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From Passed Shot to Pass-through

Michelle Trevathan

A Woman's Instinct Works Well From Treestands, Too!

By Michelle Trevathan

My story ends with a big buck down, but it begins with this huntress making a judgment call that some hunters won't believe.

As the 2012 bow season approached, every hunter who had put time and effort into preparing for the upcoming season was very concerned about the extreme drought plaguing our area.

Our crops were hurting, the water sources were scarce, and the food plots were in poor condition until a little relief finally showed its face.

A couple of weeks before hunting season we finally received some much needed rain. It was too little, too late for crops in the fields, but just right for clover and turnip food plots to begin producing luscious greens deer can't resist.

Trail cameras we'd had placed several months before the start of the season revealed no sign of the monster that made its appearance the first evening of my first bowhunt for the season.

At first, a small buck made its rounds, which got me excited and ready. Later, the excitement continued when I heard rustling behind me.

From atop my 20-foot-tall, lock-on stand, I turned slowly to see four bucks walking out of the woods and onto the food plot.

The second buck in the group was a real bruiser!

As the bucks began to walk onto the field, I prepared to draw my bow, but my safety harness strap prohibited me from turning far enough.

Michelle TrevathanMy heart was pounding and my hands were shaking, partly from adrenaline and partly from frustration. I just knew I was going to miss my opportunity!

The largest buck finally moved to a place where I was able to draw my Mathews Jewel and take aim. But I couldn't get a shot I was comfortable with, so I let down the string.

The massive buck eventually walked about 45 yards away and I drew again.

But my inner voice said, don't mess up and try to shoot. If you do, you WILL miss and you'll NEVER see this buck again.

Once again, I relaxed my draw and let my bow down. Then, I had to watch helplessly as the buck simply walked away.

I couldn't believe I'd just let this buck of a lifetime leave without attempting a shot.

I was afraid I'd never live this down, and my decision would haunt me the rest of my life.

Still, my instinct told me I'd made the better choice. As it turned out, my instinct was exactly right.

The next week we finally got a picture of this buck on a trail camera, and I was relieved to know it was still in the area.

Eight days after its first appearance, I was rewarded for trusting my instinct.

As I sat in my stand with the sun blazing down, conditions became favorable for my big buck to make an appearance. At 5:45 p.m., it did.

This time, the buck approached my stand at a much slower pace and better angle. I was going to get my second chance!

When it stopped at 20 yards broadside, I released my arrow and watched it pass completely through the buck. Incredible! I couldn't have asked for an easier shot.

I truly believe this second opportunity was given to me because I didn't take a chance at wounding, spooking or missing the buck the previous week.

Patience and faith paid off for this Kentucky girl. I couldn't be prouder of the way I trusted my instincts to eventually take this beautiful 167-inch 10-pointer.

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