By Jonathan Mahusky
I'll start by taking you back to opening day of bow season last year. I hunted the morning with little deer activity, then decided to go to a secluded spot for the afternoon. I found a good tree and used my Summit climber to get up about 20 feet.
There was not much action for most of the afternoon until about a half hour before sunset. I heard crunching right under my stand, and looked down to see a rack! The deer had approached from behind, and it is amazing how such a large animal can be so quiet coming in. I watched as he rubbed a sapling literally 5 yards from the tree and waited for him to turn broadside. Unfortunately he didn't and must have scented me and began to walk, quartering away from me. I let an arrow fly when he was about 15 yards away and it hit him in his back, right above the shoulder. To make a long story short, I waited and tracked the deer the next morning to no avail. I was heartbroken.
Fast forward to opening day this year. For the evening hunt, I decided to go to the same area that I shot at that buck last year. Again I had my climber and chose a tree only about 30 yards from where I had been the previous year. It was almost the same scenario as last year as there was no activity until about a half hour before sunset, when I heard something walking behind me. I turned to my right to see a nice buck coming right down the same trail I walked in on.
He was walking steadily and going to pass me at about 20 yards, perfectly broadside. As soon as he entered my shooting lane, I let out a soft grunt and touched off my release. I watched the arrow smack him right where I was aiming and he took off. I watched as he made a small semi circle and then crashed into some brush on the other side of the trail. I made a call to my brother to come and help me track him, since it was getting close to dark. He came with my grandfather as well and we went over to where I last heard him crash. I heard my grandfather say, "Does your deer have a white belly?" and I knew he had found him.
What makes this story so interesting is that upon further inspection, this deer had a scar on his back in the same spot where I had shot that buck last year. And it was the same size that a 2" rage broad head would leave! I guess that buck didn't learn his lesson! Amazing how tough these animals can be, and I was happy to see that he survived, and grew bigger. He was a 9 point and dressed out at 150lbs. My biggest deer with the bow to date.