Most hunters don’t like to hear the bark of a dog while they are hunting from a tree stand, but it saved the day for Dale Wolfe of Cary, N.C. when he was hunting a plot of land he hunts in Wake County this past weekend. The bark caused him to look behind his stand, where the 9-point buck he’d been observing on trail camera over the past few months was standing. Wolfe passed on the buck several times last year, but this time, he put an arrow into the deer’s vitals from about 50 yards away.
It wasn’t a quick hunt by any means. Wolfe got in the stand around noon, saw some does at 1:30, watched them get chased off by a coyote, then saw little else until the buck he was hunting showed up at 6 p.m.
“I wasn’t expected the deer to come from that direction. I have my Lock-On stand mounted to a skinny hardwood. So skinny that I call it the toothpick tree. I was facing the direction I’d thought he would come based on all the trail camera photos, so he surprised me. He was already looking at me when I laid eyes on him,” said Wolfe, who skipped this stand on the first day of hunting season because the wind was not in his favor.
“That deer saw me, but he didn’t know exactly what to think of me. I use a product called Nose Jammer, which is a scent suppressor. If not for that, he’d have probably winded me and been gone before I saw him,” Wolfe said.
After the dog bark got Wolfe to turn and see the deer, the buck didn’t bolt away. It just eased off straight away from him, moving slowly but not offering a shot. It finally settled down when it was about 50 yards away from Wolfe.
“I kept watching him with the rangefinder, and when he settled down at 50 yards, he offered me just the slightest shot. He was quartering away, and when I ranged him at that distance and I knew if I was going to pull the trigger, I better do it right now,” he said.
Wolfe shot the buck behind the shoulder.
“A lot of people will say that’s a risky shot at that distance, but if you know your equipment like you should, and you’ve shot it enough, you’ll know what’s risky for you or not. I felt really good about the shot, and as soon as the bolt hit that deer, I knew it was a good shot. He ran about 50 yards and fell over,” said Wolfe, who shoots bolts with 100-grain Slick Trick 4-blade broadheads from his Excalibur Micro 335.
The buck's rack has bases that measure better than 4 inches, it has an inside spread of 22 inches, and it green-scored as a 150-class buck.
“I think it’s important for people to see this type of quality deer coming from North Carolina. And there are plenty more out there,” he said.