Editor’s note: The following is a recent contribution by Backwoods Life written in October about the start of the 2011 deer season – even though we’re a ways in now, it’s still great to keep sharing the stories that epitomize the sport. Read on and hunt on!
Sitting in my office the other day I was thinking about how long it had been since I drew back my bow on a whitetail buck. Here it is, mid-October and I haven’t had a chance at a shooter buck yet. In 2010 by this point, I had about 300 inches of antlers tagged out. Granted last year was a great season and really above par for the most part, but my longing to arrow something had consumed me. After every trip to the stand the fire burned stronger and I had to keep thinking and planning to be able to get a shot at my first buck of the season.
Taking a break from whitetails for a few days to hunt gators in south Florida really helped clear my mind some. I arrowed a nice eight plus foot gator on film and then regained my focus on the real fire inside.
Finally I was able to get away for a few days here in mid-October and spend some consecutive days in the woods without interruptions. Driving into the property here in South Georgia to hang a cameraman stand and camera arm the night before the hunt, cameraman Zach Phillips and I saw two nice shooter bucks in the area. That got my blood pumping! One buck even trailed a doe semi-aggressively as we watched in the headlights of the truck.
We eased around the edge of a grown up pasture to where a string of red oak acorns were falling. We had an Ol’Man ladder stand and lock on there in a few minutes ready for the morning hunt. Daylight came on October 14th and a cool 50 degrees had a few deer stirring around. It wasn’t long before the first doe came in smelling of the Muzzy Bowhunter Setup that we sprayed around the stand then she began eating acorns. She literally touched the bottom of the ladder stand! Talk about being human scent free with our Lethal spray and attracting with the Bowhunter Setup, that is a deadly combination.
The morning passed on and I grunted in a small three point, saw a few more does and that was it. We were setup on a fence line with more acorn trees just down the ridge and with the predicted wind direction from the northeast, we decided to put Ol’Man climbers up in another spot to play the wind a little better for the afternoon hunt.
Slipping back into the area around 5pm that evening, we sprayed down with Lethal and I strategically sprayed some Bowhunter Setup on some small brush to hopefully get a shooter to stop for a shot if need be. Minutes after climbing the tree we had does coming in. Within an hour we had so many does around I was almost scared to move in the tree due to all the eyes around. A few minutes later I looked up the hill and here come a nice tall racked buck. He was feeding under the first acorn tree on the fence line and we were sitting in the last! He needed to come in about 100 yards for me to get a shot. Luck was on our side as he followed the does down the fence line and cleared the overhanging oak limbs for a shot. I drew back my Elite, anchored, then released my arrow right through the front of his shoulder for a heart shot.
Turning around to Zach, I felt confident the Muzzy MX-3 found its mark. Zach told me that he wasn’t sure about the penetration, everything happened so fast. Now I started questioning my shot. We watched the video back and after finding my broken arrow, we knew the buck had six to eight inches of Carbon Express arrow and a Muzzy in his heart.
Climbing down from the stand my mind was racing, we walked to the last spot we saw the buck run into the trees and sure enough he was piled up right there! A nice tall racked southern buck to break the ice of the 2011 season!