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Persistence (and a Nudge) Wins the Prize

By Robert J. Miketish

Robert J. MiketishIt was Saturday, the last day of the archery season. When the alarm clock went off at 5 a.m., I was no mood to get up. I was still bitter over the nice 9-point nearing my stand the previous day. I thought for sure he would move into the clear, providing a good shot, but he went the other way. I lost out on a great buck.

Reluctantly I arose, dressed and was ready to go. I started to notice the weather was getting worse. It began to rain heavily enough that I decided take up my father-in-law on his offer to use his stand. It was in a great location and included an umbrella.

Before climbing into the stand, I put out four wicks of special golden estrus around it.

Not long after sunrise, I noticed a couple of does on a well used trail. They eventually meandered within 15 yards of me. About 20 minutes later, I noticed a buck approaching on the same trail. When he got closer, I realized he was a beautiful 8 point.

I quietly grabbed my bow and nocked an arrow. The buck made his way to the stand and stopped where I had placed the scent.

I began to stand for what would have been a 15-yard shot, but then realized the umbrella was too low. I tried to move from underneath it and ended up hitting it with the bow.

The buck heard the noise and immediately looked up. I stood as still as possible, but I knew it was too late; I was caught. The buck bolted, and my heart sank. Now I had missed opportunities two days in a row.

I sat for about 10 minutes and realized the buck wasn’t coming back. I climbed down and made my way back to the truck. When I arrived home, my wife was awake. I told her what had happened. She made me something to eat and told me to go back out and not to give up. I was in no mood to try again, but she finally talked me into it.

On my way back, I decided to give the stand another try. Once there, I put out the rest of the special golden estrus, climbed into stand and settled in. An hour later, the rain stopped and the clouds began to break. Soon, the temperature began to climb.

The quiet of the area started to get to me, and I dozed for a bit. Then all of a sudden, I heard a great big crash behind the stand. I looked down and couldn’t believe it. The 9 point I saw earlier that day was locked up with an 8 point.

I grabbed my bow, slowly got on my feet and watched the two bucks fight. It was something I had never seen before except on television. After a couple of minutes, the fighting stopped. The smaller buck put his nose in the air and grunted as he walked away.

The 9 point started to make his way back toward the stand and the scent wicks. I shook as I waited for the perfect shot. When the deer was 20 yards away, I raised the bow, pulled back, aimed and released. The buck kicked, ran about 50 yards and fell. I couldn’t believe it.  I got my first buck with a bow!

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