The Start of Bucky Hauser’s Hunt for His Big 2015 Buck
Editor’s Note: Bucky Hauser from Claudville, Virginia, has been a Mossy Oak Pro Staffer for 9 years but has been wearing Mossy Oak, since the company began in 1986. “My favorite pattern is Mossy Oak Treestand. I like it because it’s an open pattern. When deer season starts in our area, all the leaves are off the trees, and I primarily bowhunt.”
I took my big buck on November 4, 2015. The company I work for had booked a hunt for some Under Armour clients with Trey Teague and Johnny Davis at Backwoods Outfitters. They manage 10,000 acres in Clark and Edgar counties in Illinois. During the hunt, we had somepleasant weather with the morning temperatures in the mid-20s and in the 50s during the day. My stand was in a draw right off a soybean field, about 150-200 yards in the woods from the field’s edge. This draw seemed to be a natural funnel for deer that wanted go out into the field and feed. We arrived in camp on Saturday and started hunting on Sunday. Although I’d seen a few deer the first couple of days, I hadn’t seen a shooter. Then on Tuesday afternoon at 4:34 pm, I spotted movement to my left.
The outfitter wanted us to take bucks more than 140 inches. But when I’m traveling and hunting, I’m looking for a 150-inch-plus buck. Since I've already harvested about 40 bucks, my standard for the type of buck I want to take often is higher than many hunters. But I need to pause right here and explain that a trophy deer isn’t just a buck with antlers scoring 150 or more. Over my hunting career, I've taken deer with antlers as small as spikes to antlers that would score more than 160 inches. A trophy deer is what you believe a trophy to be. When I take my daughters hunting, there aren’t any limits on how big or what sex the deer are that they take. I get much more pleasure and satisfaction from watching my daughters take a doe or small buck than I’ve ever experienced taking a 160-plus-class big buck. So, I never put down anyone who takes his or her trophy buck, even though the trophy may not be the same trophy I want to harvest.
On this hunt, I was facing down the draw with the wind coming from behind me and blowing right in the direction of where I’d seen the deer move at 4:34 pm. This deer was coming from down wind below me, and I was expecting the deer to come from upwind above me. Earlier in the day, I’d spotted a coyote coming down a deer trail above me. Later in the morning, a nice buck came down that same trail. When the buck reached the spot where the coyote had crossed the trail, the buck whirled and ran away from me.
Once I identified this downwind buck as a shooter, I was fairly certain that he would smell me before he got to within bow range, because he was straight downwind of me. I was using an odor-eliminating product called The Ghost, a new product I was field testing. Plus, I had scent control in my Under Armour garments; I had bathed in scent-free soaps; and I was using Ozonics. I believe the Ozonics played a major role in eliminating my human odor.Having said all that, I still had a hard time believing that this mature buck wasn’t smelling me before he got into bow range. The buck was about 60 yards from me when I first saw him. He came up to a brush pile that had been created when the outfitters had cut shooting lanes. As soon as the buck stepped out from behind the brush pile, I knew for sure he was a shooter.
Tomorrow: Bucky Hauser’s 2015 Big Buck’s Moment of Truth