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The Traveling Buck

KidwellBy Steve Kidwell

-- Prior to the beginning of the 2007 Ohio deer season, I was doing my homework by placing several trail cameras in the woods to see just what kind deer were in the area I planned to hunt. When I checked my trail camera in August, I saw a picture of the buck I was looking for.

As the first day of bow season approached, I placed a stand where I thought I might get a chance at the great whitetail. On opening day of bow season I caught a glimpse of the buck, but it wasn't close enough for a shot. I sat on stand every chance I got, but didn't see the buck again for the next four weeks.

I decided to change things a bit and move to an old stand about two miles down the road. The first morning in the new stand I saw no deer. About 11 a.m. I decided to take the stand down and move it on top of a ridge about 100 yards up the hill. I left to let things simmer down a bit. I came back to the stand about 2:30 p.m. About an hour had passed and all of a sudden deer started coming out from all directions.

I sat there and watched a total of six bucks ranging from 120 to 145 inches walk all around me. Abruptly, I looked up and a huge buck was cutting across an opening heading for a field. I immediately gave a grunt with my voice and the buck stopped. He stood motionless, so I made a bleat noise with my voice. The buck turned and started my way.

I stood so I could make the shot if it came within range. The buck came around some brush above me, winding back my way and past to a spot above me before stopping. The buck stood motionless for 20 minutes. I decided to bleat real soft. As soon as I bleated, the buck put its head down and headed right for me. I came to full draw and as the buck stepped in an opening 7 yards away, I released the arrow.

KidwellThe buck bolted right under my treestand and headed for some large hardwoods. As soon as the buck ran out of sight, there came a huge downpour of rain. I could not believe I just shot a buck of a lifetime and the rain might hinder the chance of finding it. I waited for an hour and called my son to come and help me find him.

My son arrived with big flashlights, and we went toward the hardwoods where I last saw the buck. We started looking and all of a sudden my son said, "There he is." Through all the excitement, I never noticed that the buck I had just harvested was the buck I captured on my trail camera two miles down the road. That's why we named my trophy "Traveling Buck." 

Steve Kidwell
Heath, Ohio

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