This past Saturday I was very fortunate to put the second notch into my Elite Judge as I had the opportunity to harvest a warrior whitetail. It was a slow afternoon, and with a SE wind, I really wasn’t expecting a whole lot of movement. We had one doe come by about 4p.m., and that was it until about 5:45 p.m. when I heard a stick break behind us from the downwind side. As I turned my head I could see white antlers and a giant body heading our way. I instinctively grabbed my bow and readied my release. I knew the buck was missing his G-4 on his right side but I didn’t care as I knew he was a mature buck and had decent beam length. I knew Dad was scrambling to get turned as I went to full draw and I asked him if he was on the buck and I heard the words any filming team dreads to hear, “No”. At this point I had a beautiful broadside shot at 25 yds, but I let down. The buck turned and walked straight away and I finally got the green light for the video. I waited for the buck to quarter away and I went to full draw, settled the 30 yard pin behind his elbow, and touched the trigger. The arrow cracked like a rifle as it hit the buck and he whirled around and ran back the way he came with a broken right front shoulder. He ran about 70 yds and bedded down quickly. I watched him through the Nikons as he got back up and made a run for the river.I was shaking like crazy as I put the bow back on the hanger. I felt confident with the shot up until this point and then the second guessing began. I reviewed the video several times but just couldn’t be for sure and suffered through the next hour before we got down. I was on pins and needles until we arrived where the buck had bedded and found a good amount of blood. After determining by the blood that it was indeed a good hit, we proceeded to follow a great blood trail right to my buck that died right at the water’s edge on the sandbar. As I got closer, I realized that he also had a broken G-3 on his left side which didn’t leave him with much for tines as he only had 7 points left, but I didn’t care because this deer had the biggest body I have ever harvested, was a mature buck and was just plain a big old warrior. With the help of a good friend, we got the buck field dressed and hauled him out on the deer cart. As we hung the deer in my friend’s shed, we weighed him on my scale and he tipped the scale at 200lbs exactly field dressed, with an estimated live weight of 250. I was more than pleased with my deer and will always remember how fast my bow season started and ended with my hunting consisting of only 3 hours total with the bow in my hand! A big thanks to my Dad for making the video happen when it needed to, and for helping me get my buck back to the truck. But luckily he has a tag also, so I will hopefully be able to return the favor for him in the next few days of the magic month of November. Good Luck to all still hunting, they are definitely on their feet and chasing hard up here!
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