Cody Mohan | Mossy Oak ProStaff
Yesterday I told you about my biggest bow buck that scored in the 160-inch class, and although we’d had trail cameras set up all across the 700 acres we hunted, we had no pictures of this 7-year-old buck. To be real honest, of all the bucks I’ve ever taken, I’ve never harvested a buck that I’ve seen on a trail camera. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had plenty of photos of big whitetails on the 700-acre property we hunt, but the biggest buck in the photos was one I’d never seen during daylight hours. We had noticed that during the rut, when the bucks were chasing does, we always got numbers of photos of bucks we knew didn’t live on our land.
I shot another big buck that didn’t score very high, since he was an 8-pointer. But he was a monster-looking buck. My tree stand was in a place I’d never hunted from previously. The first afternoon I sat in this stand, I spotted two small bucks that each would score in the 130s and a doe. However, I heard lots of deer activity about 60 yards behind me by the creek and to the east of where I had positioned my stand. The deer seemed to be running on the other side of the creek.
The next afternoon, I came in from the other side of the creek and set up my tree stand about halfway up the hill, about 30 yards from the creek. As night approached, I thought to myself, “You dummy. You should have stayed where you were yesterday. All the deer now are running on the other side of the creek where you were set up yesterday.” I was frustrated and bored and pulled my cell phone out of my pocket. I started playing the Fruit Ninja game to pass the time.
Thirty minutes before dark, I looked up and spotted a doe that had seen me evidently. I told myself, “Hunting like this is baloney. My bows on a hanger, I’m playing Fruit Ninja, and a doe is looking straight at me.” Finally the doe put her head down and started walking the trail below me. As I put away my phone, I heard a rustling in the leaves behind me. Looking behind me, I spotted a big 8-pointer, so I stood up in my stand. However, just as I did, the doe looked straight up at me. The doe and I locked eyes and stared to see which of us would move first. Finally the doe put her head down and walked into a small washout, about 40 yards northwest of me. I got my bow and looked back at the nice buck, and he seemed to have no clue I was in the tree. His total focus was on the doe.
When the doe popped up out of the little wash she’d gone in, she ran from the west to the east. The buck walked to within 27 yards of my stand, I came to full draw, and I watched my arrow enter behind the buck’s shoulder. Then the buck wheeled and went straight north. I picked up my binoculars to watch him. When he was at 60 yards, he stopped and looked straight at me. I heard another noise coming from the same direction where this 8-pointer had come, and when I looked down, I saw three coyotes running on the same trail my wounded buck had taken. The buck also spotted the coyotes and started running.
I came out of my tree, went to the spot where I’d shot the 8-pointer and saw a good blood trail I could follow. Instead of going down 60 yards away from me, when the buck saw those coyotes, he took out on a dead run and went about 300 yards. Once I got to my buck, the coyotes had gotten to him first. They saw me about the same time that I spotted them, and they took off. Luckily they just had started to chew on my nice buck, but they hadn’t really damaged him at all. That buck scored about 140 inches as an 8-pointer – a very nice buck.
Cody Mohan of Leavenworth, Kansas, a ProStaffer of 6 years, was born and raised in Kansas.