By Bruce Holbrook
-- On the afternoon of Nov. 7, 2008, as I was preparing to leave for a deer hunt, I had a feeling that I should change locations and hunt a small woodlot near Sterling, Mass., which I hadn’t hunted all year.
I had been seeing a lot of deer from my primary spot. But rut activity had increased over the last couple of days, and despite the warm weather, I knew if I slipped into the woodlot with all the does that live there, something might happen.
There was an east wind, which was perfect for my location. I gave a few calls with my buck caller. I heard something running in the timber downhill from where I was located. Then came the faint sound of a buck’s rack moving though the bushes. While the deer was still out of sight, I slowly stood up. Minutes later, the buck crested the hill, and he was a shooter.
The buck wore an impressive 8-point rack. I drew my bow and put my 30-yard sight pin on the back side of his shoulder. I released the shot, and as the buck ran, I saw that my arrow had found its mark.
The buck sped downhill, and then I heard a crash in the dry leaves. I could not sit and wait with all the excitement; I had to look over the hill, and there he lay at the bottom! It was one of the greatest feelings in the world.
The first thing I had to do was call my brother, who was not able to hunt with me that day because he was sick. My buddy, Dave, who I was hunting with, helped me drag the big deer out of the woods.
The next morning, I weighed the buck at a local D&G bait shop, where I was in a pool for the biggest buck of the archery season. The deer weighed 197 pounds field-dressed and eventually took first place in the pool. I took home $275 in prize money, which I hoped would cover the fee to mount my trophy.