It started out during late July of 2004 with a buck sighting by my dad (Wayne Sr.) Dad was visiting with us one evening and left shortly before dark. After a few minutes he was back telling me of an extremely large buck he had seen. His exact words were, "This buck was huge! He was in the middle of the field and I could see his rack with my naked eye and it looked like he had a lot of points." Please understand that Dad's eyesight isn't the best. We went back, but didn't locate him.
Over the remainder of the summer we went on several more scouting trips. We did end up seeing him a few more times. My dad saw him more frequently than I did. However, due to heart problems and being in and out of the hospital, my dad was unable to hunt for this non-typical brute.
We had his bedding area located, as well as his feeding pattern. I set up a tree stand extremely close to his bedding area leading into a funnel prior to his primary feeding location. On the afternoon of October 8th the wind was blowing from the southwest and there was a slow steady rain. The conditions were prime!
I am a firm believer in only hunting areas when the wind is right. I am a strict practitioner of scent control. However, I do not believe you can completely fool the nose of a mature buck. Therefore, I take no chances.
When hunting in the rain you must also take steps in preparation to ensure success. You should practice in your rainy day gear. You should prepare your gear by waterproofing your equipment (there are several scent free sprays.) You should also practice shooting your bow in the rain, because your point of impact will be lower. You should also place extra wax on your string and rub it in with a piece of leather. This will heat up the wax and penetrate the string, or your point of impact will be even lower. Lastly, you must lube the working mechanisms of your bow with a scent free lubricant. If you do not use a scent free lubricant, I would suggest squirting your bow several days in advance.
After sitting on stand for approximately 1 1/2 hours, I heard something behind me to my right. I slowly turned, but saw nothing. I then heard the rustling to my left. As I turned, this big brute was to my left a practically below me. I was sitting down with my bow on my lap. I was feeling a bit helpless. However, as he moved forward I got my bow into position for a shot. This buck was now at 15 yards quartering away.
I slowly drew my Alpine Impact Extreme bow and placed the Trophy Ridge sight pin low on his chest. The Easton Axis arrow tipped with a Vortex 100 grain broad head entered the center of his chest on the right side and exited low and just behind the shoulder on the right side. Then, a serious case of the shakes set in.
When I calmed myself down, I climbed down from my Amacker hang on tree stand and started tracking. Although it was raining, I had a very good blood trail. I tracked the buck approximately 50 yards and found him expired. I counted the points several times, and came up with a different conclusion every time. The buck ended up having 18 points. The buck's gross score is 179 5/8 and a net score of 169 6/8 non-typical.
I called everyone and started showing the buck to everyone in my family. I couldn't wait to show the buck to my dad. When I got to my dad's house, he took one look at him and said, "That's the buck I saw last summer." It was a great sharing experience for us.
There is a big thank you in order to the landowner, which is Randy Hampshire. When I took the buck to Randy's house, he attributed the buck's large size to his organic farming practices. Without a doubt, his large 210-pound frame (field dressed weight) and large rack was due to the forage on the Hampshire farm. The Hampshire family has allowed my family and I to hunt their property for the last several years. We cannot thank them enough.
I also wish to thank Tom at Starlight archery in Lapeer. Tom helped to set up my bow, and talked me into the new Vortex broad heads and Easton Axis arrows. Tom's expertise helped greatly in the confidence needed to place my tag on this Kingston, Michigan buck. Thanks again Tom!