Just a preface, im not the kind of guy who shoots a nice buck each year or even very 3-4 years Im the guy happy if i shoot a doe each year, so for me this is Epic! Keep the Faith!
I had the pleasure to hunt Nebraska for the first time this year, near Stuart on some private land. I was hunting with 2 of my Trad Buddies, each year we make a trip together and this year it was Nebraska. When we arrived the weather was perfect and the bucks had begun to follow the does. Our temps ranged from a low of 17 to a high of 50 with highly variable winds (4-28mph) and occasional snow.
We were seeing lots of deer so I purchased an additional doe tag to supplement my original either sex tag. On the third evening I had a large doe appear and walk head on toward my stand at 6:30pm (dark at 7). She stopped about 8 yards away looking into the field behind me for at least a minute or two ( you know how time stands still at that point) finally she turned to my left and began walking, I began my draw and she slightly startled, trotting off to about 15yds and turning broadside. By that time I was at 3/4 draw. When she stopped, I focused on the spot and the arrow was off. From the stand the shot looked good although I could see a fair amount of my shaft still protruding. I was able to see her for about the first 40 yards before she was out of view. I waited for about 15 minutes and took up the trail she had traveled. To my disappointment there was no blood and I began to doubt my shot. I continued to the spot I last saw her, the terrain opened up and there she was about 20 yards away. She had only gone 60 yards, the shot was on the money and had buried in the opposite shoulder leaving a sparse blood trail .
That left me with 2 days to focus on filling my buck tag. The last evening of the hunt found me along a fence line that led to a corn and alfalfa field. The fence line was wooded on one side about 40 yards wide and open on the other. At 6 pm I see a buck heading my way down the fence line on the open side. He is walking at a steady pace, not pausing, like hes on a mission. For 60 yards he continues my way never stopping. Im beginning to think the shot may not happen, At 10 yards, I begin to draw back and follow him at half draw, he slows, perhaps sensing something, though never looking up to see me perched above him at only 12 feet. He quarters slightly to his right at 5 yards. It's now or never, I release and I see him crash off, able to watch him for about 80 yards before he disappears in a creek bottom. The shot looks where Id want it for a broadside shot, but I chastise myself for not trying to crowd closer to the front shoulder due to the angle of the shot.
I pull my stand and carry it and my gear to the road. Again I am faced without a blood trail. I parallel the creek along the route I saw him take. Around 125 yards in I see him bedded down about 35 yards ahead. His head is behind a tree, I peak around and its drooped but he is staring intently in my direction. I slowly back out and 2 steps later I find my arrow on the way out. It is covered in dark red blood and there is only a very faint sent of gut material, nothing visual. We surmise the hit likely took out the near lung, liver and ended in the gut, therefore we considered it best to leave him there to expire overnight as the temps would be down in the low 20's.
We returned the next morning to find him in the same bed I had seen him in the evening before. Unfortunately the coyotes had also found him and done a fair number on him. After 38 years I had finally taken a mature buck. It was worth the wait!!!
ACS CX longbow, Axis 400 Traditional arrows with Silver Flame XL 150 gr. Broadhead.
-------------------- Wayne LaBauve
"Learn to wish that everything should come to pass exactly as it does." Posts: 666 | From: Pearl River LA | Registered: Apr 2003
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-------------------- Black Widow PSAX RH 58" 47#@28 Samick Sage 62" 40#@28" PSA Kingfisher RH 45#@28 Treadway longbow RH 60" 46#at 28" W.Va. Bowhunters Association life member Pope and Young associate member Mississippi Traditional Bowhunters life member Posts: 1647 | From: West Virginia | Registered: Sep 2008
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