Bow-Bending Basics

An Apex bowhunter downed three trophy bucks last season using strategies that any archer could use.

Danny Viverette of Apex hunted deer with firearms for more than 30 years until deciding he wanted a different challenge and returned to hunting with a bow.

“I’d killed enough deer in my life; there just wasn’t any thrill in killing a 15-inch-wide 8-pointer anymore,” said Viverette, who estimated he’d put bullets holes in about 150 bucks in North Carolina and South Carolina over the years. “I killed a lot of (trophy) bucks in both states.

“I hadn’t hunted with a bow for many years, but I turned back to (bowhunting) a few seasons ago. I also came to understand you had to let smaller bucks walk because (they) would be bigger the next year.”

Viverette, 48, found that connections from his landscaping and grading business could provide him with additional places to hunt in southern Wake County, where he spends most of his time in the woods.

Danny Viverette’s second trophy of 2009 was a buck that he’d seen before — the same day he’d killed his first big buck, in September.

Last year, he arrowed three Pope & Young bucks — a feat not likely matched by any other hunters in North Carolina. The first was an 11-pointer he nailed during September.

“That day it was pouring rain and windy,” he said. “I like hunting when it’s raining because it washes away scent, and the world is fresh once it stops. Making sure there’s as little of your scent as possible is one of the most important things you have to take care of when you’re hunting bucks.

“You also can almost count on being in the woods by yourself when it’s raining, so you don’t have to worry about somebody else bustin’ up your hunt.”

Viverette had been seeing a nice buck for 2½ years, watching it cross a road from time to time.

“I’d drive by and see him,” he said. “It took me that long to get the right to hunt this property. I finally worked out a deal with the owner where I did landscaping for free in exchange for hunting rights.”

Tight corners and travel corridors are good places to set up archery stands for early-season bucks.

After scouting, Viverette found a natural funnel along a creek bottom, and he set up in a Summit climbing stand, 30 feet off the ground in a poplar tree.

“There was a thicket of jack pines on one side, then a cutover on another and a creekbottom,” he said. “I went up the poplar with my stand at the bottom edge of the hardwoods near the creek. I was only 60 yards from a road that went along the creekbottom, too.”

Two bucks — a tall 9-pointer with a 15-inch rack and a 4-pointer — came walking down a nearby trail before the big buck walked into view.

“He came right under my tree and stopped about 20 yards away,” Viverette said.

Using a Parker compound bow shooting G5 arrows with 1-piece fixed broadheads, he had a quartering-down angle on the buck.

“I pulled back and put the sight pin on his left shoulder,” Viverette said, “and the arrow went through him where I was aiming and came out below his right foreleg. It went through his heart and lung.”

The buck jumped five feet straight up in the air, bunny-hopped once, then ran away, splashing across the creek.

Danny Viverette arrowed this tall, 8-point buck at noon one day in November 2009.

“He ran about 45 yards and laid down and another buck, an 8-pointer, walked over and laid down beside him,” Viverette said.

The buck had lost one tine, apparently from fighting with another deer.

Viverette arrowed his next buck Oct. 16, 2009.

“It was the 9-pointer that was with the 11-pointer I killed in September,” he said. “I shot him at 4:30 p.m.”

Once again, he hunted during the rain.

“I have a screw-in umbrella that I put over my stand that helps keep me dry,” Viverette said.

“The buck came in from the back side of the property. This place has 1½ acres of hardwoods, and bucks come in and stall around in these woods because does usually are there.”

The buck came within 30 yards, and Viverette made a broadside shot.

“He ran about 60 yards, then fell down,” he said. “When he got up, I saw the arrow come out of him. “He stumbled to the top of a hill and I watched him get to the edge of a thicket where he curled up under a pine tree and died.”

Viverette downed his third bow buck Nov. 2 at noon — but not through conventional means. He shot the buck while tracking a bigger deer he’d hit earlier that morning.

Danny Viverette never walks the edges of fields near woods because that’s where bucks like to travel, and they can sniff out the tiniest particle of foreign scent.

“I’d shot a big, wide-racked buck at another place the previous day and was tracking that deer,” he said. “I crossed a creek and was taking my time because I didn’t want to push him. I found a place where I thought at first coyotes had gotten to the first deer. There wasn’t much left, and I couldn’t find the (buck’s) rack.”

Viverette said he walked slowly up a hill toward a bedding area, then circled to get downwind because he wasn’t sure whether the coyotes had caught his first arrowed buck, and that it might be in the bedding area.

“I was trying to get the wind to my advantage when this buck stood up in the pines,” he said.

Viverette sank to his knees where he could see the front half of the buck and its neck.

“He was 20 yards from me, the wind was in my favor, and I guess he felt safe because he was in the thicket,” he said. “I put my sight pin behind his shoulder, released the arrow, and it made a perfect hit. He didn’t run 25 yards before he piled up.”

The buck’s longest tines were 7½ inches and the rack had an inside spread of 18 inches.

“I thought it might be the buck I was tracking, but it turned out to be a different buck,” Viverette said, “but he was good enough to shoot.”

About Craig Holt 1382 Articles
Craig Holt of Snow Camp has been an outdoor writer for almost 40 years, working for several newspapers, then serving as managing editor for North Carolina Sportsman and South Carolina Sportsman before becoming a full-time free-lancer in 2009.

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