The first buck of 2017 on BIG DEER blog! Guest post from North Dakota native and bowhunter Kelsey Deutz:
We had a couple of years of history with the buck we call “S-10.” My husband, Nick, hunted him last year. He was very visible on camera but never came within bow range during the daylight hours.
In 2017, we first spotted S-10 about a month before season opened. We were so glad he made it through the year. He blew up! Once again, he was very visible on camera, and Nick had seen him on the hoof a few times just after sunrise in the weeks before season opened. We set up a couple different blinds in different parts of the area he was living in so we could play the wind if necessary. You always have to plan for the wind in North Dakota.
The week before the season he had been in a very consistent pattern every night. He would venture out of his bedding grounds and head to feed around 7pm like clockwork.
I headed out to the blind by myself around 5pm on opening day. I watched some does and fawns filter in and out. I watched a fawn nursing at 8 yards from the blind. It was very eventful right off the get go!
Shortly after 7pm, I noticed something walk by the blind and come out on the right side of me. I assumed it was a doe, but I glanced over and it was him! He walked out and I ranged him at 24 yards. S-10 stood there facing directly away from me for what felt like an eternity. Which was a blessing because it allowed me to gain my composure before the shot.
The buck very slowly started to turn broadside and I patiently waited for the perfect shot. Finally, the opportunity arose and I took the shot at 24 yards. He ran off to the left of the blind and crashed into the rushes.
I waited awhile in the blind before I pulled the chip from our trail camera we had set up and snuck out to give him some time. I got back to the farm and checked the pictures to see if there was any evidence on there. Our Moultrie had captured the shot! It looked pretty promising! We let him sit for a couple of hours before we started searching.
We looked for a few hours into the night but decided to leave it until morning light. I didn’t sleep a wink and was eager to get everyone up at the crack of dawn to continue searching. We got back on the trail shortly after sunrise and found him within 15 minutes!
I’ve been hunting whitetails in North Dakota for 17 years and this was the closest I have had to a textbook hunt. S-10 followed the script perfectly! As hunters, we all know it usually doesn’t work that way.—Thanks, Kelsey
For Kelsey Deutz , her husband, Nick, and their two young kids, hunting is way of life. Through their Hunting Traditions website and Instagram they share their love of North Dakota and its wildlife, and encourage hunters across the country to engage their entire family, young and old. A great message and our kind of people, way to go Kelsey!