Have You Ever Killed a Buck You Didn't Know Was Around?
|Rack Report Details
|Time of Year:
|September 17, 2016
Like many of us, Lance Frederick spent the spring and summer of 2016 searching for new spots to hunt. When he got permission on what looked like a promising area, he hung a few cameras and began to scout the farm. Lance was excited to see a nice 130-inch 10-point using the area on a regular basis. After repeated camera checks began to show a definite pattern to the buck's movement, Lance hung some stands and waited for opening day.
Lance had hung his stands with the prevailing westerly wind in mind. As opening day, and the day after, and even the day after that, the wind blew in every direction but west. Not wanting to blow his chances at the buck, Lance held out for the proper wind.
The west wind he needed finally arrived a little over a week into season. The buck had been passing the stand around 7 a.m. each morning. Frederick made sure he was in his stand well before daylight that morning so everything could calm down before the buck walked by. The plan almost worked. As the sun rose, Lance saw the buck working in his direction. The deer passed by just at the edge of bow range, but never offered a good shot. Lance didn't want to take a chance on a marginal shot and he watched as the buck walked out of range.
The fickle wind continued to blow in every direction but the one needed to hunt the stand. The next opportunity came four days later, a full two weeks into the Kentucky season. Once again, Frederick slipped in early to get into his stand before the deer began to move. As daylight slowly started to take over the darkness, Lance noticed a deer moving toward him. It was a buck, but not the one he wanted. The young buck passed by and continued on its way. Several does followed.
Lance sat stone still as the does mingled under his stand. He worried that one of the older does would soon get downwind of his location and spook, alerting everything in the vicinity to his presence. Sure enough, after a few minutes, one of the does jerked her head to attention then bolted down the trail. Lance realized that it wasn't him that had spooked the doe. He stared intently down the trail, expecting to see a coyote.
Instead, Frederick saw antlers. The buck that had emerged from the thicket a mere 40 yards away was bigger than anything he had ever seen. It took only seconds for the hunter to realize the buck he was looking at dwarfed the buck he had been after.
He came out all of the sudden, I started to shake all over, I kept thinking there was no way I was going to get a shot at this deer without something going wrong, Frederick said.
The big buck continued to work its way down the trail that would lead it within feet of Frederick.
The does were getting nervous because he was walking toward them, Frederick continued. They moved off the trail and ended up right underneath my stand. The buck was in bow range, but I couldn't move to get into shooting position without spooking one of the does.
All but one of the does finally filtered away from the base of Lance's tree.
The buck was only 20 yards away by then. I hadn't moved a muscle the entire time. I could still hear one of the deer directly under me, but I couldn't see it. I was finally able to get my head turned just enough to see the deer over my right shoulder. All I could feel was relief when I realized it was a button buck under my stand. I felt like I was pretty safe to try to draw on the buck, Frederick said.
By this time, the huge buck had worked its way behind a tree. That was all the opportunity Lance needed to slowly stand and come to full draw. The hunter settled his 20-yard pin behind the deer's shoulder. He released and heard the arrow make solid contact. The shot looked good and the buck crashed down the trail and back into the thicket it had emerged from a few minutes earlier. Lance heard the deer crash, then all was quiet.
I called my dad, but I was so shook up that he couldn't understand a word I was saying, Frederick said. I finally got him to understand and he said he was on his way to help me look.
The pair didn't need to search long. The buck made it less than 50 yards from the spot of the shot before piling up.
The deer ended up with 13 scorable points, with a 187-inch green gross score. I still can't get over it, Frederick said. I never dreamed I would ever get a chance at a buck like this, much less kill one with my bow.
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