It was an unseasonably warm and rainy November 6th. I had been hitting the books hard for the upcoming final exam in my continuing quest for education, but still a part of my brain wandered toward the ongoing bow season. The rut appeared to be very late this year and little chasing had been observed by myself or my hunting partners to date. I had first spotted a large, wide 8 point buck in late August, had regularly encountered him, and I had mistakenly assumed I had his pattern down.
The last time I saw him was October 13th, two days prior to the New York bow opener. After that, he just disappeared into thin air. Never one to over pressure an area, I had hunted and scouted sparingly over the past three weeks, but he was nowhere to be found. I naturally assumed the worst and pictured him gracing another hunter’s trophy room.
As the afternoon progressed I looked from my class notes to the warm rain falling outside, and back to my notes, and back outside…. My brain had begun to fry!
I figured the heat would keep deer movement to a minimum, but decided to try another attempt for the “big 8″, as I affectionately had named him.
Sweat poured from me as I scaled the steep rocky cliff that this buck had called home for most of the late summer. I “pumped” 20 feet up a tree with my summit climber and settled in for the remainder of the afternoon. I was in front of a nearly vertical chute that deer used as access to the fields beyond me. No matter how high in a tree I was, at some point I would be eye level with any approaching deer, so lack of movement is critical in this stand.
At 4:00 pm , with a gentle warm rain falling on me, I heard a branch break. Immediately on high alert, I assumed the bow raised, ready to draw position. That’ s when I spotted the “big 8″ headed down the trail to me at about 50 yards, and that’s where he stayed for the next 30 minutes. I was pinned down and unable to move, yet I still needed him to come 30 yards further down the trail before I could get a clear shot.
He finally headed down my way, but light was fading fast with the heavy, wet sky above me. All this time I hadn’t moved a muscle, and I was soaked inside and out despite my high tech rain gear. As the deer moved along in our little game of beat the clock, macho buck decided to stop and shred a tree with his magnificent antlers.
I enjoyed the show, but my bow sight pins were fading fast in the dwindling light. Finally he stepped in to my shooting lane with seconds to go. My broadhead took out the top of his heart and he fell after a mere 20 yard dash.
It was hard to get pictures in the dark and rain, and butchering couldn’t be put off for AM photos due to the extreme heat. It just goes to show, any day of hunting can be the special day. The suburbs of New York City grow some mighty fine bucks. Now, if I can just find where the 150 class ten has gone!