Guest post from Kansas bowhunter Connor Ossowski:

After last season, having close encounters with bucks but none in bow range, I decided to spend this past year listening to podcasts, reading articles and learning about strategies on hunting mature buck bedding areas.

I bumped this buck out of his bedding area back in September. This was to find his core area. I set a trail camera up near his bed and had multiple trail camera videos of him in October, always earlier and earlier in the evenings.

On Friday October 25, I sat in the stand for the first time with a NE wind, 45 degrees, and slight mist after it had rained two days prior. I sat from 12 pm until last light.

A doe came into 13 yards bleating quietly and looking behind her. Not shortly after, I saw him coming down the same trail I had my trail camera on. This was 60 yards from his bed and scrapes. He came to 8 yards and I sent my arrow.

The shot was good, but the blood trail was tricky. Thank you to everyone who helped with the tracking and for all of the morale support! Thank you for the blood tracking dog, Marley, and those who helped with this; I highly recommend using a blood tracking dog, where legal, when the trail goes cold.

Turns out he only went 60 yards from the last point of blood that I found, but he tried to swim across the  water.

Before every season, I write a bible verse on my bow handle. On Friday before going out, I was reading verses and this verse stuck out to me. Psalm 71:14: “But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.”

I didn’t quite know why that verse stuck out to me that day before my hunt, but now I understand. Bowhunting is very much a passion and spiritual time for me to be a few feet up in a tree that much closer to heaven. Never lose hope while deer hunting, and tracking a buck in my case, you never know how close to the end of the trail in life, or on a buck, you might be! Thanks for reading!—Connor

2 takeaways here:

  • I have blogged many times that the minute you catch a good buck on his feet and moving in daylight, move in and hunt him immediately. Good move Connor.
  • I just wrote this in an Outdoor Life rut-hunting post: “Watch active scrapes 50 to 75 yards from dense bedding cover. You might catch a mature buck milling around scrapes closest to his sanctuary at first or last light.” Great job Connor.