By Jeff Coffin
-- It was Halloween day in 2007, and I had worked until 5 p.m. I had seen a buck the night before, but it was in an area I didn’t have any stands set up. Nevertheless, I couldn’t wait to get out in the woods again.
I didn’t have much time — definitely not enough to set up a treestand — so I grabbed my swivel seat and hid in a fence row along a field. The farmer had already harvested the soybeans and planted winter wheat. There was corn another 100 yards down the fencerow.
I was settled in by about 5:45. It was windy with rain, so I couldn’t use my bow-mounted camera.
At about 6:15, a doe and fawn stepped out into the wheat. They both looked right at me, but after a few tail flicks, they went on out into the field. That’s when HE showed up.
The buck stepped out of the corn into the wheat. I wasn’t that impressed with his rack at first. He didn’t waste any time and headed straight for the does. Momma doe apparently didn’t want anything to do with the buck, and she quickly took off out of sight, leaving the buck standing there not knowing what to do.
He was about 125 yards away, so I decided to try to force the issue a bit. Keeping my bow upright with one hand, I reached into my pack with the other. I got out my long can call and tipped it twice.
Almost immediately, the buck ran right at me. When he got to about 50 yards, I drew my bow. He saw me when he got to 20 yards and froze, staring at me for what seemed like an eternity.
With all the adrenaline and after holding the bow back so long, I started to get shaky. For a second, I thought, "I can do this." But my better sense won out, and I resisted the urge to take the head-on shot.
Finally, the buck decided that whatever was in the fencerow wasn’t supposed to be there, and he turned to leave. I sent my Muzzy-tipped arrow on its way.
The shot felt good, but my lighted nok didn’t light up, so I wasn’t positive. The buck had made it to the corn with ease, but something didn’t look quite right with his back legs; they seemed to kick way out to the sides as he ran.
I waited 45 minutes, then got up to look. I found my arrow and went to the corn where I had last seen the buck. About 100 yards in, I found a large pool of blood, but no deer.
I decided it was time to get help, so I backed out. Neither my brother nor my hunting buddy was able to make it out until after 9 p.m. When they arrived, I took them to the last blood and asked them to take over. I was an emotional wreck.
My buddy took two steps, stepped two corn rows to the side and said, "Here’s your buck!" I felt silly, but at least they were there to help drag him out.
St. Louis, Mich.