John Phillips | October 29, 2012
My videoing and hunting partner, Dave Reisner, and I were hunting and filming in Kentucky last year with Ben Maki, Chief Marketing Officer for Mossy Oak, on his family land in Kentucky. The first day we arrived for our hunt, the weather was between 90 and 100 degrees. The second day, a storm came in and brought wind and rain. On day three, the temperature dropped down 30-degrees from the first day of the hunt to between the high 50s and low 60s. My experience has been that a weather change often means you’ll have some of the best deer hunting ever, especially in the early season.
The place we were hunting was an alfalfa field that pinched down into a stand of timber, leading to a pond. Ben has a multitude of pictures from his Reconyx game cameras of big bucks on his property, and from the trail-camera pictures, Ben had identified several bucks he knew were old and large enough to harvest off his land. He showed us the pictures of the bucks and told us if we had an opportunity to take any of these bucks, to go ahead and harvest them. On that third afternoon, Dave and I both took our PSE X-Force Dream Season bows to our tree stand site, hoping that if I could shoot a buck early, Dave also might have the opportunity to take a buck, and we’d switch-off filming each other.
We’d chosen our stand site, because the land’s topography funneled the deer down to a stand of timber that jutted-out into the alfalfa field. So, our tree stand was just off the edge of the field in that stand of timber that created the natural funnel. On the other end of the stand of timber was a pond where the deer could water. So, we had all the elements come together to produce a great deer hunt. The deer could bed above us, come down the finger of woods, feed in the alfalfa field, go by the pond, water and then return to their bedding area. What made it even better was that the stand we chose allowed us to be within archery range of any deer that moved through the funnel. The night before this hunt, we’d watched the Weather Channel and found a small window when the rain was supposed to stop. So, we went to the same tree stand and sat from 6:30 pm until 7:00 pm.
I saw a shooter buck and drew my bow. But the deer was coming straight to me and taking his time. I had to let the bow down. When I let the bow off, there was a doe under our tree that we hadn’t seen. She saw me move, she blew, and all the deer in the field ran out. When we showed Ben our video, he recognized the deer as a 4-1/2-year-old 10-point buck that he wanted harvested. He told us to take that buck if he returned to the field the next day. So, on the third afternoon of the hunt, Dave and I entered our tree stand at 4:00 pm and at 4:30 pm, we saw a doe and two fawns enter the field. Next a smaller buck came out, and then the same big buck we’d spotted the previous afternoon came-in at about 6:00 pm. He turned broadside and presented a shot at 20 yards, and I took him. He ran out in the alfalfa field and went down. The buck’s 10-point velvet rack was 21-inches wide.