By Michael Rubino
I write this story with a huge smile on my face as Saturday, December 3, 2011 was one of the best days of hunting I ever had. Saturday it finally all came together and I took my best buck ever.
I have been hunting for the last fourteen years and over that time span I have shot many deer, but nothing bigger than a 6-pointer. I live on Long Island and hunted upstate in Green County for the first nine years of my hunting career, but over that last five years I have been hunting in Suffolk County more and more.
My brother, and good friend Charlie, had been telling me that if I wanted to shoot a big buck I need to hunt where big bucks lived. On December 3rd, Charlie was kind enough to let John and I hunt some of his stands on his sister-in-law’s property on Long Island. John and I were hunting about 80 yards apart on the edge of the woods where Charlie had been seeing some great bucks.
The morning started out slow with nothing at first light. Then I saw a spike and five does come through at about seven. After that I saw the small resident 8-pointer walking the edge of the woods towards where Johns was. The deer got down wind of John and picked up his scent and trotted back into the woods. He was heading in my direction so I got my bow ready in case he came by within range.
That deer never came back out of the woods, but about five minutes later I looked to my right and saw nothing but rack walking in my direction. I got my video camera on the deer and watched him eat and slowly make his way towards my stand. At this point I was starting to think that this might actually happen and my nerves got the better of me and I started shaking. It got so bad that I had to lean my knee against the tree to slow it down so the deer wouldn’t see me. I had to keep telling myself to calm down and take deep breaths.
He proceeded to get closer and closer and when he got within 25 yards of the stand he froze up with a few branches blocking his vitals. He stood there for what seemed like forever. When he finally turned to go back deeper into the woods, I drew back. He took a few more steps, cleared the branch and I slowly squeezed the trigger on my release and watched my arrow disappear right behind his shoulder with a perfect double lung shot. I watched as the deer ran about 60 yards and fell over.
That’s when I lost it, I couldn’t believe what I had just accomplished and I questioned if it really just happened or if I was dreaming. I quickly called my brother who watched the entire thing from his stand. When I got down and got over to the deer we realized that the deer was the exact eight pointer that Charlie had shot at on Wednesday. Charlie’s arrow just grazed the top of his back and the wound was already starting to heal.
Charlie has some great velvet footage of this buck and a bunch of trail cam shots of him. The other cool part about this hunt was that my brother Joe got to share in the action as well even though he was hunting upstate at the time. John was on the phone checking in with Joe at the time that he noticed the buck under my stand and realized that I was probably going to get a shot, so he was able to give Joe the play by play as if he was right there with us.
Up until this point it was one of the slowest season I have experience as far as seeing deer movement goes, it just goes to show how quickly your luck can change as long as you keep at it. The feeling I felt after I shot this buck was like nothing I have ever experienced before. After hunting so hard for so long it really made me appreciate how fortunate I was to take this deer.
I really want to thank my buddy Charlie for letting us hunt his stands and being such a great friend and my brother John for persuading me to stay home on Long Island to hunt Suffolk County. It’s going to take a long time for me to come down from this high I’m on right now.