By Jay Paulisczak
After one of the slowest, if not the slowest, seasons I’ve ever had... I did not have much hope of shooting a good buck this year. I was talking with my friend John down the road, I board my horses at his farm, and he asked me if I wanted to join him for a hunt. He was going to walk the swamp for his grandsons. I said, "Sure." So we made a plan and I went out and got in my stand.
It was cold and the wind was blowing bad. I was sitting there thinking about how much the wind sucked for what seemed forever when 100 yards away I saw a buck step out from the brush. I pulled up and had trouble getting my finger on the trigger because of my thick gloves. I was thinking, "Another one is gonna get away." I finally got set as he was heading into the brush to circle around John. I took a shot at him quartering away. When didn’t see the buck step out into the corn field, I figured I hit him.
Josh and Craig, John's grandsons, came up to me after I texted them and we headed over to look for blood. Craig went into the corn in case we jumped him. Josh and I found a lot of blood and figured he wouldn’t be far. As we went out into the field the buck came out of the corn not moving good. Craig and I shot at him and both missed.
We tracked him and I figured he was going into a bedding area on my family land. So, I sent Craig and Josh to the other end of the bedding area But noticed the buck had gone into the woods. I walked the woods and kicked seven doe out, but no buck... and I never crossed his track. I we got back on the track to see where he might have gone. I found a bed full of blood and I followed his track up into a wide open field. After exhausting most of our options, we talked and agreed we were chasing a live deer and it didn't look good. I told Craig and Josh that I could track the buck alone and didn’t want to take up more of their holiday.
We were walking back down the hedge row when I saw the buck! He was walking down the hedgerow back to where I'd shot at him originally. I said, "There he is, I got him." I pulled up, shot and dropped him from about 100 yards away. When we got to him we could see that someone had already shot him in the neck, I assumed during archery season. It is pretty nasty looking and smelled. His neck was no longer swollen for the rut. I’m not sure if he would have lived from the neck wound or not. In any event, I finally got him.
He is a 3.5 year old 8-point. I saw this buck once during the archery season and had a few pictures on my trail cam of him. After a long, slow, season I was happy to finally get a nice buck! He’s not my biggest buck, but definitely my hardest earned... In addition I missed my 2018 Thanksgiving dinner chasing him down.
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