The biggest buck I ever took was a 7-pointer that would score in the high 130s or low 140s on Boone and Crockett. However, I've missed a lot of big deer with my bow. If I'm real honest and tell the truth, I still get buck fever. When a big buck is coming in, I get so nervous I hardly can pull my bow back. For some reason, when I get to full draw, my pin sight starts jumping around.
A classic example of my buck fever happened a few years ago when I had a big buck come within bow range. I was looking off to my right. Then when I looked straight out in front of me, all I could see were massive antlers. This was the biggest buck I ever had seen, and I'd seen a lot of big bucks. The buck was 5-yards away from me when I tried to stand-up in my tree stand (since then, I've learned that you don’t stand-up in your tree stand when a buck’s 5-yards away from you). The buck ran 20 yards out in front of me. In the excitement of the moment, I judged the buck to be 40 yards away from me and put my 40-yard pin right behind his shoulder - confident that I was about to take the biggest buck I ever had seen. But of course when I released the arrow, the shaft flew right over the buck’s back. Since the buck didn’t know what had happened, he just trotted off into the memory of my mind before I could get a second arrow nocked. I was shaking badly from buck fever. I couldn’t believe how shook up I was.
When I'm playing football and lining up against some of the biggest, strongest, meanest professional football players, I'm not nervous at all. I'm ready to get it on, and I know if I become nervous and start shaking that there's a good chance that the opposing player will beat me. From my right guard position, I've battled great football players. My first game as a professional football player, I was up against Ndamukong Suh, one of the toughest and strongest football players in the pros, and I wasn’t nervous in the least.
I’ve played against Mike Daniels from the Packers, Gerald McCoy from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Andrew Donnal from the Rams and many more. Their average weight is about 320-330 pounds, and these guys are probably 6’3” or more - they're giant men. When the ball is snapped, their sole purpose is to knock me down and tear my head off, but I have no fear. As a matter of fact, I get excited and can’t wait for the ball to be snapped. But in the tree stand, when I see a 200-pound-plus deer with big antlers that I know can’t hurt me, I really get shook-up. When I'm deer hunting, I get a huge adrenaline rush called buck fever. Even though I've hunted for some years now, I'm still subject to getting a dose of buck fever when one of those big boys comes within bow range. To be honest, I've never taken a really-big buck with my bow, because during deer season, I'm playing football. After football season is over, I only may have a week to a few days to bow hunt. To keep up with me during football season and hunting season, go to my Twitter account at www.twitter.com/bscherff68.