Nov 7th was a good day in the woods! This is the buck from my story last year when he was fighting the big 8 I harvested. So this year he was my target buck putting him at 5 1/2 and boy did he blow up since last year! I waited till the time and wind were right and snuck back in there…within 5 minutes of climbing my tree I had a buck chasing a doe, then a lot more an hour later but none was my target buck. But I just had to be patient – 30 minutes before dark I saw 2 big does coming down the main trail & I slowly stood up watching them as they came right under my stand and started feeding.
Then I heard a deep grunt and looked up and there he was coming right to me! I was in a pickle trying to get to my bow without being detected by the does but luckily the buck threw out another grunt and the does turned their attention to him, allowing me to grab my bow. He started to make a scrape 22 yards away, but as I drew back the big doe must have heard me hook up my release and looked right at me…luckily he was so focused on making that scrape I was able to get a shot off watching that firenock and striker V2 disappear right behind the shoulder! He then bolted running 60 yards stopping with blood running down his exit hole side so I just kept waiting for him to fall over…but he stood there for about 15 minutes and bedded down (or so I thought). So I watched him till dark then climbed down the tree and snuck out of there. After discussing the situation with a few people I decided it was best to wait till the next day to go looking for him.
After a sleepless night, Rob Larkins, Nate Beccue and I went out to look for him. There was pretty good blood for 173 yards then we lost it, so after looking at what he was heading into, I decided to call Ron Slifer’s Bloodhound Service. They had a few tracks to do before they were headed my way later that night, and around 7 pm Ron, Gary, and Jewel the tracking dog showed up. We then had a short conversation on what had happened and came up with a game plan and headed out. As we got to where I shot him Gary then turned Jewel loose and told her to “find ‘em.” After a few tries Jewel finally locked on his scent, finding his bed about 300 yards from where we had lost last blood and never let off on the throttle – that got my heart pumping hoping he wasn’t too far. After about another hundred yards I caught glimpse of antlers and a white belly in my head lamp! Jewel had done her job!!
Unfortunately the coyotes had beat us to him eating on one side. As we approached him I looked to see if I had hit him right behind shoulder where I thought (which I had), but what I didn’t realize he must have been slightly quartered, putting the exit hole through the liver. Gary then said to look at those eyes – that deer has only been dead for 2-3 hours. This deer had been alive for 26 hours after the shot which goes to show you if you have any doubt, back out, and also shows how strong these big bucks are during the rut with their testosterone and adrenaline levels at their highest! It’s unbelievable how tough they are this time of the year!
Danny uses the world’s #1 hunting vane, the Bohning Blazer Vane (Digital Camo color). He also uses Bohning wraps, made of vinyl that is specifically tested for use in all potential archery environments – hot, cold, wet, or dry, our wraps retain their brilliant colors, quality and adhesion.