Sailor takes advantage of unexpected Veteran's Day off
By Ryan Scialabba
I'm 29 years old and am currently serving in the United States Coast Guard. The service has kept me moving around for the past five years.
Because I have been hunting since I was 10 years old and I’m a big advocate for archery and bowhunting, I was excited when my orders came for a move to Ohio.
I relocated there on October 15, 2013, and had to hit the ground running in order to acquire hunting property in time to bowhunt.
On November 9, I was able to pick up a small piece of land in Seneca County where I quickly hung a stand in a creek bottom that held some mature buck sign.
On November 11, I reported for duty, but was surprised when I was given the rest of Veteran's Day off since I was the new guy. Lucky me!
Naturally, I grabbed my gear and headed to my new property. I went straight to the stand I'd hung a few days prior and was hunting by 1:45 p.m.
It was cold that day. The high temp was only 40 degrees, and the weather forecasters expected it to drop further, with snow showers on the way.
I'd been settled into my stand for roughly an hour when I happened to look to my left. I couldn't believe my eyes when the biggest deer I'd ever seen in my life came walking right in!
It was approaching along the creek bottom on a trail that led directly toward my stand. At the last minute, it veered off and took the farthest branch of the trail, which would require a little bit longer shot. I knew the path would bring the buck to an opening at 22 yards, and as it passed behind a tree, I came to full draw.
I was so nervous, I couldn't even grunt to stop it, so I waited for it to pause on its own.
Finally, the buck stopped. It was angled slightly quartering away, so I settled my pin behind its shoulder and let my arrow fly.
My aim was true and the broadhead took out one lung and the top of its heart.
After the shot, I was a complete wreck and couldn't even remember if I was standing or sitting while all of this had occurred.
I immediately called all my hunting buddies to tell them the story. Later, they joked that I was so worked up that I didn't make any sense over the phone.
After 45 minutes, I started trailing the buck and found it piled up 150 yards away from my stand.
This 160ish buck is by far my best buck to date, and I will never forget that cold Veteran's Day in Ohio!