By Nathan Powe
After working a twelve hour night shift I managed to sneak out of work at 4 am and pick up my best friend. Driving to Letchworth we both had a weird feeling that today was going to be the day a big one went down. For some reason whenever he and I hunt together we always manage to get it done.
We pulled up to the parking spot on the east side of the park nice and early, got our stuff together and headed in. After about a half mile walk in my buddy reached his stand and we shook each others hand and said our famous words, "Shoot straight."
My stand was about 200 yards beyond his. I got setup and waited for daybreak. At 7:45 the woods were dead quiet and I was gazing at the steam rising from the river bottom. As I turned to reach for my phone to text my buddy about the beauty of the day, I saw the buck standing there 30 yards away. I grabbed my bow and got ready. I let him get into about 22 yards, turn broadside and let it fly. I knew right away that the shot wasn't the greatest it was about 6 inches back from where I wanted it to be. The buck kicked his hind legs, walked off and stood fifty yards from where I hit him for about 3 minutes, then walked off over the hill.
I climbed down and immediately and went to get my buddy. We collected our thoughts after a few tense moments of excitement and nervousness. We came back and checked my arrow, there was blood mixed with stomach content and a ton of white hair. After a few steps we found a solid blood trail, better than both of us had expected. Without wanting to back out being pressed for time and the heat of the day we decided to pursue the trail.
We followed the blood for about 200 yards untill we reached the top of a big hill. We stood at the top of the hill and looked down, at the same time we saw the buck get up form his bed and walk over a rise. It was at this point we decided to back out for an hour and bring our stands and gear back to the truck. After we did that we went back to where we last stood on the rivine and knew he would be bedded just over that rise. We took a few steps along the top of the rivine and saw him right where we thought.
After debating what to do we decided that my buddy would stay on top of the rivine and I would try and back out and pop up on the other side of the rise to get a shot. I took my boots off and walked barefoot to make less noise. I just about got to the rise when I saw the buck walking, he walked twenty yards form where he last was, and bedded down again. Luckily there was a big oak tree right in between the buck and knew I had a great chance. I managed to get within 40 yards of the buck, and let it fly. I hit his antlers. He got up and ran off over the ridge, out of sight. I was sick, I thought that was it.
After debating once again with my buddy we decided we had no choice but to go after him once again because of the storm coming in and the heat. We found where he was last bedded, with my arrow five feet away form the bed. We followed the blood trail and right away we knew this buck was going to expire, there was blood everywhere. We followed the trail for at least 500 yards, noses to the ground. My buddy looked up and saw him bedded down again, 15 yards from us. I quickly knocked an arrow and put one through his neck to finish him off. I was so filled with emotion I jumped into my friends arms and teared up. I have put so much time and effort into taking a nice buck from Letchowrth. I was so happy it finally paid off. There was no better feeling than lifting that bad boy into my truck. Its funny how at the start of the morning it was just a feeling, that turned into a reality. I feel so blessed and proud of this beautiful 7-point.
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