Colt McComb practiced all fall with his big brother’s hand-me-down bow, and it paid off when this nice buck stopped at 20 yards
|Rack Report Details|
|Time of Year:||October 15, 2023|
After taking several does, Colt McComb decided to go after a buck. Image courtesy of Colt McComb
One might assume that at just 9 years old, Colt McComb is a hunting apprentice. That would be incorrect, though. Colt, who hails from northeast Indiana, killed his first deer, a doe, when he was just 5 years old. He’s taken several does with firearms since then, too, including one with a .243 during Indiana’s 2023 youth season in September.
But he was still after his first buck when he decided to take up bowhunting earlier this fall. Colt had never hunted with archery equipment, and he ended up buying a hand-me-down bow from his older brother, Keegan, for $100. The bow, a Mission Craze, was 10 years old, a year older than Colt. But the young hunter practiced with it almost every night, nearly wearing his dad, Brian, out in the process. But Brian wasn’t about to deny his youngest son’s desire to kill his first buck.
Colt’s goal was to shoot a buck bigger than Keegan did — a button buck — when he was 10. But on October 1, Indiana’s early archery opener, he suffered an equipment disaster. While taking some practice shots, the sights fell off Colt’s bow! Brian and Colt’s grandpa, Steve, used a wood screw to temporarily rig his sights back together that evening so they could hunt. That night, Colt shot a doe from a portable blind that Steve had made.
After that, Colt nagged Brian to fix the sights permanently. That’s when Brian remembered his own first compound bow that was being stored in their barn. He swapped out the sites off his old bow and put them on Colt’s. After sighting it in, Colt was once again shooting every night, only taking breaks when his arms got tired.
Not only did McComb get his first buck at age nine, but did it with a compound bow. Image courtesy of Colt McComb
On October 15 Colt’s mom, Lori, suggested that the father/son duo go hunting. Brian knew it was a bit early in the season for good buck movement, but he figured since it was around 60 degrees and clear, it’d be great conditions for the young archer. They had a few does come through early, but Colt opted to pass, sticking to his goal of shooting a first buck.
Later on, a 5-pointer and an up-and-coming 8-pointer came in. Colt whispered to Brian that he intended to shoot the bigger one, but Brian reminded him that it was best to attempt to take the one that offered the best opportunity. The young hunter agreed with his father, but they never came close enough to their setup and eventually went back into the timber. Although a bit dejected, Brian reassured Colt that they might not have seen the last of the two bucks as the 8-pointer seemed to want to go to the cornfield they were set up next to.
About 45 minutes later Colt tapped on his dad and whispered, “There’s a big buck; hand me my bow!” Sure enough, a nice buck was walking in. During the exchange Brian reminded Colt to attach the release on the string. By then the buck had traveled on a 4-wheeler trail and then into the woods about 15 yards quartering away from them. Brian was trying to assess the shot opportunities, but he didn’t initially see anything that looked too promising. Then he noticed a big tree up in front of the buck’s line of travel. He whispered to Colt to draw when the buck walked behind it, telling him, “Do not look at his horns anymore, just his vitals.”
When the buck stepped into an opening at 20 yards, Brian mouthed a sound to stop the deer and before he could finish, he heard an arrow flying. Brian recalls, “When the arrow hit the buck, we were both excited. It was a great quartering away, high-lung shot.”
Colt McComb’s buck scores 139 2/8 inches. Image courtesy of Colt McComb
The buck took off, but then circled back into the woods. They could just see the hind end of the buck where he’d stopped 60 yards away. His back legs started to wobble and Colt said, “He’s going to go down, Dad!”
Colt then noticed how bad they were both shaking. Brian put his hands on his head, not believing what had just transpired. It was about 45 minutes before the end of legal light and they stayed in the stand for a bit to settle down. It was nearly dark when they got down, and that’s when Brian told Colt that they should wait until Steve finished hunting so all three could recover the buck together.
They knew exactly where the deer had fallen, so there wasn't much of a tracking job. When they walked up to him with flashlights, excitement reigned supreme as they grabbed the antlers. That’s when Brian first noticed the “sticker” drop-tine growing from the buck’s right base. Colt pointed out, “I told you he had some kind of sticker.” Brian responded, “I thought I told you not to look at the horns?” Then the family celebration started in earnest.
A bit later a friend of Brian’s helped them rough score the buck’s 8-point main frame and it unofficially grossed 139 2/8” — this was of course without either adding or subtracting the long, curving drop-tine.
Colt had beaten his big brother’s button buck fair and square.
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