from my camera and watched Doe after Doe feeding. Most of them coming in around 10am, and just before dark.
About three weeks into watching, my Son and I went to fill the feeders and change chips. When we retuned home we looked at the 800 pictures that our game camera had taken. I said, "they don't come in until about 10am". Sure enough about 10:10 there is the first Doe, next picture was the rump of a larger deer. We looked close thought we could see horns in the tree limbs. We popped back and forth between pictures. Yes that's a different deer, and looks to be a buck. I hit the forward Button and there he stood. Both of us at onetime said OH MY GOD! A buck of a lifetime had just stepped into my feeder.
Over the next few weeks I got hundreds pictures of him eating. Day and Night, Morning and evening. I could hardly wait until opening day. I sent the pictures to everyone I knew. They as I tryed to score him alive. I said 150 plus, others scored him as high as 190. Opening day came, wind blowing the wrong way but I had to go. I hunted him over 90 days that season, and found out he was much smarter then me. He was a buck of a lietime so I had to try.
Two years later, the City hunt is on again. I fill the feeder later this summer for the high price of corn. I set up my Bushnell Camera too see what's around. Two years later who knows if he is even still alive. The following week I pull the chip, and fill the feeder. I check the chip and for the first few days Nothing much a doe here and there along with some yearlings. Then I Start to see a few smaller bucks. Late one night around Midnight I catch a group of bucks feeding, and OH MY there he is. He has aged and the rack has changed. He has lost one point, but gained mass and taller eye guards. However what he didn't loose was his 22 inch inside spread. I smile and say YES I still have a chance. It must of been loud for my wife came running, asking what's wrong. All I could say is "he's still alive". So not wanting to be out smarted this year I hung another stand, this way I can hunt the wind.
I Plan and dream about opening day just a couple weeks away. September 5th opening day finely gets here. The wind blowing from the North, so I climb into my new stand. Hours go by and nothing, but as the light starts to fade I see a couple does and another group of smaller bucks, but none of them are him. In the darkness I Leave the woods knowing that he is out there. Night two I see just one yearling, but my dream still buring bright. Night three was going as the last two, it was getting late. I was thinking to myself that I have maybe 15 minutes of light left.
I catch Movement to my left, I look and it's a smaller 6 point. He walks towards the feeder. I see that there is another, I Look at him and without a moments thought it knew it was him. The big buck walks over to the trail that I walk in on and sniffs the ground, as to see if I or anyone had be there today. Feeling safe he turns and works his way to the feeder. Two more bucks cut behind him and worked their way down wind of me. I knew if those bucks wind me that this hunt would be over quickly. I could hear them walking, they were so close I could hear them breathing. I couldn't stand for fear that they would see me, I was caught in a bad spot. My mind so clear I was in this so real moment. It was like I had been there hundred of times before. I said to myself "you'll need to shoot from setting down. I drew my bow as I did he stepped back behind some trees. I thought should I let down or hold?? He turned back, so I came to full draw. He stood broadside as I found my pins. I started at the ground "more light to see them", and I slowly came up. Right behind his shoulder I found my mark and I let the arrow fly.
For the first time ever I heard the arrow Thump Him Hard. He ran across in front of me and out of sight. I set there shacking I had just shot HIM. My hand carefully reached for my phone, I called My Son who for two years now has been waiting on this call. I told him I just killed the Giant. He asked "did you hit him", yes Son thumped him hard. He came to help retrive my Buck of a lifetime. I have been hunting for over 40 years now, and to kill such a special animal is more then a life long dream come true. His gross score is around 160 4/8.