We witnessed the funniest thing in Kentucky this past weekend. We were on our way to the farm Saturday morning when the Sheriff cruiser in front of us hit the brakes and the blue lights at the same time. We slowed down and started to go around the vehicle. As the sheriff’s cruiser pulled off onto the shoulder of the road, right there in front of us was a broken down blue, 4 wheel drive Jeep. Smack-dab in the middle of the lane. Dead still. Blocking traffic. What is so comical…is that the blue, 4 wheel drive Jeep was a child’s toy. I had to roll my window down and ask the sheriff if he planned on writing that one a ticket for abandoning their vehicle on a public highway. We got a real good chuckle out of the whole ordeal. See the photos in the slideshow below for a good laugh.
I have titled this entry Kentucky dreams because since our visit this past weekend, I have been dreaming of returning. I have had a serious case of anticipation since we left Kentucky. Why, you ask? It all started several weeks ago when we were at the farm checking game cameras, placing some stands and doing a little bowhunting.
We were checking deer cam cards in the field and although we didn’t have many pictures to really get excited over, I looked at one picture and was just drawn to the buck looking back at me from my laptop screen. I can’t put my finger on the exact feeling I had, but something about this buck had me drawn to the thought that if given the opportunity, he would fill my freezer and a spot on my den wall.
He was a typical main frame 8-point with short brow tines, average length tines but a wide main beam spread. This buck was a mature buck with a square barreled body, a Roman nose and a gutter down the center of his back from the width of his shoulders and hips. I was giddy about the buck…Richard was not too impressed. I kept trying to convince him that this was a nice buck—I wasn’t too convincing from the look on his face and the way he hem-hawed about the photo.
I disregarded the photo and hoped for more pictures on our next trip of this buck and some new bucks we had not yet gotten pictures of. Two weeks later found us right back in the field checking deer cameras once again….THERE HE WAS!!
I couldn’t help but get excited about this buck–there was some sort of karma. Again, Richard was not impressed. Now I wanted to get angry and debate that the buck was mature and wider than any other buck I have ever harvested. Okay, okay, I know Richard likes those non-typical, gnarly, lopsided, non-symmetrical bucks–but I prefer the “pretty” ones. Not that I wouldn’t do my absolute best to harvest a big old gnarly buck with a lopsided bone collection on his noggin—but put two of the same size bucks out there and my choice would be the “pretty” one, if given the opportunity. Besides I need some deer cube steak in the freezer something fierce.
Anyways…Saturday morning we didn’t hunt, it was reserved for working, checking deer cams, putting up a cameraman lock-on at a stand we placed on our previous trip and doing a little more scouting. We had time to get back to the hotel in time to take a short nap, shower, and pull our gear together for an afternoon hunt. We were hunting in a bowl surrounded by white oaks and the acorns were falling like rain off one of the trees in front of us.
At 3:30 p.m. we were ascending the tree to our afternoon hunting spot. Richard was attaching his Ozonics unit to the tree bracket as I was taking my bow sling off my bow and placing it on the bow hanger, still facing the tree, when I heard footsteps in the leaves. I looked over my right shoulder and spotted a deer. I looked at Richard, tapped him on the leg and whispered deer, my 4:00 o’clock. He spotted him; a button buck. I couldn’t move. I stood still the entire time the buck fed on acorns.
Finally, the button buck walked up over the ridge. I quickly attached my Ozonics to the tree, retrieved the few things I needed from my backpack, nocked an arrow and sat down putting my gloves on; hoping to be settled in before something else wandered in.
The rest of the afternoon brought two more mature does and a set of spotless twin fawns. They grazed on acorns within 15-20 yards of our stand. The doe with the twin fawns was a huge doe…easily 150-160 pounds. I am not sure I have ever seen a doe that large so close to me. We gathered our gear and planned to come back to this stand in the morning.
Sunday morning we left as planned…with plenty of time to spare. We actually sat in the pitch-black morning for over an hour. This is what we prefer and it just makes for a pleasant hunt. We had a deer come in before daylight. I could hear it sniffing the ground for acorns. When it found an acorn fit for eating you could hear the distinct crunching and even hear the outer shell drop on the ground out of its mouth. That deer moved out before it got light.
At approximately an hour after daylight I caught movement out of the corner of my eye to the left of us. I tapped Richard on the leg and motioned to where I saw movement. I reached for my bow and stood. I seen horns and I looked at Richard and mouthed, “Bbbbuucckkk!” He shook his head affirmatively.
The buck walked to a spot 45-50 yards from us but the limbs and thickets made it hard to get a good look at him. I could see glimpses of one side or the other every few seconds. The buck stood there for about 8-9 minutes before walking about 10 more yards. At one point I got a good look at his antlers and I whispered to Richard that it was the wide 8-point. The buck was only 30 yards away, however the limbs and branches made it impossible to see; let alone shoot.
I seen movement again to my left and noticed the buck in front of me looked in that direction. There was the 7-point that has been in several of the pictures with the wide 8. That buck walked to about 20 yards of the wide 8 and bedded down.
I watched as the wide 8 walked behind a tree and stood for about 3 minutes before he bedded down. About 15 minutes of standing and my arms were absolutely killing me from holding my bow at the angle I was standing. That mixed with the adrenaline that was pulsing through my veins. I had to sit down if I could. I could easily take a sitting shot if the buck came through the tree line. I slowly started to sit down and finally made it completely down. Whew…what a relief.
After Richard sat down, I turned my head slowly and said, “If I get the opportunity, I am going to shoot that buck.” I had already made my mind up from the deer cam pictures that I was going to harvest this buck if given the opportunity. He was a good 4-year-old buck by my analysis. Something about this buck drew me to him and I was not going to let a golden opportunity pass.
About 15 minutes later, the 7-point stood and looked into the woods, then he looked in our direction and then back over his shoulder. Something alarmed him but he was not sure what direction it was coming from. A rather large doe walked into the picture and started feeding on acorns directly in front of us at about 15 yards. The 7-point bedded back down. Another 15 minutes passed when the doe walked between the two-bedded bucks causing the bucks to stand. The bucks followed her into the woods the direction they came from, never giving me a shot opportunity.
Nonetheless, my heart was pounding; I had chills on my arms and a big smile on my face. We not only got to see the wide 8 in person…which Richard still is not too excited over…but we also pulled off being perfectly stealth within 15 and 30 yards of deer for over an hour. That NEVER ceases to amaze me.
We were back at Hank before 10 a.m., we still had plenty to do in preparation of the two-day early muzzleloader season next weekend. We did get everything accomplished by the time we needed to get ready to head back out to the woods for our last hunt of the weekend. Nothing exciting happened on the afternoon hunt.
This hunt was bittersweet for me; it was my last time hunting with my Bowtech bow. My next archery hunt I will be hunting with the Strother Archery Allure. I will know this week how it compares to my Bowtech and I am looking forward to a marked improvement in performance since the Allure is designed for maximum speed, kinetic energy and performance for short draw archers. I am plagued with a 25.5” draw, but thankful that I make up for some handicap in draw weight.