Field report from a hard-core bowhunter in Ohio:
After many days of hunting and 20 days of getting pictures, always at night or in the early morning, I finally took down the “Ghost Buck.”
November 10, 2015, about 900 am. He rounded a bend of the creek, saw my buck decoy and ran 400 yards in about eight seconds. He slowly circled the decoy, and at 12 yards I took the shot.
I have taken 130s deer from this stand, which is 32 feet up in the air, but this 170-class buck really had me shaking up there.
I called my buddy and the track job was on. We jumped the buck 25 minutes after I shot him. I knew better than to look for the deer so quickly, but the rain was pouring that morning (and I hoped to get lucky and find him quickly, before the blood trail washed away). But after jumping the buck we waited 3 more hours.
We secured permission to look for the buck, as he had crossed the highway and onto another property when we jumped him. There was blood on the white line of the road, a lot of blood. I have taken close to 70 animals with my bow, and this was probably the most blood I ever saw.
A short 200 yards from the highway we found him floating in the creek, with a coyote watching from the bank! My lighted nock still blinked underwater.
The farmer whose property we ended up on got his tractor, and after we retrieved the buck from the creek, he carried him out in the bucket.
Then it hit me. Usually I travel all over the U.S. to bowhunt each year, and am happy with 120- to 130-inch deer. But in 2015 I didn’t go out of state like I usually do. I traveled the 167 miles to southern Ohio many times to hunt this “Ghost Buck,” sometimes for a week at a time. I put all my eggs and time into harvesting this monster, and I killed him.
Funny thing, a few days before I shot the buck, I sat in that stand from daylight to dark and didn’t see a single deer. But I didn’t let that deter me, and patience paid off.
Without my family and friends and a flexible job, I couldn’t run across the country chasing my dreams. I am thankful. I would like to thank Chad Moore, my longtime friend and school mate and a guy that has been featured here on BIG DEER, for pushing me to hunt bigger deer. Also Frank Justice for the help with tracking the “Ghost Buck” and putting me up when I come down there hunting. It was a season I’ll never forget.