Our family moved to Wyoming in 1994 and a whole new world was opened up to me. I went on my first whitetail deer hunt in Nebraska in 1995 and I have been hooked ever since. Of all the big game animals I’ve hunted, I think the deer is my favorite and the whitetail has claimed a special place in my heart. I have deer hunted in over 20 states and my goal is to pursue deer in every state in the US as well as Mexico and all Canadian provinces.
|Weight: 145||Age: 4.5 years|
|Weapon Used: Bow||Score: 140 - 5/8|
|Location: Irion County, Texas|
I have been hunting the same lease in Texas for the past 10 years and have had some great success. It is a bow only low fence ranch, so we work hard in feeding our deer protein and keeping them on our ranch. I had been watching one particular buck for the past three seasons and actually had a close encounter with this buck, that we named Mini 8, in the 2012 season. I made a bad shot and wounded Mini 8. I was sick and devastated when we lost the blood trail and couldn’t find him. Later in the day I, as I continued searching the cedar draws on the ranch, I jumped Mini 8 and watched him run off. After that sighting, I was optimistic that he wasn’t mortally wounded and later in the season I was relived to start seeing him showing up on the trail cam at one of my blinds. He survived the winter and in July I was excited to see him return to the same area and got more and more excited as I looked at his pictures and watched his antler growth. I am now very glad that I didn’t kill him in 2012, because he continued to stack on inches of growth and easily grew an additional 10 inches of horn and mass plus a cheater point off of his right G-2. I couldn’t wait for the opener and I kept close tabs on the weather knowing that the only wind I could hunt Mini 8 in was a northeast wind. I watched the long range forecast and finally decided to roll the dice and booked my flight to allow me to hunt the first week of October. If the forecast held true, I might get one or two chances at him in that week. After arriving in camp and checking the trail cam, it was obvious that Mini 8 was staying in the same area. I couldn’t hunt the stand the first couple of days I was there and I stayed patient, waiting for the right wind. Finally, on October 5th, the wind in the evening was supposed to be out of the northeast and I made it into my blind undetected and very early. I enjoyed my time in the blind and saw several does and a couple of small bucks, as well as a covey of scaled quail. Finally, the witching hour approached and activity really picked up. I caught movement up the draw and saw several bucks crossing a small saddle, headed my way and at the back of the group was Mini 8. I kept catching glimpses of them as they filtered through the cedars. They circled down wind and were on a bee line for my stand when I heard the distant drone of the ranch plane. Every deer in sight went on full alert and then the worst thing possible happened….the rancher flew right over my blind and all the deer exploeded for cover, including Mini 8. I put my head down in disbelief and wondered why the rancher would check his livestock at such a terrible time of day. I said a few explicatives under my breath, knowing that my hunt was over and that the wind was supposed to be wrong for the rest of my week long hunt. I lifted my head to look out the window of my blind and was astonished to see Mini 8 standing in front of my blind about 17 yards away and looking away from me and towards where the plane had gone. I quickly composed myself, got my release hooked to my string and drew as he continued to look away. He was quartering away, my favorite shot for a bow, and I took time to pick my spot on his near side and picture where my arrow would exit on the offside. I concentrated hard and as I released the arrow I was excited to see the arrow disappear right where I had been aiming. The buck jumped sideways and fell on his side before regaining his feet and heading up the draw from where he had come. I gave him what I felt like was an eternity (probably about 10 minutes) before exiting the blind and finding my arrow. It looked good and I found blood almost immediately. I took up the blood trail and was relieved to find Mini 8 piled up in a prickly pear cactus only about 60 yards from my blind. As I looked down and admired Mini 8, I took a moment to thank my creater for whitetail deer, for Mini 8 and for the blessing it is for me to pursue his creations.
|Weight: 180||Age: 4.5 years|
|Weapon Used: Rifle||Score: 137 - 7/8|
|Location: Park County, Wyoming|
It was just getting light when I caught this buck trailing a doe in an alfalfa field. He didn’t notice me as I crawled under a fence and then belly crawled into an irrigation ditch. I stayed in the ditch and was able to close the distance to about 250 yards. I dropped the legs on my bipod and used the bank of the ditch as a rest. When the buck came across the field and stopped broadside to look around, I took the shot and dropped the buck on the spot.
|Weight: 225||Age: 4.5 years|
|Weapon Used: Rifle||Score: 141 - 2/8|
|Location: Pennington County, South Dakota|
I was lucky enough to draw a West River tag and had both a mule deer tag and a whitetail tag in my pocket. During the day, we had been driving back to the ranch house for some lunch when I noticed a big buck in the creek bottom about 600 yards away. It looked like a medium sized 3x3 mule deer until I looked at him in my binoculars. That’s when I realized it was a big whitetail buck. I quickly grabbed my rifle and tried to close the distance so I could make an ethical shot. Just as I was getting into position to make a 250 yard shot, a doe that had been in the creek bottom made a break for it and the big buck followed. I never got off a shot and I was disappointed as I made my way back to the truck. That evening, my friend and I decided to hunt further down the creek. He set up in a hay stack and I decided to work my way back up the creek to see what I could see. About an hour later I decided to head back to where my friend was hidden in the hay bales and I looked up the hill to see a big whitetail headed down the hill towards me. At about 275 yards, the buck noticed me and the stare off commenced. I was excited to see it was the same big 8 point from earlier in the day. I slowly lowered myself into a prone position, got the bi-pod out on my rifle and was able to take one solid shot, dropping the buck where he stood. It was an incredible day in the badlands of South Dakota.