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Wow! Nearly a Whole Bow Season is Gone

Started by rufus, November 15, 2007, 09:10:05 AM

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I don't know how but I somehow managed to totally forget about the Big Buck Board this year and bow season is replaced by gun season in two days here in Indiana. I know you Michiganders start shooting at them this morning, but we have to wait a couple days to make sure you spook all your big bucks across the state line ;).

Anyway, my bow season was filles with a lot of excitement this year. As you know, from my stories last year my hunting land has been limited after losing my wife's grandmother's 400 acre farm 2 years ago. A friend of mine owns 60+ acres of prime rolling hardwood/swampland here in Steuben County. I have hunted it a few times with my gun after he and his nephews have harvested their deer, but never with a bow. I had never really thought of asking him to hunt it for some reason.

One day in early September he walked into my office at work and told me that he would appreciate it if I could come out and harvest a buck to save a few of his trees. He is turning the open areas into a norway spruce farm to sell to landscapers. Deer won't eat a norway, but the bucks will rub them to death. I have never obtained hunting land so easily in my life. I can't gun hunt it, but I am a bowhunter at heart and really I do not enjoy gun hunting nearly as much. Indiana has a one buck rule that states you may only harvest one buck period with any kind of weapon during the season.

It really makes you pick your buck before you shoot just any deer. I have been a big buck only hunter for the last 10 years anyway. I can tell you that we have seen more big deer in the last 3 years than I can ever remember. You can harvest 7 does and 1 buck here in Steuben County and our ratio of bucks to does is now incredible.

In my hunts on this "new" land this year I have seen more bucks than does. I have seen two knock down drag out fights which were both over a doe. I have also seen three incredible bucks. A couple weeks ago as I was pulling out of his driveway I sighted a beautiful 10 pointer in the headlights crossing onto and heading into a trail that led to a swampy area that is my favorite part to hunt. The next night I moved my climber after discovering he had left quite a scrape trail. I saw a couple scrubs that night, but both came in late about ten minutes before dark. I sat the same tree again the next night and once again about ten minutes before dark here came another buck, only this time it was the 10 point bruiser I had sighted in the headlights. He never gave me an open shot as he moved on only 20 yards from me.

I got to thinking that I could possibly move my climber to another tree on the other side of the swamp and possibly head this deer off a little earlier. In the next three nights I continued to move the stand to different trees and was hoping the sneak attack would work. I saw deer each time I moved the stand, but only a few does and several small bucks. It was on Saturday evening the 27th of October that I moved the stand to a tree that I had been looking at that morning. After climbing into this tree I knew without a doubt that this was the tree that would put me on this deer. I got in the stand reallllly late and probably should have stayed home. It was windy and rainy and an awful night to "ride the tree". I only had an hour before dark and reasoned that I could slip in undetected due to the weather. I was correct and I had not been up in the tree for more than 10 minutes when the rain and wind totally quit.

It was unbelievable to say the least. It had been blowing at 25 mph with gusts to 35 and all of a sudden it was as still as could be. As most bowhunters know, sometimes you just get that feeling that something good is about to happen. Well, I had that feeling and the next thing I hear is the snap of a twig. I glanced behind me to see the rear of a deer as it worked on a scrape that was on the trail I was sitting on. I caught a brief glint of antler as he worked it over. I also noticed the large body and was sure that this was the 10 pointer. As he finished he headed for the next scrape which was 20 yards from me, but for some reason turned away from me at the last second and started to head up the wrong trail. I still did not have a good look at his head gear, but from the  body size I was assuming that this was the one I was after.

This swamp is very thick and from where I was hunting my clear sight line was limited to about 25 yards. I could only see his body and bits of antler. After he turned I gave two very soft bleats on my grunt. This stopped him in his tracks and he turned off the trail headed behind me. He was actually coming down the small trail that I use to get to the tree. I was sure I was busted, but he did not seem to notice me even though he was now downwind (I guess the 22+feet up the tree worked). I got a little better look at his rack and it appeared to be about 20 inches and I made my decision to take him if give the opportunity. He stopped in a very small opening facing me and gave me a severe quartering shot (nearly head on). I was already pulled back and thought twice when I placed the pin just in front of his left shoulder.

I don't know what got into me (buckfever), because I would normally never take a shot like this, but I squeezed my release and let it fly. The arrow hit it's mark and the buck ran about 60 yards before rolling allllllll the way to the bottom of a large hill where I could no longer see him. I called my wife/deer dragger ;D to help me come and get "the brute". I watched him go down so I knew I would not have to wait long. As soon as she got there we started following the unbelievable trail of blood to the deer. When we got to him my heart nearly dropped when I saw his rack in full view. He was a perfect 8 pointer, but was not the deer I expected him to be. I knew he would be in the 120 inch range, but would not make P&Y, which is my standard for a deer being a shooter.

My wife thought he was huge and he did field dress at 190 so the drag up hill was not a lot of fun. Don't get me wrong, I was happy with the deer, but if I had it to do again I would have let him walk and waited for a larger one. He did make some awesome Jalapeno and Cheese summer sausage and a lot of jerky and deer stick though and when it comes right down to it that is what it is all about any way.

The blessing to the whole story is when I got home I told my wife that I did not want bow season to be over. The rut was just starting and I wanted to see some more deer, but I did not want to  sit in a stand and watch monsters that I could not shoot. My wife has gun hunted with me for the last 5 years and has already taken her first buck. She enjoys hunting with me a during bow season and really likes to gun hunt. I have been trying to convince her to take up bowhunting, but she has always thought that she could not do it.

She is a very petite woman and she never figured she could pull back the 35 pound minimum which is required in Indiana to bow hunt. After I stated that I did not wat i to be over she told me to take her to the bow shop the next day so she could check out and shoot a few bows if possible. Well, she now owns a youth bow which and is pulling back 40 pounds. She has hunted with me for the last 2 1/2 weeks and has loved every minute of it. We have seen the elusive 10 pointer twice with no shot opportunities, but have seen two very large deer. Another perfect 10 pointer and a 12 pointer that is unbelievable, I believe both of these deer will approach 160. We had the 12 at 50 yards 2 nights ago and was foiled when a doe came in and drew his attention away from my grunt.

We only have two days til gun season so her time is limited. She has her sights set on a buck that is "past his ears". She told me she is only going to shoot one that I will hang on the wall for her and has passed up a couple small bucks so far. I admire her for her determination, but I want her to shoot one so bad I can taste it. I have enjoyed the last couple of weeks more with her than if I had been hunting myself. I will stop rambling on now and keep everyone posted she gets one in the final hours of bow season. If not she has her trusty Mossberg. God Bless and Good Hunting everyone!


Cool story bud!!  I too hunt here in Indiana, after moving here in June this year.  I hunted Michigan alot last year and found a hang out for some brutes, one I would age around 6 1/2 to 7 1/2.  Huge, gray, and receding antlers.  Still a massive 8, just short.  Well this year my uncle and brother are destroying that property good with long ambling walks through the woods, cigarettes, and who knows how many calls.  So, I got permission from an aquaintance to hunt their property. 
  Between both sides of the road I have access to around 100 acres, maybe a little less, but with a creek on one side of the road, and my favorite side; a swamp, alfalfa field, and 2 corn fields!  Talk about a dream spot, it has barely been hunted for 5 years, and only by meat eaters then.  I have seen a huge deer twice that just didn't give me a good view, and Monday, I saw an absolute monster tear a 2" tree in half, then lay down 60 yards from me in the edge of the swamp for over 2 hours!!!!! :o :o  I counted 13 points from what I could see, and probably looking at the 150 to 160 class.  MONSTER!!!!  I am definitely holding out for him.  The landowners are gun hunting the property, but only shooting small does, so I will be out there this weekend with my climber looking for him!
  Hey, where do you take your deer to gt processed, like the jalapeno cheese sausage and stuff?  I'm in Porter county, so is that close, and how much is it?
Live to fish, Fish to live.


No, I am not close to you. I am across the state in Steuben County. I get my deer processed at Lengarchers Meats which is near Ft. Wayne in Grabill, IN. I actually do my own deer most of the time, but due to the warm weather we had when I harvested him I decided to take it to them. I had the entire deer made into jalapeno and cheese summer sausage, garlic summer sausage, jalapeno deer stick, b-bque deer stick, and jerky. It cost me $304.00!!! I know that is a lot of money, but every ounce of that deer will be eaten by my boys and I in the next couple months so it is worth it. If you want to save yourself a little money you can make your own summer sausage with cheese or whatever you want to put in it. I have doen a lot of my own and it is just as good as the processors. I buy a sausage kit out of a Polish place in Detroit and then add my own ingredients to doctor it up the way I like it.


Oh Heath leave them bby deer alone...  Next Year you will have to come hunt with me for the opener here. seen 5 10 points and a nice 12 yesterday.  Ill pick one out sat or sun to shoot Im still waitng for the big boy and I am down to only one buck tag left for the year it is hard passing 140 class deer but to get that big boy Ill have to let his kids walk for a few more days.  Call me maybe we can get a day of mussle in this year.


This thread is worthless without pictures!

Congrats on the nice buck and getting the wife interested in bow hunting.
Wayne County Bass Anglers
-2008 President


I know, I know, I love pictures too, but all I have is a 35mm. My wife is a scrapbooker and for some reason she loves her 35mm. I have been telling her she needs a digital for 5 years, but she won't budge. It looks like I will just have to go buy one myself. I still use disposable cameras in the bass boat as well. I need to catch up with the times.


Maybe Langer will buy one for you?

This thread is much more valuable than worthless - thanks for taking the time everyone!

Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of The Bass Federation of Michigan.


35mm is okay just have the pictures developed and put on a CD. You have the best of both worlds then.
"Not in the clamor of the crowded streets nor in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but within oneself lies victory or defeat."


There's always a way... (that's what we humans are known for)

Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of The Bass Federation of Michigan.

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