Hey guys, here is my hunt story copy and pasted from the contest forum.
At 5:00 this morning when the alarm went off, I knew the day had a lot of promise. I raised and got dressed, and headed out the door to head to my stand. At 6:30 am, I crawled into my stand in a tree grove on the west side of a farmstead. The quarter of land the farmstead sits on is surrounded on all 4 sides by thick shelter belts. After crawling into my stand I hunker in and get cozy against the calm 27 degree morning. I knew that sunrise was at 7:26 am, so I would have a short 26 minute wait until shooting time.
About 7:00, I notice 2 does about a half mile north of me headed south toward the tree grove I was in. After they crossed the road the headed toward the west to mill around in the wheat stubble. The 2 does were soon joined by a smaller buck. I watched as the buck worked like a bloodhound around the does. within 15 minutes, the 3 deer turned into 8. I could tell even from the distance there were 6 does escourted by 2 bucks. The deer milled around and chased each other until the sun was will above the horizion and gaining altitude. One buck decided it was time to take 4 of the ladies off to the south west, while the second buck took his 2 east to the tree rows, and then north from where they came.
At around 8:00 I glanced over my left shoulder and off to the west. I noticed a dark spot just over the crest of a hill 3/4 mile away. While watching the spot, it materialized into a deer, and it was headed my direction. The more I watched it, the larger the body got as it worked its way east toward the tree row I was in. After about 10 minutes the deer was close enough for me to tell it was the 5x6 whitetail I had been watching for 2 months. As the deer approached it angled to the north east, then to the south east, and then to the east. In my mind I knew the deer would start angling either north or south of me and I would not get a shot opportunity. The deer just kept coming my direction. When the deer hit the creek that lies west of my tree row, I envisioned him turning and following the creek north and passing by me at 88 yards. I again was wrong. The deer crossed the creek and walked up to the south west corner of the tree strip.
When the buck hit the corner of the trees 100 yards south of me, he disappeared behind a cedar tree. I could see both sides of the tree, and knew he had not gotten out of there undetected. It was then that I realized he was checking out the trail I walked in on. By this time I had stood up, and turned in my stand incase the buck decided to walk outside the trees to the west of me. As I am facing south, straining to catch another glimps of this brute, I catch movement where I had last seen him. He continued walked east and into my tree strip. I knew now that I had to get turned back around so when he came in on the east I was ready for a shot if opportunity presented itself.
As the buck made his was into the trees angling north east, he did so very cautiously. He would walk a few steps, and stop. He would look and listen intently for anything that did not belong before continuing on his path. Every time he would stop, my heart would beat uncontrollably and I would begin shaking. I tried my best to calm myself down. I was trying to tell myself it was no different than shooting a doe, and I would calm down some, until the next time he would stop.
As he made his way up the tree row, he had closed the distance to 43 yards, but still in some thick cover. He stepped behind a small cedar tree and again disappeared. I could see his antlers shine in the sun every time he moved his head. I watched this for about 5 minutes straining to catch the outline of his body when I saw something that didn't look right. His antlers were moving, but at ground level. Again I caught a glimps of his rack shinning in the sun, but again at ground level. It was then that I come to realize one of my worst fears happened. HE BEDDED DOWN!!! He was 43 yards from me and bedded down I quietly sat down realizing that I may be in my stand all day waiting for him to make a move. Things looked like they were going to turn onto a long day when I remembered the grunt tube I had stuffed into the upper part of my jacket earlier in the morning. I slowly grabbed the grunt tube, and pressed it to my lips. I exhailed into the mouth piece to produce the sounds of a small buck. I waited a second and grunted again. The buck stood up and shot out of the tree strip to the east with his tail flying high.
As the buck departed his bed in a hurry, I thought to my self I had just blown him out of the area. Until he hit the edge of the trees and stopped. I could see the buck looking around trying to find the intruder he had just heard. I grunted again, and the buck turned and ran north. I watched as the buck stopped again and looked for the intruder. I gave the tube another blow, causing the buck to run further north, still outside the trees. When the trees got a little thicker, I lost sight of the monarch. I waited for a minute with no movement, so I figured I should give it one more try on the grunt tube. I knew it could not hurt anything to give one more grunt. When I did, I watched as the buck worked his way back into the trees, and turned my way. He walked about 20 yards, and stopped. I grunted again and he began his walk with destiny.
The deer walked to 27 yards, and stopped, he was quartering toward me, and with the trees I did not have a clear or safe shot. I could see the buck looking every which way trying to find the source of the grunting. He looked at me several times but never made me out. The buck inched closer to my shooting lane, but stopped just short. I had a small clearing that I knew I could squeeze an arrow into, but with him still quartering toward me I only had a low percentage shot that I was not willing to take. I knew if he came 3 more steps, I would have a better shot. The brute walked 2 steps, and halted with his vitals behind a tree. Again, he looked in every direction, and up at me. For about 2 minutes he surveyed the area. The buck turned his head to look behind him, and I knew he was going to turn around and head back to the north. As the buck turned, I drew my bow and hit my anchor point. The buck paused in the small clearing, offering me a clean quartering away shot. I settled the pin mid body of the deer allowing for the angle of the shot, and loosed my arrow. I watched as my arrow entered the deer, and stop with the fletching sticking out. I knew the arrow had hit the far shoulder stopping my arrow, but passed through both lungs. The deer let out a snort and bolted to the north crashing through the trees.
I waited 30 minutes before climbing out of my stand and picking up the bright red mist trail. I followed the trail about 100 yards and right up to my trophy.
What a GREAT day!!!