Hunter: Zach Cole
Points: 10 (5L, 5R)
It started the day before, I had gone to the farm in hopes of finding a doe to put meat in the freezer. After the sun came up Saturday morning and movement being sparse, I decided to get down early and do some old school boots on the ground hunting more or less to get a good idea about deer movement on this new piece of our farm we acquired back in August. I was able to put the wind in my face and just ease through the pines and hardwoods slowly and quietly looking for deer and deer sign. Fortunately enough I happened onto a rub line and was following it until I found myself in what I saw as the "honey hole." There was buck sign all over the place, there was a rub every 10 yards. I stopped there and marked it on my hunting app on my phone and started looking for a tree to hang a set. After finding this area I backed out, grabbed a few cards from trail cameras, and went on into work. Looking at the pictures I had pulled, my dad and I discovered this 10 that we had one picture of a few weeks before this incident. It was then I told dad I was gonna go back around lunch time to hang a stand to be able to hunt it the next morning. I was able to go hang the set around 2 that afternoon with the help of a good friend. Dad and I devised a plan to go back in that next morning and see what happened. We got in about 6:30 Sunday morning, Dad was hunting a climber about 100 yards or so farther up the draw. It was a very busy morning with deer movement everywhere. I had a few does move through early on steadily feeding and browsing. Everything slowed down about 7:45 until I had what I thought was a lone doe coming in to feed under the oak tree near me. But as I looked farther left of her 65 yards out, I catch my first glimpse of the 10 we had a picture from the camera we had checked the day before. I immediately stood up and grabbed my bow to get ready, when the doe caught me and started blowing and stomping at me. She didn't blow out of there which was my saving grace, she just locked in on me but wasn't sure of what I was. I stood there still as could be for what seemed like forever, really only turned out to be 15 minutes. Thankfully she settled down and went back to feeding. I had been watching this buck the whole time she was putting on her shenanigans, and he didn't seem too happy but was still content. After the doe settled down, the buck put his head down and fed a few more feet into an open window that I had. I ranged him at 62 yards. I waited for him to break toward me and the doe, but he stayed right there. I then noticed that the doe started moving back toward him. I realized that it was now or never, I had practiced this shot and felt comfortable to shot a 60-yard shot. I tucked my head and said a quick prayer, then set my Spot Hog to 62 yards, drew back and settled my breathing and pin, then released. I watched the arrow fly through that window perfectly and then watched as the arrow slid through his rib cage right into the boiler room. I had done it! The deer took off crashing through the woods, but I knew that he was toast. I gave it about 30 minutes before I went to go check the arrow and then backed out. The arrow had great blood on it, but I didn't want to chance pushing him if he was still alive. I then called my buddy Brandon Hightower to bring his dog Beau over because I had him one to track. We let the deer lay for about 2 hours and then went in to retrieve him. Once we got on the blood trail we found the deer not even 50 yards from where I shot him. I was so happy and glad that I got to share the experience with my Dad and friends that came in to help.