It’s early one morning in September 2010 and it’s the kind of day that bow hunters dream of. Cool crisp morning air and not a lot of wind. I am heading out with one of my best friends to do what these two best friends love to do, hunt. Before the sun had even come up, we spotted deer on the horizon. Looking through the binoculars to see if there is anything worth shooting, our glance passes by a really nice old 3x3 buck feeding out ahead of us. We both agreed that I would go make a play for him and try and get a shot on him. Henry holds back and sets up the spotting scope for a front row seat to the action. In my attempt to get the wind in my favor, I bumped him a bit. He wasn’t too freaked out but he did move up and over the horizon.
Slowly, I made my way in the same direction I saw him crest the hill. As I approach the top, I knock an arrow and get ready for what may be a quick shot. I’m looking everywhere but don’t see him until I hear him blow out 15 yards behind me. Disappointment was the word for the next hour or so. Disappointment didn’t last too long as we spotted 7 nice bucks getting ready to bed for the afternoon. As we make a move to get in range we came across the property boundary and realized that they are all bedded on private property. Knowing that they will be bedded for the afternoon, we decide to pack up the scopes in our Badlands packs with the rest of the gear until that evening to see if they will feed back onto public land. Just as we are about ready to put it all away, every head in the herd turns away from us and looks up the hill. “Henry, if there is a coyote or something, they may bump this way”, I say.
Sure enough, next thing we know, all seven of those beautiful, barely velvet rubbed creatures are all bouncing over the fence heading right towards us. “Buck grunt”, “Buck grunt”, (We both did it at the same time) stopping a nice 4x5 in his tracks (on the right side of the fence). I have known Henry for a long time, and Henry doesn’t miss. So, when Henry drew back on this buck, I knew his last breath of air was just a matter of seconds away. Down he goes! High fives all around, Henry lets out a yell of jubilation that I have never heard before from him, and the cleaning begins after his wife and young son Kyle come out for the photo ops. What a great morning of hunting, we got on eight beautiful bucks and harvested a very nice, just rubbed, 5x4 buck. A story for another time about our pack out on this buck. Let’s just say that while we did fill the Badlands packs with meat, they rode out laying in a bed and not on our backs J. Because of our fortune, I decided to get back out that night and try and find one of those other bucks.
It only took about 30 min of hiking before that old 3 point made an appearance in my the view of my bino’s. The wind was all wrong, so I had to make a loop of about a mile to get around him and in position for a shot. I get to within 180 yards of him before I run out of cover.
Thinking I am going to wait him out and hope he feeds my way, the sun starts to set on what has been an already epic day. It’s now or never, I start to crawl slowly towards him. I had never known there were so many prickly weeds until I had to cover a hundred and forty five yards on my way on my hands and knees. Now, being totally acquainted with the last cactus I had just crawled over, I made my way to shooting distance and set up for the shot. At first he is feeding towards me, but then he turns and is quartering away. I range him 4 different times to make sure I have a good distance on him.
47 yards it is and I dial it in, drop the badlands pack to the floor, and draw back. Smack!!! This old 3 point is on the ground. One day, 2 Pope and Young bucks within one mile of each, making this the best hunting day I have ever had in my years as a bow hunter. Badlands made that pack out easy and we both had meat in the freezer and an awesome story to tell.