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Jeff’s Birthday 9 Point Buck

December 20, 2010 by  
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American-Hunter.com reader Jeff Allen sent in this detailed story and account of his pursuits of a mature Ohio buck this fall. Bowhunting big bucks is rarely easy and hard work and perseverance paid off for Jeff as he arrowed his best buck to date. Congrats Jeff!

The “Birthday 9-Point” has been my main target this season, this buck showed up last year on my trail cameras and showed up again this year on my Birthday!  I saw him in the early season, at last light but he was out of range.  I set up a tree stand closer to where he was coming out but never got a shot. Later on I figured out during the rut he was working the ravine every night.  I set up there on November 6th in the morning and he came very fast dead at me, I didn’t draw fast enough.  He stopped twice to look at me, so I had to let him blow by, that was painful!

November 8th would be the day of reckoning, the rut was on big time.  I had him on the trail cam the previous two nights at the pond eating apples and corn.  He came early trailing a doe, I was set up again super high in my climber.  The doe still spotted me, but eventually pushed through.  I slowly drew and never really “settled in” before letting a point blank 15 yard broadside shot go.  He looked like a club sandwich with the Rage tipped arrow protruding both sides, just 40 yards away.  He was dripping blood and did not run far.  I thought maybe my shot was high.  He let the doe walk, and bedded at 50 yards.  Sweeeeeet!  I sat it out and another buck came and pushed him another 50 yards, where he bedded again.  I sat in the stand for two hours staring at the stars, waiting for him to perish.   I finally got down but saw my blinking arrow nock walking away.  Oh nooooooo!  I had to put off celebrating till morning.

After tracking him for most of the next day, I realized he bedded a third time and walked off.  He was worth every penny to have tracking dogs come in, but $75 later I still had no deer.  The dogs verified what I had concluded, he walked back to his core bedding area with no blood trail. Four days later, I went walking around the property edge and look down at a creek, just off of the farm and there he is bedded alive looking at me.  I casually walked away, which turned into a 400 yard run back to my truck, drove up to woods line, and walked down to the creek with my bow in hand thinking this is the best thing ever.  I assumed he was hurt so bad he could not move.  I stopped and ranged him at 60, I kept walking and drawing thinking 45-50 yards should work.   Out of nowhere he bolted, before I could shoot, not hurt that bad.

Several weeks later, the Birthday 9 and many other deer are showing up on my trail camera regularly. The trail cam pictures clearly confirm that my shot from November was too far forward in his neck. Amazingly the buck has healed completely!  On the afternoon of December 12th a snow storms starts.  He shows up on my camera at 4pm.  His appetite is beginning to get the best of him. I checked the camera Wednesday and found he was hitting the corn at around 5:15pm. The next day the wind was perfect, he came in at  about 4pm but didn’t give me a shot.   After what seemed like an eternity, he swung away from me off the main trail and at 30 yards, I drew with ease since all the deer were focused on him.  A few seconds later he quarters away and clears the tree with his nose down, after a doe.  I let the Hoyt rip, he ran 50 yards across the creek, up a hill and disappeared.  He sure didn’t show much sign of being hit. It was very cold so I decided to wait until the next day to track him.

Friday my neighbor agreed to help me track and gave me renewed energy having some company to go with me.  My hopes were up, but there wasn’t a good blood trail anywhere.  Snow is good for tracking, but it gets a little tough when there are so many tracks.  We went into the thicket that he ran into. We went in halfway on one side and then crossed over until we found blood in tracks at different intersections.  I mentioned twice to my friend about the flashing beacon on the arrow nock.   As we came to the end of the property he caught a glimpse of the light. I took a couple of seconds to determine B-9 was down and before I knew it I was jumping on my neighbors back yelling.  It turns out that my show was good and the buck had piled up quickly.

The Birthday-9 is my best buck, grosses around 135 and I sure hope he is my first official Pope & Young buck.   I am the happiest guy on earth.

Merry Christmas!

Jeff

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