Ohio Bowhunter gets it done from the ground floor
By Logan Hannon
My bowhunting adventure started on typical Friday night, hanging out with my buddies and playing some pool. Since each of us had put in lots of time in the woods without much to show for it this season, we devised a game plan for the following morning.
Someone was going to get a deer.
The rut was kicking in, the temperature was dropping and corn was still standing around my friend Adam Davis’ hunting spot. We knew the next morning would be the perfect time to see a big mature buck.
Adam, his bother Andrew and I would focus on sitting near Adam’s area in the hope someone would get a shot at a buck passing through this block of woods.
Waking that next morning, I had an unexplainable feeling we were going to see deer.
During the 20-minute drive, we saw deer all over the place—crossing roads, standing in yards. They seemed to be everywhere.
When we arrived, we hurriedly snuck to our spots. Adam would be in his stand while Andrew and I would find places to hunt on the ground.
I found a good section in the woods facing a thicket. It was flanked with open hardwoods and bordered by standing corn. I leaned my little tripod chair up against a good tree and cleared the crunchy leaf litter from around my feet.
It was about 40 degrees, and the wind was ripping through the woods, making me feel underdressed and cold. With the wind blowing so hard, it was impossible to hear deer approaching, so I was on eyes-wide open alert.
Not even an hour into the hunt, I spotted tines sticking over the brush a mere 30 yards away, steadily approaching.
Because the buck was coming directly toward me, I knew I couldn’t draw, so I hunkered down with my bow on my lap, clipped my release onto my string and tried to hide as best as I could from the approaching deer.
This buck was coming straight to me, behind me and to my right. When it was about 10 yards away, I could see its head was down as it tried to sniff me out.
The buck was obviously nervous. All I could do was pray it wouldn’t spook.
Soon it started to walk directly away from me and toward the corn.
When it stopped with some brush blocking its view of me, I was able to stand up, but my back was still toward it.
Over the next couple minutes, I shifted my body ever-so-slightly toward it each time the buck put its head down. Eventually, I turned around enough to try a shot.
By this time, the buck was standing behind a bundle of honeysuckle, bobbing its head like a skittish doe.
My heart sank and knees trembled, because I thought for sure it was going to spook before I could get a shot off.
That’s when the magic happened.
The buck put its head down and started walking toward an opening where I would have a perfect 30-yard shot, one I’ve practiced and visualized countless times.
As it neared the spot, I drew my bow and stopped it dead in its tracks with the classic mouth-grunt noise. “Mert!”
The problem was the buck took an additional two steps, so some brush still separated us. It halted with head high and ears pointed my direction – not good.
Somehow I found a perfect hole in the brush in front of its vitals, and I let my arrow fly. Rage in the cage!
I was ecstatic! The buck gave a big kick and ran about 25 yards along the tree line, and crashed in the corn.
At this point, I was shaking so badly I could barely get my phone out to let the boys know I’d just shot a once-in-a-lifetime buck.
Adam got there first, and when we walked over to where I thought I’d shot the buck, we didn’t see any blood!
Worries raced through my mind. Did I hit it too high or too far back? Did it not crash? This was all until I noticed the blood seemingly spray painted on the sides of tree trunks and high on the stalks of corn, leading us straight to my buck.
I’d done it! From the ground, I’d just taken a magnificent animal with a compound bow!
Some people say I am the luckiest hunter they’ve ever met. I like to think I put in the time, hard work and money and it paid off. Either way you look at it, I’ll take it!
I cannot say enough how thankful I am for my best friends. These guys took me hunting with them so we were all able to enjoy a great experience such as this.
I have some making up to do for my buddy Adam, who might have taken this buck had I not been there. Hopefully, I can help put him on a monster buck as well!