The Ziembo Buck
Erie County 10-Point

By Darren Ziembo

I was skeptical bow hunting this year, but I will say I was prepared! Two years ago I shot just underneath a nice buck. Last year I got caught drawing back on a giant who ran out of my dreams. I later found that buck dead over the winter. I couldn’t go through another upsetting season, so I did everything I could to be ready and prepared. I found a more covered tree with lots of branches and background cover. The downside was I didn’t have much time once a buck was in view. 

It was a cold morning after an overnight rain and everything was frozen. I was unexcited going into the days hunt as I had no shooters on camera in the last five months and only saw some doe and small bucks the previous hunts. I got to my stand before light and hooked to my lifeline. I couldn’t go up! The lifeline was frozen solid to the line. I spent 40 minutes at the base of my tree defrosting the hoop. A small fox ran within feet of me while I stood there. Halfway thru my defrost I unhooked and started to walk back, but changed my mind knowing I was already awake and dressed. It was around 7:00 am by the time I got up my tree. 

The air and woods felt dead and lifeless in its cold and frozen state. After a half hour I decided there was no harm to rattling. I cracked a few loud contact hits followed by some light battles. After another few minutes of silence something caught my eye to my right. I immediately determined he was a shooter. I grabbed my bow and went through everything I practiced.

He was puffed up looking around for fighting bucks. I drew back while he was behind some branches and sat patiently. I could tell his one side was abnormal. He started to seem suspicious when he didn’t see other deer so he began to trot. He got to ten yards broadside and I threw out a loud grunt. He stopped perfectly between two trees. I set the pin and let it fly. The arrow didn’t pass thru and I watched him crash through the woods and out of sight. I waited a while then got down and checked the area. 

I saw little blood at all so I retreated home. After about an hour the snow really started to pick up. I knew it was now or never. I’d either follow his tracks and blood or lose it all together. I found my arrow within ten yards and the blood trail increased dramatically. My confidence was restored and I found him a mere 25 yards from the stand. It was a perfect double lung shot. He has 10 scoreable points and 2 broken off tines. I hope my story shows others that if you miss an opportunity you will learn from it and if you never get a good buck on camera it doesn’t mean they are not around. Anything is possible in the woods.... 

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