Today’s blog is from 20-year-old Ohio bowhunter Pierce Moore:
As opening day in Ohio closed in, I made the sudden decision to take off the first week of bow season. I told a few people I was taking off the first week, and they looked at me like I was crazy. The first week of season is when the deer have had the least amount of pressure, if any pressure at all. I also took into account the moon phase for the week, and I was left with no doubt in my mind that I had to be in the stand opening week.
I had two mature bucks I was anxious to see from my tree stand and hopefully have the opportunity to harvest. One buck in particular caught my eye just a week before season. The mature, tall-tined, chocolate-racked 10-point was at the top of my “hit list.” I was ecstatic to see a buck of that stature on my trail camera. Opening day couldn’t come fast enough!
Even though I had daylight pictures of the brute, I knew I had to make the most of my first encounter. I knew my wind direction would have to be perfect. The night before opening day I checked to see which direction my wind would blow, and it was the complete wrong direction to go after the big buck.
That week some buddies with 3B Outdoors were up from Tennessee trying to stick an arrow in an Ohio whitetail, so as I waited for the right wind, I filmed a few hunts for them. Patiently I waited for mother nature to cooperate. I checked my wind for Thursday October 2nd, and finally it was the best possible wind to hunt the honey hole.
I couldn’t get permission for someone to film me, so I was going to have to make an attempt to film myself. I headed out that evening with my Hoyt and my camera in an attempt to make something happen. I climbed into my stand with high hopes to see the big chocolate 10. I set up my camera mount to the side of the tree and got everything situated.
Even though my wind was perfect, it was 85 degrees, extremely hot even for early season. I had my doubts that the deer would move due to the heat. But I did my homework before I took my vacation days, and I thought the moon phase was going to be perfect.
It proved true as deer began to move around 5:30. I had two does and two small bucks in front of me when all of a sudden, I heard a loud sneeze and leaves crunching as a deer approached out of the hollow in front of me and slightly to my left.
My nerves began to jump as I looked at my watch–7:00, the time I had gotten pictures of the big chocolate 10 days earlier. The deer coming from the hollow stood behind a tree for nearly five minutes before it appeared. As soon as it stepped from behind the tree my heart started pounding. It was him!
I slowly turned and hit record on my camera. As I began to raise my bow from my lap I nicked my camera arm just slightly and I thought it was game over. The buck did not seem to acknowledge the sound, but started walking out of my shooting lane before I could get the camera on him and my bow drawn back.
I began to panic and even considered doing away with the camera. The buck walked to my right and then started to circle back around at 15 yards. Regaining my composure, I followed him with the camera, and he finally came to a stop and quartered away. I slowly got up, came to full draw and glanced at the camera screen to make sure it was on him. Then I gently squeezed the trigger on my release. The Lumenock lit up and the Rage entered right where I was aiming, slightly back as I compensated for the beast being quartered away.
As he ran off I fell apart shaking with excitement. I turned the camera to face me as I repeatedly said, “That’s what I’m talking about,” because at the time that is all I could say. I had not only put a lethal shot on a huge buck, but I was able to get it all on film. I was ecstatic!
I called my dad, my voice shaking with excitement, and he, my uncle and a buddy all came up to help me find the monster. We followed good blood for 50 yards, and Dad yelled, “There he is!” I ran to my trophy, what a buck. He actually had 11 points, with a two-inch kicker off his left brow. I was amazed by the tine length on the brute. His brow tines were both close to 9 inches, his G-2s and G-3s were all over 10 inches and his G-4s were close to 6 inches. I noticed that somehow over the past week the buck had broken about three inches off his right main beam.
I was overjoyed to have taken another giant with my bow. I’m twenty years old and have harvested seven bucks over 130 inches, four of those with a compound. I added up all of the scores of my bucks before the start of season and was 150 inches shy of 1,000 inches of antler. I figured it would be quite the challenge to reach the 1,000-inch bench mark this season, especially after harvesting a 162-inch giant the previous year.
I know how hard it is to harvest big bucks. ! was fortunate October 2nd, the sixth day of bow season, to be in the right place at the right time to kill the big, chocolate-racked 10-pointer (11 pointer) that rough scored 165 and put me over my 1,000 inch goal.
I’ve been blessed to have taken mature whitetails starting at 8 years of age, when I killed a 135-inch 8-pointer. I’ve been hooked on deer hunting ever since and look forward to the day I get to pass the experience on to my children in the future…the FAR future.–Pierce Moore, 20, Southern Ohio