It was late November and all of my clients were done for the season here in South
Eastern, Ohio. Finally I had a chance to set back, relax and take a crack at several good
bucks my clients had missed, scared or had not seen.
It had been a great year. Many clients were now friends and hunting
Companions. T.J. Conrads and Larry Fischer from Traditional Bowhunter had joined me
two weeks earlier and both had encounters with some really impressive deer.
The day felt different, one of those days when you know that
it's going to be good. I was jumping deer all along the trail to my stand;
three does here then six more. By the time I made it to my stand, I had already seen 10 deer.
It was sunny and warm, Fox squirrels were all over the place and I couldn't resist and
took a shot at one. One inch off at twenty yards. Not bad.
If a trophy buck passed by today, he was in deep trouble. I sat back down and began to
look for deer. The leaves were fairly dry so you could hear an approaching buck from
a long way. After and hour or so, I could hear movement several hundred yards above
After several minutes I picked out twenty wild turkeys. They passed unsuspecting right
by me as I sat twenty feet high in my perch. I didn't dare move, as an alarm putt from
wild turkey will spook every deer in the forest. They slipped over the hill and away and
all was back to normal.
Another hour passed as I sat excited for action when I caught movement above me
Again. This time it was not a turkey. Huge white tines aloft a massive buck coming my
way. He stopped every 10 yards or so. As he turned his head towards me I could see that
his rack was several inches past his ears. He looked as if he would go 160 or better. A
thousand thoughts went through my mind as I watched this trophy deer. I hadn't seen a
really big buck for several years, at least not anything in this caliber.
My friends and clients see some monsters and I spend all my time trying to
make that happen, Today was different. The buck moved
further down the steep embankment right past me, quartering away. Wide-open
and broad side at forty yards he stood looking ahead.
He stood for a minute and then as suddenly as he had
appeared he turned and rambled off. My heart fell. He was at the fork of a trail and if
he had turned the other way, I would have had a ten-yard shot.
Fourty yards, maybe I could have made the shot, but my ego gave way to my ethics and my love
for the animal. I knew that another opportunity would come to me if I
did my homework! If I was lucky!
A lot of people think that harvesting a trophy buck takes a wiley and experienced
whitetail master and I guess that doesn't hurt, But often huge deer are taken
by people who either have never seen the animal are novice hunters.
However, taking big bucks requires that you hunt where they're at to have a decent
chance to take one. You also have to consistently pass on smaller deer so that they can
reach the age of three to fours years old.
Trophy hunting big whitetails isn't for everyone. In fact not many people can stand to
go several years without filling their tag. I tell a lot of clients to take a big doe if they can.
They are every bit as crafty as a trophy buck and the meat is super.
The next evening found me back in the same stand, the memory of the night before kept
playing back over and in my head. Would I ever see that deer again or was he
just passing thru from five miles away hot on a doe
I settled down for a long evening and as daylight faded into night I heard
the familiar sound of approaching deer. There were several does running through the
open timber. Maybe a buck was chasing them. Maybe that big boy was chasing them.
They ran around for a few minutes then one of them came below my stand.
It was a doe and she headed below me to a field that bordered my land.
Two more came behind her and then a massive bodied deer. He was big, but how big I
wasn't sure. He was a good buck, a trophy by my standards or anyone else's. I could see
good mass and spread but I couldn't see the tines very well. It didn't matter, if he gave
me a shot I was taking it. He moved ahead one step, now two. Five more yards and drew
my bow. The arrow was gone before I realized I had shot. He bolted, tail down and full
speed ahead, I was sure it was a good hit.
I had to sit down and recover from the shakes; my heart was beating so hard I
thought I would have a stroke. I took a couple of deep breaths and lowered my bow. I
made it down from the tree. It was late to pursue the buck and I decided to search in the
morning. I made the three-mile hike back to camp in about five minutes. I was to say the
least, pretty excited!
At dawn I found good blood sign twenty yards from the stand. It lead straight down the
hill towards the field. I tried to keep my eyes on the trail but they kept coming up to look
ahead. Less than fifty yards from where I had stood, laid my deer. He was a massive corn
fed, Ohio whitetail, I guessed he would go about 250 lbs field dressed and would gross
between 140 and 145 P&Y as an 8 point.
Like I said before, it's been a real good year. I guess you could say it was my turn!
Edited by. Dr. David Samuel
The Author is an Ohio Whitetail Deer and Turkey Guide, his clients have harvested 17 P&Y class animals
in the last three years.
He manages over 5000 acres of land in Southern Ohio, 1500 acres
are for Bow Only. The Author used a 65lb Shaffer Recurve, with Easton Legacy Shafts
and Zwicky Broadheads. Scent Loc liners, and King of the Mountain Hunting
clothes. Tree Stands made by Comfort zone Products and Centipede ladders.
To contact Curtiss Call 740-682-7480