Editor’s Note: Mossy Oak ProStaffer Bucky Hauser lives in Claudville, Virginia. During the early years of his hunting career, he was a multi-state hunter and often hunted 4 days per week or more from October until deer season ended. He hunted on two farms in Virginia and also Canada, taking many fine bucks and enjoying great outdoor adventures. Bucky lived the hunter’s life we all dream of, but after he turned 40, his hunting focus changed drastically.
When my children started being born, I had to spend more time at home and at my business. Before my daughter Taylor was born, I was hunting 4 days a week, and my wife was running the business for us during hunting season. I had been hunting hard for about 3 months. I decided to take one afternoon off, stay on the couch and recover. I had hunted during archery season, muzzleloading season and rifle season. The gun season just had ended, and I was pretty burned out with hunting. The day I decided to take off was the first day of the second archery season. My wife, Kelly, came in and saw me on the couch. She said, “Hey, Bucky, you need to get up and go hunting.” I didn’t really want to go, but she just kept insisting.
I decided to take a lazy approach to hunting that day. I put a stand on my 4-wheeler, drove to the top of a mountain where I never had hunted before and parked about 1/4-mile from where I planned to hunt. I had a 3-1/2-acre clover field planted with BioLogic’s Clover Plus. I felt like deer would be coming out of that field and across the top of the mountain to go to their beds. The farm I was hunting only was 77 acres. Although we only had one food plot, it was broken into three sections in an L-shaped field. There was a connecting road that divided and connected all three fields in this one food plot. The top of the mountain where I was hunting was 700-feet higher than the food plot. There was a bedding area on top of the mountain. This afternoon I decided to hunt close to the bedding area. Once I got into my tree stand and had my harness on, I took all my clothes off and wiped down with scent-free field wipes that I carried in my scent-free Mossy Oak Treestand hunting clothes. Once I got them on, I knew I was scent-free and invisible. I screwed my bow hanger into the tree and leaned out to check the tether on my Hunter Safety harness.
As soon as I sat on my stand and leaned back, I heard a twig snap. I looked over my shoulder and spotted a buck walking along and browsing. The spot I had picked to hang my tree stand was in a small group of oak trees fairly close to the bedding area. I thought deer might want a few acorns to eat on their way to bed-down or before they came-out of their bed. This buck was coming from the food plot and heading back to his bedding area. On TV, when a TV host has a deer moving, he makes a grunt call or some kind of sound to stop the deer. I used to do the same thing. However, I’ve had as many deer run off when I’ve grunted as I’ve had stop. I believe there are certain times of the year that certain deer calls work, and times they don’t work. If you use the wrong call at the wrong time of the year, you’ll spook the deer. Instead of grunting, I lead deer with my bow like I will a duck or a dove with a shotgun. The deer was about 42-yards away and walking calmly.
I was using a BowTech Destroyer that shoots about 309 feet per second, a Gold Tip 55/75 arrow shaft and a Wasp Jak-Hammer broadhead . I aimed just in front of the deer’s shoulder. I watched the arrow in flight, and it hit him right behind the front shoulder. I didn’t hear the deer crash, but I was confident I’d made a good hit. I took my tree stand down, gathered up my stuff and went back to the house. After dark, I returned to the top of the mountain. Our little house dog ran along behind the 4-wheeler and followed me to the top of the mountain. When I found that first little speck of blood, the dog smelled it and went straight to the deer. I didn’t have to do any tracking at all. This 120-inch 8-point buck only went about 125 yards. My wife was right in getting me up and sending me out to hunt.