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King for a Day

Jared Meinert

Young Pennsylvanian plays deer hooky at the Honey Hole

By Jared Meinert

On November 9, 2012 I harvested a beautiful 17-pointer in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, but my story starts a couple weeks earlier.

On October 26, I was hunting in the stand we call the Honey Hole. It was about 4:30 p.m. when I heard the crunching of leaves and spotted a rack coming through the thicket. It was a nice 8-pointer.

I grabbed my bow, stood up and shot when the buck stopped at 30 yards.

Immediately, I knew the hit was high, but I was confident we were going to find it because we found a lot of blood right off the bat.

My friends Cory Sholes and John Davis helped me track for about 300 yards before the blood trail disappeared.

We looked for two days and figured this buck must have been hit in the area above the vitals and probably even survived.

Still, I was devastated and even considered giving up archery hunting.

I didn't hunt for a week after that, but finally got back in the stand.

On November 6, I skipped school to go hunting at the Honey Hole.

I had only seen one doe early on, but at about 8 a.m. I spotted huge antlers moving through the thicket.

I grunted and did everything I could to coax it into range, but the buck just stared at me, then disappeared.

The second I saw it I knew this was the buck we'd been trying to get for three years.

Cory was the only person to have seen it before, and that was only once during the previous season.

So knowing it was in the area, I took off school on the 9th to hunt the Honey Hole again.

I climbed the tree at about 1 p.m. and nothing happened until 4:19 p.m. when a man came walking through the field with his dog. I was furious!

But as soon as the man and dog walked out of sight, I heard the unmistakable leaf-crunching sound of a deer approaching.

I looked behind me and saw the giant rack coming up the hill.

I slowly stood up, grabbed my bow and got ready.

I drew and put my pins on the deer as it walked into the 25-yard range, then I stopped it with a grunt, but it was quartering toward me. It continued walking until it was only 20 yards away, all the while I still had my bow drawn.

Jared MeinertMy heart was pounding out of my chest and my vision was all blurry. I managed to put my pin on the buck and touch off the shot.

The arrow hit right in the middle of the body, and the buck took off over the hill and out of sight.

I couldn't believe I'd just shot THE buck! I wanted to jump out of the stand!

I waited for what seems like forever before getting down to look for blood.

Cory was hunting nearby and came to help in the search. We found blood everywhere and the arrow too.

I'd gotten a good 13-inches of penetration, but after about 50 yards, the blood ended. We immediately backed out of there.

I didn't sleep one bit that night.

The next morning we resumed searching until lunch but with no luck. I was beginning to worry we wouldn't find this buck either.

As we were about do drive away to take a lunch break - Cory even had the key in the ignition - he paused and said, "Lets check that little patch of thick stuff real quick."

I began looking in one end of the patch and Cory in the other, and we walked toward each other. As I was about halfway to Cory, I heard him yell in a high-pitched voice, "Jared! Jared! I found it!"

I started running through that thick stuff as fast as I could.

When I came to a little opening, there it was.

I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and I didn't realize how huge this buck was! I had to count all the points three times to get it right!

It was the best day of my life. Everyone came to see my buck, and I felt like a king that day.

After showing the monster to my family and friends, we took the buck straight to Cessna's Taxidermy.

I will never forget those two days as long as I live!

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