Several years back, I only hunted on private property alongside the Loch Raven Watershed. At that time, the Loch Raven Watershed was not open to hunting. Yes, I know, I was lucky enough to have such a great place to hunt. This period dates back to when I was learning how to bow hunt and even in such a great hunting location it took me 5 years to take my first buck with a bow. This was after taking multiple does and missing several shots on various bucks. I also want to note that this was my 3rd season hunting out of a treestand. My first two years of hunting was on the ground and I only got one shot at a buck. So, during this 5th year of hunting, I spent 2 – 3 days a week hunting out of one tree from mid-October until the end of December. I saw many deer and a few were bucks. A couple of these bucks were nice deer.
Finally, on November 21st, I headed out for an afternoon hunt. On my way to my tree, I ran into someone that was headed to hunt in the same area illegally. After some short, stern words with this fellow, he explained that he would leave and told me that he had seen a really nice 8 point buck the evening before. I had seen the same deer a few days before, right at dark about 100 or so yards away from me following a doe to an evening feeding area. I will describe for you this very first encounter that I had with the 8 point buck that the fellow had mentioned. At the very moment that I saw him, a 6 point buck came out of nowhere and was walking right in front of me at only 15 yards. I did not have long to make a choice, but upon noticing that this deer was totally white from the front legs forward, I knew that I could not pass it up. Well, this is why they call it hunting, because as I got ready and drew my bow on this interesting deer with only 5 minutes of legal shooting light left, I quickly found out a doe had snuck in behind me and she had caught me drawing my bow back and started standing place snorting. This put all the deer in the area on alert and made the 6 point run about 15 yards before stopping. At this point the doe is looking at me and the 6 point was no longer in front of me so I would have to turn at least 45 degrees on my treestand to get a shot. I am sure you already know how this ended, the doe finally had enough and took off along with the 6 point and joined the other deer with the 8 point and that was the end of the evening.
So, back to the evening where I ran into someone illegally hunting, I told him thanks for the info and told him sorry but you have to leave and have a good evening. After that I was “fired up” on many levels, so I climbed in my tree and took a few minutes to calm down and decide if I thought the other hunter had really left or would cause me more problems. Well, I did not see him again and the evening turned out to be one of the best evenings to be in the woods that year. I saw doe after doe that evening and a few small bucks chasing early on in the evening, starting about 15 minutes after I got in my tree. I had 2 spike bucks come in at the same time smelling my scents that I had put out and they hung around for over an hour. The winds were perfectly blowing to a major crossing and beyond that a bedding area for where I was hunting. Well, I did not shoot a doe or any of these smaller bucks in hopes that later in the evening either the half white 6 point or maybe the large 8 pointer would come in following the doe’s and my scents. Sure enough about 35 minutes before dark, I heard a stick break about 50 yards away in the thicket where all the deer had come from that evening. In walks my 100 inch, 8 point trophy. He was walking like a man on a mission down the trail that would land him 14 yards away from my tree standing perfectly broadside. This took less than 2 minutes from the time I heard the stick break until he was standing 14 yards away broadside. I quickly got into position and as he walked behind a tree, I drew my bow. He had no idea that I was there even with the motion that it took to draw my bow. As soon as he walked out in the open lane, I grunted which slowed him down and I grunted more. He did not stop and I knew this was it; he was not going to stop. I had to either take a shot or he would be gone. I was following him at a full draw and as soon as he was broadside to slightly quartering away, I took the shot. It landed just where I was aiming and was a clean shot through both lungs, but I did not know that at the time. I thought since he was slowly walking it looked like in the sunlight that it landed further back than you would want. However, I heard him running and then I heard a crash and nothing else. Just to be on the safe side, I waited a good 45 minutes or until it was dark. I got down and quickly found a good blood trail, I followed it for about 75 yards and there he was. This is when I found out that I had taken a good shot and that my deer was bigger than I had originally thought. I thought it was a nice 8 point, but he turned out to be one of the biggest 8 points that I have seen in this neck of the woods since. After taking the deer to the check-in station, I found out he was a mature four and a half year old deer. I have never had him officially scored because I know in the realm of deer trophies that he is on the smaller side. However, since this was my first buck with my bow, I had him mounted and I am glad I did since it is the biggest deer I have taken since. When I picked it up from the taxidermist he told me not to degrade my trophy too much, since it was one of the nicest deer he had seen that year and he would guess it to score around 100 inches. So, I felt pretty good about it and am very happy that I got him mounted and that I waited through all those doe’s and small bucks I saw that evening to have the chance to take such a nice deer.
Here is a couple pictures of my 100” trophy.