Frank's Avatar Big Buck

January 16, 2013

Trophy Buck

It was the 1987 fall bow season. I scouted the land behind my house, about 600 acres of hunt-able private land. I saw a scrape that was larger than most. It appeared that more than one buck was using it. As the early season progressed, I asked one of the neighboring land owners if I could bow hunt on his property, and he said yes. I began to hunt vigorously around October 10th. I hunted everyday from 2 PM until dark. Some days I would see 10-15 does and a couple small bucks, and other times I would see no deer at all. When it got close to the end of the fall bow season, I shot a small 6 pointer at about 20 yards from my stand.

The next day I shot a doe that was eating grass right beneath my stand. I was forced to take a straight down shot in order to take this deer as cleanly as possible for that given situation. I shot the doe right through the back and into the vitals, and she appeared to hold the same position that she was initially eating in. She then fell over in about 30 seconds seemingly unaware that she was shot.

Large Buck

November was days away as the whitetail rut approached. I purchased a Roger Wyatt deer call, and attempted to call a buck into my spot. For 5 days I saw not one deer which brings us to the evening of November 4, 1987. I was in my stand for about 2 hours, when a large buck in full rut began to close in on my position from about 60 yards. He was walking through a large area of tulip poplars and up the rock faced hill south of my stand. When he got to about 20 yards, I pulled my bow back and waited for him to jump over a small creek to give me a clear shot. Because of his rut crazed state, at no time was this buck aware of my presence. I shot and missed! I don’t believe that he ever knew that an arrow had flown right over his back. He continued trotting off towards a large pond with the same pace as when I first saw him, and never looked my way as he disappeared into a large thicket.

Big Buck

I cannot begin to express how upset I was, after putting all those hours in and missing a big buck. I walked back to my house, about 500 yards from my stand on the neighboring property. That night, I thought about the large buck that I had missed, and at what time I would head back out the next day. I made the decision that I would take a vacation day from work and get back out on the same stand and bow hunt the entire day.

I got into my stand at daybreak. I saw some does by the large scrape that was 70 yards away from my spot. As the day progressed, I saw more does and small bucks. I used my deer call, but it yielded no results. At about 4:10 PM to my right, I saw movement in the high grass next to a large tulip poplar tree. I saw part of an antler, and became very excited. It looked like the big buck that I missed the day before. He was about 90 yards away, so I used my deer call again and the buck turned right around and headed in my direction. When he was 50 yards away, I gently blew my deer call once more. I then slid it beneath my coat. The buck was large, his spread looked to be about 24”. I was very very excited as the buck fever started to kick into high gear. I slowly drew my bow when he got to about 30 yards. As the buck approached he stared directly at me while I stood in my stand at full draw. He stepped behind a bush that may have been about ten feet tall, still staring me down. The buck appeared to be curious as to what was in the tree above him. At that time I had no shot. In order to get a better look at me, he moved about 5 feet ahead of the bush to get a clear view...a fatal move. I released my string and knew that I had made a great shot on a trophy buck and most likely double lunged him. He ran back towards the tulip poplar tree where I first saw him and disappeared into a thick briar patch.

Deer Antler Shed

I waited for 20 minutes and then got down from the stand and began to track the big buck. Due to all the excitement, I began frantically searching for the deer in the general direction that he ran rather than looking for blood. I would not recommend this, however I was lucky enough to find him within 100 yards. As I searched, I stopped for a moment and stood near a massive tree. I turned around and right behind me he laid. I remember thinking that it was a good thing that he did expire, else I could have potentially had a very angry, large buck charging after me. I can’t explain to you how excited I was. I was hunting by myself and knew that I would need help to pull this big buck in. I walked home and called my friend the taxidermist and asked him if he could help me. We walked back up the hill to where I last left the deer. When my friend saw it, he told me that this was the biggest buck that he had ever seen dead in the woods. For the next week I felt a prolonged sense of excitement as I was still in disbelief that I harvested such a magnificent buck.