By Jay Paulisczak
I have watched several big bucks grow all summer. I planted food plots, ran cameras all summer and worked hard to get things set up for bow season. I had passed up ten 8-points and fourteen does thus far this season. One of the 8-points was a nice 3.5 year old that I let walk and saw again a few days later. I was kicking myself for letting him walk, but I knew there were several bigger bucks around. The one evening I skipped due to the weather being really hot, I checked my trail cam and one of the big bucks was 20 yards from the stand I was thinking of hunting.
The weather turned cold and a front was coming in so I got in my stand overlooking my Killer Food Plots Deep Woods. I had four doe come in and go into a thicket then five minutes later they came running out. I waited for one of the big bucks I have been watching to come out after them. About 15 minutes later this buck came out on the same path the does took. I got ready I was hoping he was going to come into my food plot and give me a close shot, but he turned to follow the does into the thicket. He was about to get away so I bleated to stop him. I quickly got on him and shot. My shot was too far back and low.
I got down and couldn't find my arrow so I backed out. I decided that I was going to leave him over night and not push him. The next morning we found good blood right away, lost it for a little ways, had a decent trail for a good 100 yards, then it got spotty. I found where I believed he laid down with a lot of blood. The trail got sketchy after that. I called my good friend "Big Buck" Bill to help us look. We found more blood on the other side of where he was bedded and we saw two coyotes running. I figured they were on him.
Bill arrived and we continued the search. It was rather peculiar the way the buck was running which got me thing the coyotes must have jumped him from his bed and chased him. My friend Josh and I were trying to figure out were the buck went. It wasn't looking good so I was starting to look up deer search on my phone when suddenly Bill whistled and pointed down saying he had blood on the other side of the field. As we were heading over Bill said, "Oh... there's your buck!" He was so busy looking for blood he over looked him laying there!
The coyotes had gotten to him and destroyed the hind quarters, but if I had gone after him last night I am positive I would have bumped him and lost him. My arrow stayed in him the whole time. It was a gut shot that lodged into his hind quarter. Not my finest shot by any means, but it happens. I could use excuses like "The wind was blowing and the tree stand was swaying", which it was, but either way it happened and it was shooter error... the arrow hit were my pin was. I didn't give up on him and looked and looked then called in help and it paid off. There's no question the Killer Food Plots Deep Woods was a major factor in getting this deer... along with perseverance.
Jay shot his 9-point on 10/26/2016 in Schuyler County.
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