Big Buck Patience

It was the third day of October the weather was absolutely gorgeous. As I climbed up to the tree stand, I thought to myself if I was a deer this is where I would be. I sat down in the stand, got my safety equipment attached, brought my bow up and placed it on my lap. I’m facing Southeast in the tree stand.

The squirrels are running around like mad collecting nuts and berries for the winner. One squirrel is in the tree about five yards in front of me, this tree is covered in poison ivy. I’m watching the squirrel climb the tree. It keeps reaching out and grabbing the berries off the poison ivy vine. He jumps up in the crotch of the tree and eats the berries. Every so often he looks my way not sure what I am so he’s keeping a close eye on me. I stayed completely still not looking him right in the eyes, so he doesn’t get nervous. In doing so the birds are so comfortable, one of them landed on my arrow. It was a bluebird, it sat there probably 15-20 seconds looking around chirping.

It was about an hour before end of hunting hours, I started a slow glance around from right to left starting in the open field making my way towards the woods looking for anything moving, as I got to the left side of me, I started hearing rustling on the ground. It sounded a little larger than a squirrel. I still couldn’t see anything, but I could still hear it. I rubbernecked a little more to the left looking slightly behind me. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing there on the path that I took to get to the tree stand was a good-sized buck. Not wanting to Spook him I took my time slowly turning to my left so I could keep an eye on him. As I was turning, he started looking nervous sticking his head in the air then on the ground, in the air, on the ground he was picking up my scent. I got three-quarters of the way turned and he decided to turn around and walk away. There was one shooting Lane about 35 yards out where I would have a shot. He was rapidly approaching the open hole in the woods. As he stepped into the hole, I said hey there trying to stop him. By doing this I was hoping he would have stopped in his tracks, which was not the case. He continued walking three more steps before he stopped and looked back by this time, he was through the shooting Lane. I took a chance, brought the crossbow up to my shoulder, put him in the crosshairs and pulled the trigger. Not one of my best decisions. In my rush to try to get a shot, I neglected to notice a bunch of little branches between him and I. As I’m watch the Arrow flying through the air it came to the branches and ricocheted over the top of him. Disgusted with myself I just sat there didn’t move didn’t make a sound yelling at myself on the inside my head, you know better, you know better. Note to self, if the shots are not there, the shots not there you can do nothing about it except be patient. Every Hunter out there will remind you of this sooner or later, it is called hunting for a reason and not harvesting. I will be lucky if he comes back and shows his face again, hopefully he just thought it was a branch falling out of a tree. He didn’t bolt out of there and didn’t go far, only want about 70 yards and stopped. He put his head down and started Milling around in the grasses and eating acorns. The lesson from this story is never rush, just be patient. The time will come it might not be then and there in the moment, but the time will come patience is a virtue.