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Bad Weather, Good Hunting

Wayne VidlerBy Wayne Vidler

-- Dec. 29, 2006, was a cold morning in Coleman County, Texas, and I was on the downside of the rut. I was hunting all day off a heavily used trail, which led to a winter oat field I had planted the previous September.

I had placed a pop-up blind 25 yards south of the trail. Several does and some small 8-point bucks came by that morning. The day warmed up a little bit, but I knew that a winter storm was approaching. My plan was to try to take a doe or a quality buck with the new bow I got for Christmas.

Sure enough, at about 1:30, I knew the storm had arrived when sleet began to patter the roof. I noticed out of the corner of the blind that a doe was coming onto the field, and she looked nervous. The doe kept looking behind her, and she exited the field pretty quickly. "This ain’t my first rodeo," as they say, and I wasn’t surprised when a buck stepped into the field on the doe’s path. He had his nose to the ground and wasn’t paying attention to anything else.

Fortunately for me, he stopped 30 yards in front of my blind to look at another doe that was watching him from across the field. I had already drawn back my bow when the buck offered a perfect broadside shot. I slowly touched the release, and the arrow went perfectly through both lungs.

I was so excited that I didn’t see the other doe across the field. The buck ran out of sight into a mesquite thicket next to the winter oats. I waited about an hour to get my heart rate back down and give the buck some time before I took up the trail.

After those long 60 minutes of waiting, I slipped out of my blind and walked to the spot where the buck had stood. I noticed hair and some blood on the ground, indicating the direction he’d gone. When I got to the thicket it only took a moment before I saw a white belly about 40 yards in. What a memorable day and experience for my first buck with a bow.

Wayne Vidler

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