By Charles Augello
Let me start off by saying that I've been in a slump and I went deerless last year for the first time ever (minus the years I was away in the Army). I hunt hard, getting in the woods practically every afternoon I could, seeing as the overnight shift I work allows me to do so, and I also spend my mornings on my days off in the woods. Last year I watched bow season, then gun season, then late muzzleloader season slip away with not even a shot opportunity on a doe. I did pass on a small year and a half buck early in bow season. Then this past spring slipped away with no turkey to show for my time. It was getting discouraging and it was tough to handle with all the hours I put in the woods. But I didnt let it get me down and told myself I'd make up for it once next season came around.
Moving on to this fall, I jumped right back into hunting hard and saved up all my vacation time for deer season ( last year I had to use it all for my wedding / honeymoon ). I've been out pretty much every afternoon since October 1st, and every morning when I'm off ( I work a continuous 4 days on, 2 days off rotation ). I started my vacation days on October 21st and am off until November 4th, and I also took off the first week of gun season. I've been seeing plenty of deer, but have not been able to get anything in range besides a button buck, a small fork horn, and a doe that probably was about the size of my Rottweiler.
So yesterday morning came, and as I was about to leave the house I decided to open up a bottle of "Tinks 69" that I bought to use once the pre-rut and rut started because I saw some scrapes popping up in the past few days and it is getting to the end of October. I poured a little in a fresh scent bomb and headed to the spot I've been hunting in the mornings, even though I have only seen one deer (button buck) there so far this year. The spot is a section of pretty open hardwoods and the stand is on the intersection of an ATV trail that I rode on as a kid and an old and overgrown tractor path that was used in the past by a farmer to cut through the woods and get from a crop field on one side to the field on the far side. I walked as silently as a I could to my stand and got in there before dawn. I hung up the scent bomb on a limb near a shooting lane and climbed into the ladder stand.
Within ten minutes I heard leaves crunching and can just make out the silhouette of a deer coming up the tractor path. It wasn't quite light enough to shoot yet, but I get myself ready as the deer approached and I saw it is a small 4-point. He walked directly to the scent bomb, stuck his nose in it, then started circling and looking around. He then started making a scrape about 15 yards away from me, rubbing his head on branches for a few minutes, then he casually strolled away through the woods.
About twenty minutes later I heard that amazing sound again and saw another deer coming in the same path. This time it was a small spike. He walks up and as he was walking by my scent bomb he startled and jumpd then ran about 10 yards. Then he started creeping towards it and began sniffing with his neck stretched out trying not to get too close. He took baby steps up to it, stuck his nose in it, then started milling around underneath me for a while. Eventually he walked off and the woods got quiet again.
8:00 am came around and as I'm scanning I catch movement on the same path and I immediately saw the antlers. I got to my feet and grabbed my bow and got ready, I started to shake as I realized how nice this buck was. He was near my scent bomb, curling his lip, but his vitals were behind some small branches and leaves. He began walking around the branches and I started drawing my bow. He stepped out in the open before I finished drawing and catches my movement. His head promptly swings facing straight at me as I'm coming to full draw. I put my pin where I wanted it and punched the release as fast as humanly possible and watched him start ducking as the arrow made its way to him. The arrow ended up lodging right under his spine and dropped him. I promptly put another one center lungs just to make sure. This is my best buck ever and my first nice one with a bow
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