2013 bow buck

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2013 bow buck

Post  Willy on Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:56 am

what a weekend!  The weather guys were saying all week we were going to have a good chance of some freezing rain on Friday, and it was going to get close to the freezing mark during the day. That was about it.  I figured with the weather change and some cold nights it might be good hunting so I took off last Thursday and headed up.  I left the house in the morning and it was 70 on my truck already, I got an hour north and it dropped to 59, by the time I hit the Kansas line, just 3 hours from my house it was 32.  I got in with enough time to unload the truck and head out to a field stand for an afternoon hunt. When I parked the truck the temp was down to 28 and the wind was howling out of the north, not sure what the windshill was but it was like a knife thru my clothes. It was already 3 so I figured I could handle it for a couple hours. I get in the stand and hang the bow and get situated, 10 min later the freezing rain started.  I kept saying only 2 hours , I can handle it.  I hang my bow off my left shoulder because I am right handed. about 30 min into the freezing rain I turned my head to the left to check the creek when I noticed my bow. My string, sight, arrow and broadhead all had a layer of ice on them, There was no way I could have drawn and shot and been confident that things would go like it should. So I packed it up and headed out. I got to the truck and the thermometer read 21.
Checked the weather and it said it wasn't going to get any colder that night and there was a slight chance of some sleet in the mid morning. but the wind was going to be bad on Friday, bad as in high not direction. It was 19 with a 25 north wind at daylight. I had a few deer come though the first couple hours, mostly does and fawns only had one rack buck come in, I call him Mc lovin , he is one horny bastard. You can smell this deer when he gets up wind of your stand, no joke. I have seen him on every stand on my place this season, he had 6 big brow tines earlier, he is down to a single now.


after he came thru it got quiet. the deer movement just died to nothing. The wind picked up to around 30 with higher gust and it started spitting sleet around 11. I got down at noon and headed to the house for a bite.  By 1 we were in a full blown white out. It started snowing, tiny flakes with not much accumulation but it was blowing so hard you couldn't see 50 yards. To hell with going out in that. wind chill was negative something. around 3 it had quit snowing, the wind was still howling but it was not snowing. I headed out.  Had a ton of deer move by , passed a really nice 8 that I had earlier said I would shoot given the chance, but it was only Friday and this cold could get things really hopping. When I climbed down Friday afternoon I was really regretting not taking that shot. He was the only decent buck I had seen. at dark it was around 17.
Forecast called for light to no wind on Saturday, cold but no wind.  I woke up to 8 degree temp. No wind but 8 friggin degrees. Not what they had said. I have never bowhunted in really cold temps. I have gun hunted and I have the gear to stay warm, but that with a rifle, drawing a bow back is a different story. My hands in particular are tough to keep warm and with my release there is no way to get a heavy glove on that hand.  I went out that morning expecting the deer to really be on the feed, after all it had been down below freezing now for 2 days. I saw more deer before noon on Saturday than I think I have ever seen in one sitting anywhere. None were feeding. The stand I was in faces a wheat field on one side and a bottle neck  the field and a big creek create behind me. It  a great stand. All the deer I saw where traveling on the creek. This is the kicker, not the first buck. I had groups of 3 and 4 does and fawns walking past me all morning. No bucks at all. Its still Novemeber there should have been a buck even it was just Mc lovin, trailing those does. nothing.  That's how the rest of the day went. I sat all day on Saturday, the high temp was 25 but the wind wasn't blowing.
Sunday I planned on heading home at noon. It was cloudy and 20 in the morning, at 11 I decided I was going to hang out for another all day sit. The deer were moving ok, not great, but better than Saturday. I had a couple youngsters come thru, great bucks for the years to come for sure. Saw the 8 I had passed tending a doe in the distance and heard one heck of fight along the creek behind me, so I texted the wife and said not to hold supper for me I would be home late.




Around 5 oclock with my hands hurting from the cold, I had hot hands that were not getting hot. I opened two packs that day and both of them were duds. The wind had picked up a bit, temp had stayed steady around 23 all day. With 30 minutes of shooting light left I had nearly 50 deer on the wheat in front of me. mostly does, the wind had switched directions during the day and was now moving my scent across one corner of the field. I had a group of does in my wind, I had my doubts last year about the Ozonics I had bought, but after what I have seen with it this year I am glad I never sent it back like I planned. The wind was right to them, they could smell something but weren't sure what. They were alert and looking but that's about it. I was watching them, afraid to move to look around for having them bust me and clear the field. The finally eased up and started feeding and I was able to turn to look over the rest of the area. When I turned my head there he stood. He was facing directly at me with his head down in a scrape at 38 yards. I picked up my bow and hooked up the release. He stayed faceing head on for quite some time. Evertime he picked up his head I would think he is going to turn, but he didn't he just put his nose back in the scrape. he wasn't pawing it, just smelling it. He would lift his head look over the field full of deer, lip curl, and then drop his head again.
This wasn't the deer I had been hunting this season, I have been concentrating on a ghost, I had all intentions of spending another weekend trying to get a crack at him, but on the drive up I said to hell with it. Gun season opens next week, I cant bow hunt on the farm where this buck is during rifle, I have filled my bow tag during rifle the last two years on my main farm, I was going to spend some tree time there and maybe at least get a glimpse of a buck I could hunt next week. There are two tens and two 8s that I had said earlier in the year I would shoot given the chance, but because of the buck on the other farm I had not spent any serious time on the main place hunting.
I had gotten these trail cam pictures of this buck the last week of October, first I had of him all year. I saw him in velvet about a mile south on a milo patch but not since then.




With probably 10 minutes of shooting light left he was standing in the same scrape as the last two pictures show. That is 38 yards off to my left from my stand. I was just waiting for him to turn.  He finally did turn, standing broadside facing back into the woods he started to paw at the scrape, I drew back the bow and holy shit I couldn't find my anchor point. I had added several layers during the day, I had on a neck gaiter, a full head face and neck fleece cover and a stocking cap. When I cam to full draw I couldn't hit my anchor. I anchor under my jaw bone directly below my ear lobe with the knuckle of my pointing finger. I let down, unhooked, pulled as much as I could down off my face, re hooked and came to full draw again, it still wasn't there, but close, I pulled my hand in as tight as I could to try and get the feel of a solid anchor settled the pin and let it fly. The Nocturnal nock disappeared in his side and he shot straight into the woods on a full run. Once he left the field I lost him, I did here him go across the creek down from me what sounded like 70 or so yards. I could see my arrow on the ground, nock glowing, I knew I had a pass through but when I saw the nock enter him it looked high and back. I waited until it was black dark and climbed down. When I got to my arrow I was really expecting gut, or maybe even jelly fat. There was neither. no odor on the arrow to smell of gut, and no fat or meat , just blood. but not a whole lot. And what was on the arrow was already frozen!  My hands were killing me and I was shaking like crazy. sitting out in that shit all day for the last two days was a bear. I am just not use to it. I had heard him cross the creek so I was ok with trailing him at least to the creek without fear of bumping him. I could see where he tore up the snow at the shot, but no blood. Nothing like snow for finding a blood trail. well I could find none. And after he got in the woods there are just deer trails going and coming in all directions, I wasn't sure which one he took. I walked to the creek and walked the edge down a ways in hopes of finding where he crossed. Nothing. I decided that it was plenty cold, already below 20 now and saying 15 Monday morning. So I backed out.  When I got to my truck I heard coyotes raising hell. It sounded like the direction my buck had headed. I went to the house to thaw out. Took a nice warm shower and called the wife, told her I was staying the night. around 10 I couldn't stand it, the sound of those coyotes kept me thinking they were on him. I figured I could ease back down there and if they were on him I would be able to hear them and maybe find him that way. I got there and it was dead silent. I eased down the creek about as far as I thought I could have still heard him cross and I didn't hear anything. I looked walked back for any blood or sign and found nothing.
At daylight after sleeping hardly any, I called the Kid who runs cows on the place in the summer to see what he had going on and if he wanted to help me look. We met up on the back side of the creek, in the general area I figured he had crossed, its a big pasture. I figured the deer had crossed the creek and then headed south into a real wooly 160 acre piece that we stay out of, its nasty stuff, all hedge and locust trees and tall grass.  He had his 75 year old father with him. They didn't have rubber boots on, I told them I was going to cross back over where I shot him to look for blood it they wanted to walk that side of the creek a bit, I told them where I thought he had crossed between. I started across the creek and I hear the kids Dad, holler, "Here he is"  we had been standing less than 50 yards from him while we had talked.


The coyotes had got to him, I am sure it was them I heard after I got down the night before. The deer had only gone 100 yards from the shot. After finding him I tried to back trail him to look for blood. I didn't find a single drop.  My shot was high and back like I thought. He was laying on the exit hole. When I turned him over to see the exit, it was high center lung, when I lifted him up there was hardly any blood on the ground under him, but when I moved him it just poured out like an open faucet.  The coyotes had only eaten one of the hams. The rest of his cape was in tac. I am sure he was dead within a minute or two from the shot. Where he fell was a straight line in the direction he was facing when I shot.



I thanked the guys for helping me. The kids Dad most of all. He said he saw his track coming down the far side of the creek, after he showed me I could see it too, I had looked that spot over for an hour the night before and not seen it, he said he picked it up on this side and just started down it and there he laid.  I have said it a million times, there is much to be said for whats going on behind old tired eyes. I am glad my friend brought his dad along with him yesterday. I am thinking from the look on his face, the big ear to ear grin he had and the light in his eyes he was glad to have been there too.
Took the deer back to house to skin him. And found a recent wound, at first I thought it was from a fence, it was fresh just a crusty scab, dead center of his brisket. After scraping the scab back it was obvious it wasn't from a fence. Some where there is some poor bastard that probably paid a whole bunch of money to come on a guided Kansas hunt, that was put out on a stand over looking a fence line, not knowing why, just the outfitter told him to go there, somewhere that guys is still talking about the buck he shot at that got away. I doubt he even realized just how close he was to killing him, and inch or two higher it would have been center heart.



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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  G3 on Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:33 pm

Sounds like you had a great hunt Willy, congrats on a fine buck, he is a beauty!
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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  Godfather on Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:43 pm

Congrats on a great buck Willy!!
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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  Mountainman Vic on Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:17 pm

Willy, I hope you reallize just how blessed you are to be able to hunt such a sweet area. Congrats on an awesome buck once again.

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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  impactarcher on Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:22 pm

Once again Willy you manage to pull it off despite tough conditions!   Congrats on a fine buck!

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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  bowGal on Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:52 pm

Congrat's again  Willy,     Great story and photo's,   glad you got to him before the yotes  did anymore damage, He, sure  is  going to  look   fantastic in your   Man cave.

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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  Boss Gobbler on Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:14 pm

Congrats on another awesome buck Willy!cheers
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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  Bakerman on Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:38 pm

Nice Buck Willy       Really enjoyed the story also

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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  bow_dad on Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:06 pm

Really enjoyed the read and great pics,  Congrats on a hell of a buck!
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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  wihunter24 on Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:27 am

Another awesome buck to add your collection!  Congrats!  I do get a good laugh though when I hear about people on here saying that 10-15 degrees with a 20 mph wind is absolutely bone chilling and brutal:lol!: lol! lol!
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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  Willy on Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:52 am

wihunter24 wrote:Another awesome buck to add your collection!  Congrats!  I do get a good laugh though when I hear about people on here saying that 10-15 degrees with a 20 mph wind is absolutely bone chilling and brutal:lol!: lol! lol!
Laugh all you want bud, my fingers are still friggin hurting !  Come down in August and get you some of these 110 days, then we will see whos laughing....   I see why now all you Northern guys have such large familys, and Alcohol sales are so high up there.  Your locked inside for 3 months out of the year with nothing to do but drink and make babies !
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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  AlexHastings on Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:53 am

What a buck willy, congrats! Thank goodness those coyotes didn't ruin to much of him, the area my lease sits in seems to be better now but about 3 years ago I would have been very worried to leave one lay over night with all the coyotes on my trail cams. They would never show there face in the daylight but always through at night.
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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  TheCReW on Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:25 am

Congrats on a great buck, big framed beauty!  Awesome pictures and story.

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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  Pa. Bowhunter on Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:12 pm

Awesome buck Willy !! Glad you got to hunt on a chilly day, when us northern guys are still wearing shorts Very Happy Very Happy !!! Sucks that the yotes got to him first though. I must say I like your comment about the poor guy, sitting on the fenceline !!
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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  wihunter24 on Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:25 pm

Willy wrote:Laugh all you want bud, my fingers are still friggin hurting !  Come down in August and get you some of these 110 days, then we will see whos laughing....   I see why now all you Northern guys have such large familys, and Alcohol sales are so high up there.  Your locked inside for 3 months out of the year with nothing to do but drink and make babies !
I will take 110 degrees of dry heat over 95-100 degrees with dew points in the mid to upper 70s anytime!
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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  Mountainman Vic on Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:32 pm

Willy wrote:
  I see why now all you Northern guys have such large familys, and Alcohol sales are so high up there.  Your locked inside for 3 months out of the year with nothing to do but drink and make babies !
Don't act like your not jealous.  Very Happy

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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  shedder on Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:13 pm

What a great buck Willy!! What a great write up as well!  Your pics really turned out amazing and are a joy to look at!
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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  OH Arrow Flinger on Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:18 pm

Congrats on a great buck Willy!
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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  BuckRubIL on Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:16 pm

Read the story a while back but forgot to reply to this.  Great hunt and pics... loved the part when the old timer found him, that's some good stuff. Smile  Congrats on a helluva buck Willy, you get it done year after year and it's always on a stud!
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Re: 2013 bow buck

Post  chukbuk on Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:08 am

Awesome Willy, congrats!  You tell a great story, consider submitting it to Big Game Illustrated! High wind and freezing temps get to anyone!  I've hunted plenty at near zero with no wind and been very comfy!
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