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Hunting in the Neighborhood

Dave Noe, from left, Joe Eisenmann and Michael Vanderstine have done quite well for themselves when hunting next to Pennsylvania subdivisions as illustrated by these three bucks taken within 12 hours of each other.
By Michael Vanderstine

-- My buddies and I are what you would call urban hunters (city folk if you will). We are blue-collar guys who cannot afford to go to dream places like Montana or Kansas. Instead we hunt 5-to 10-acre areas that are 20 to 30 minutes away from home.

Sometimes we are no farther away than 50 yards from a house (which is legal by the way). It can be very productive or it can backfire on you due to the fact that the neighbor next door decides to use his leaf blower for three hours before dark. But enough of that; let's get to the story.

I obtained permission from a homeowner to hunt his 8 acres on the edge of a cornfield just outside of Philadelphia. He told me that someone else also hunts there but he hadn't seen him for a while. One day I was hunting this property and a guy walked up, introduced himself as Joe Eisenmann and said he hunts here, too. We exchanged phone numbers and went our separate ways.

A few days later, I called Joe to let him know what I saw on my evening hunt. He mentioned that his buddy, Dave Noe, shot a good buck close to where I hunted. I headed out to help Dave with his buck. I found the spot, met Dave and dragged his 7-point buck out of the woods. I asked Dave where he wanted to put the deer. He replied in the trunk of his two-seat coupe. I thought he was crazy and offered to put the deer in the back of my truck and take it to where it needed to go.

Dave returned the favor and said I could hunt this area tomorrow morning with Joe. The following morning was brisk and the rut was on. Barely 25 minutes into the hunt, Joe was sitting 60 yards away and signaled to me that two bucks were headed our way.

I saw Joe stand, draw back and make a perfect double-lung shot on a big 8-point buck. The deer ran to within 40 yards of my stand and fell. The other buck lowered its antlers and charged at the downed deer. This buck was big, and I had no chance at a shot. Just as the buck started to walk away, Joe hit his grunt call, which brought the bruiser back to the downed deer.

I drew back and placed an arrow right in the sweet spot from 15 yards out. The buck took off and kissed the ground directly in front of Joe.

The three of us managed to take three beautiful bucks in a matter of 12 hours on a 5-acre residential plot. We have been hunting together ever since and have become really good friends.

Michael Vanderstine
Bensalem, Pennsylvania

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