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The Kidney Stone Buck

Philip AllenBy Philip Allen

-- I took this buck on Thursday , Nov. 8, 2007 in Dauphin County, Pa., six days after having kidney stone surgery and just three days before our archery season closed.

With the pain and discomfort from my 15th kidney stone cutting my treestand-sitting time down to about two hours in the morning and about two hours in the evening for the two weeks before my surgery, I thought that my season would close without even having seen a buck. I hunted almost every day of the season and had seen only does and a couple of button bucks.

Our archery season runs the month of October and two weeks into November, which is usually the rut here. I had just started to see some scrapes and rubs around my hunting area, so I made several mock scraps close to my treestand. The only buck that I saw came in to the mock scrape closest to my stand at 6:38 a.m. I had just enough light to see that the buck had three points on one side, which made him legal for the county I was hunting.

When I walked in to my stand that morning, I had put down a trail of buck lure to the mock scrape and hung a scent patch just past it. The buck came in fast, following the trail of doe urine. He stopped at the scrape and stared directly at the scent patch, and I saw his body tense up.

He backed up two steps and looked straight up in the trees and then turned and looked directly at me. He stared for a few seconds, turned and started to walk back the way he came. When his head went behind a tree, I drew and found a small opening.

The buck was walking cautiously, glancing up into the trees. Just as I released my arrow, it stopped and turned toward me. The arrow hit high on the shoulder and penetrated about 8 inches. I wasn’t sure what to think as the buck ran off.

I waited about 10 minutes before I began to track a pretty good blood trail. I followed it for a little more than two hours and saw where the buck had gone into some high grass and brush. Not wanting to push the deer, I went home and waited for my brother Rick to come in from turkey hunting.

After sharing my story with him, we went to where I stopped tracking and began to follow the trail into the brush. Suddenly, my brother said, "there it is!"

The buck was still alive and was watching Rick as I found an opening and administered the coup de grace.

The buck field-dressed at 144 pounds; the rack had a 14.5-inch inside spread and 7 points. It is the nicest buck that I have taken with a bow in 41 years of bowhunting. I call it the Kidney Stone Buck.

Philip Allen
Harrisburg, Pa.

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