Well, score one for the gimp. With the days ticking down before the end of my bow hunting season (surgery is Wednesday morning), I thought I'd go to one of my favorite spots for rut hunting. It paid off.
I set up my decoy before first light and sat on the edge of a draw facing it with the wind in my face. The draw runs East-West with a smaller draw making a "T" with it. The sit was totally uneventful for most of the morning and it grew warmer by the hour. Warm weather is the worst kind of condition for hunting deer as they just won't move during the day when it's much above 40 degrees. Nevertheless I decided I would sit till noon.
At about 11:50 AM I was readying myself to pick up my gear and make the long trek back to the truck. It's a long trek with a good leg, walking like I am these days takes forever. I no sooner put my bow down than a doe busts up the draw coming right in front of me. She sees my decoy and freaks before crossing my path. She immediately turns and runs up and behind me. I figured something was chasing her, and sure enough, a big old deer was on her trail. If he followed her up I would have no shot. I needed him to see my decoy, get ticked, and keep walking in front of me.
The providence of God smiled upon me.
The buck saw the decoy and started focusing on him, not me. He slowly walked toward the decoy with his hair bristled up to make himself look bigger. His ears laid back and he turned his head to be ready to gore the decoy buck. Just then, when he stepped in to my shooting lane at about 12 steps, I let the arrow fly. It went through both lungs and he busted out the same way the doe went on his final run. I knew he was smoked, but I waited the suggested 30 minutes before taking up the blood trail. The blood trail was no more than 50 yards, and there laid my 2010 buck.
He's a dandy. He's old, probably 5 or 6, maybe older (Update: my taxidermist aged him at 7.5 years!!! That's very old for a free ranging white tail). His antlers are uneven with ten scorable points. He would have had 11, but one was busted off. I don't care much about antler size as I do age. Hunting mature bucks is the ultimate challenge in hunting. This guy is a definite mature buck. He's the biggest buck I have taken with a bow. What a blessing. He's going on my wall for sure.