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Hot-Air Balloon Buck

RichardsonBy Jesse Richardson

-- On Nov. 2 several seasons back, a friend and I took off to the woods for an afternoon bowhunt. We had access to a 1,500-acre farm in Oldham County, Kentucky, which is known for holding big bucks.

Earlier that morning, we hunted this same farm, and I left my Summit climbing stand on a tree. That afternoon, I moved it down a ridge where I had been seeing some good action on previous hunts. As I got situated, I glanced up the ridge to where my stand had been. A giant buck was eating acorns under my old tree!

I watched as the deer began to come my way, but at 70 yards, he decided to take a nap. I had to calm down and take inventory of what I could do to draw the buck closer. It was early in the afternoon, and I had the wind in my favor, so I decided to sit it out.

About an hour later, I began to get a bit nervous and wondered if I would get a shot at this monster. Just as I started to get desperate, I heard a loud “whoosh” from behind my stand. Startled, I looked around but saw nothing. A few seconds later, I heard the same sound.

Just then my buddy Andy got on the radio and asked if I had heard the noise. I said yes, but didn’t know what it was. Again, the sound came, but this time my buck jumped up and was getting nervous.

Just about the time I was going to leave the stand, I noticed a hot air balloon lifting from a cut cornfield about 200 yards distant. As the balloon rose, it began to drift my way. Each time the operator hit the gas, the buck moved, but in the wrong direction. Finally the balloon passed right over the buck and sent him my way. I took aim at 30 yards and made a perfect shot. The deer piled up at 30 yards. 

 Needless to say, I now love hot air balloons and believe that everybody should hunt with one!

--Jesse Richardson

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