By Michael Cook
-- It was August 2003, and I was watching a soybean field on a farm. It was my second year hunting there.
It was a rainy evening. I saw few does come and go. Then on the far side of the field, four bucks emerged from some tall weeds.
Those deer were huge! One had what looked like double G2s. He was not the biggest one in the bunch, however. All were in velvet, so their racks looked larger than they actually were.
I watched them for about 15 minutes before they moseyed on.
I saw them again several more times before the bow season came in. When Sept. 15 arrived, I hunted them hard. I saw some nice bucks but let them pass. I knew those bigger bucks were out there.
The early muzzleloader season came in, with three days to take a buck or doe. I saw nothing during this time. The following week was doe-only. I had to take my bow if I wanted to shoot a buck.
The Friday before Halloween, I grabbed my bow and climber and headed for the woods with a can of the new Buck Bomb doe-in-estrus scent. The wind was right, and I decided to try a new spot.
I went to the corner of a field, a fence line at a small marsh. I attached my climber to the tree, and 20 yards out into the field set off the Buck Bomb.
I jumped in my climber and started up. I got about 20 feet high and started to secure my stand to the tree. There was a very high tide that evening. Before I could get my stand set, I heard loud splashing in the marsh. I rushed to get my stand ready and my bow up the tree.
The buck sloshed up and down the marsh, apparently trying to zero in on the scent. I could not see in the marsh, but I could see the edge. The tidewater was up in the woods 20 feet or so. I could hear the buck, but could not see him. He was getting closer.
Suddenly I saw movement — a reflection in the water.
”Here he comes,” I thought.
When he stepped out of the marsh, I could not believe it. My heart was pounding and I was shaking badly. I had to close my eyes to try to calm myself down. I would open one eye to see where he was at, and close it again.
The buck made his way up to the edge of the field and turned straight for my stand. I kept staring his shoulder. I did not want to look at the rack because it made me too excited.
The buck stopped 8 yards from my tree, looking across the field. I did not have a good shot at this angle.
All of the sudden, he turned and gave me the perfect shot. I loosed the arrow.
I was not sure if I hit him. The buck ran out in the field as if he was circling me. As he continued to run, his body got lower and lower to the ground. Then he flipped and moved no more.
I got out of the tree and ran over to him. I had to pull weeds and grass from his rack to count the points. He had 14 on one side and 9 on the other.
I had started hunting about 4 p.m. and 30 minutes later, I had a bigun’ in my truck. I wish all hunts were so easy!
The buck is mounted and on my wall. I never got him scored, but I know what he is, and that’s good enough for me.