I’ve had a three year history with this buck. I named him Twister because of the way his rack looked in 2020. I decided to move my set-up closer to his primary bedding area this year. I had my first live encounter with him in September. I was watching a praying mantis on a limb 6 feet in front of me. The insect, for whatever reason, decided to fly over and land on my face. I quickly swatted him away only to hear a deer tear out from under my tree stand. I could tell it was him but couldn’t shoot. He had slipped in from behind me like a ghost and was gone. He didn’t smell me or see me that day so I felt like I might have another chance.
After that incident, he was mostly nocturnal. I stayed out of the spot for a week and then had several sits in the rain hoping he would be on his feet. No luck. Oct 4, I saw a temperature drop coming in the forecast. It was a perfect afternoon. The wind was stirring a little which gave me a good cover to walk in. I took my time and picked my way to the stand try not to make a sound or touch anything along the way.
I settled in around 4 PM and was feeling good because I had not spooked anything. The wind was in my face so I got comfortable and shut my eyes for a few. I didn’t see any movement, not even a squirrel, until almost 6:50 PM when a decent 7 pointer suddenly appeared under my feet and made his way across a small creek. I felt good because he crossed my track and was downwind of me but did not spook. I was thinking about how hard I work on scent management and feeling even better about my chances.
The target buck was a few minutes behind him coming in from the bedding area. He sauntered in and they tickled racks for a minute until the mature buck got frustrated and made an aggressive push which ran off the 7. My heart was pounding and I was waiting for a broadside shot for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, Twister was quartering towards me looking like he was going to bolt. I decided to try to slip it in front of his shoulder bone. I pulled the trigger on my Ravin R10 and heard the hard smack. I knew he was hit good because as he ran away, he was plowing as he ran.
I thought I heard him crash about 75 yards away. I said a prayer and sat there for another 30 minutes before quietly climbing down. I walked over to where I had shot hoping to find my arrow. No arrow and no blood! Just tracks where he had launched after being hit. I followed his trail and after about 20 yards, I found half of my arrow with dark red blood on it. I knew I had made a good hit but I did not get a pass through so tracking was gonna be tough.
Luckily, with all the rain we have had, I was able to pick my way along and see his line of travel. After about 30 minutes of painstaking searching along the line, I caught a glimpse of an eyeball glowing up ahead from my headlamp. As I got closer, I could see the buck was tangled up in a large rope of honey suckle and that he was dead. A huge sense of relief came over me and after a little struggle to get him out of that mess, I finally got to put my hands on his rack. He was really really heavy and hard to drag.
I only needed to go 100 yards to a four wheeler path but I had to cross two small creeks with steep banks then uphill the rest of the way. I somehow managed to get him to the four wheeler path and then walked back out of the block of woods to get my truck. I drove down the path only to find a tree had blown over in the storm last weekend. Remembering I had a small chainsaw in the bed of my truck, I smiled and then hopped out and started cutting up the tree. I kept thinking I’m gonna run out of gas for sure before I can cut a hole big enough to get my truck through but I didn’t. I drove down the path and had a heck of a time pulling him up into the bed of my truck. When I finally reached cellular service again, I called in the harvest then immediately called my son who hunts with me. He met me at Pearces Custom Processing where we celebrated closing the deal on Twister!