It's been a couple of years since I killed a buck with the bow. Everything came together in a great hunt on Veterans Day.
I got up at 3:15 a.m. to shower, grab a bite, load the truck, and make the hour and 15 minute drive to the farm (other wise known as Paradise Acres). We had a ESE wind that morning, and I really only have one stand that will work for that so that's where I headed. It's about 18' up in an oak tree half way up a ridge side. The ridge isn't super steep, but more of a gradual rise.I was settled in by 5:30, about 35 minutes before shooting light. It was my first sit in that stand for the season, so wasn't sure what the day might bring. About 6:30 I had two does come from the bedding area to the south of me, but they turned and headed west with out offering me a shot. I hung my bow back up and sat back down. A little after 7 I hear foot steps right in front of me and a giant doe steps out of a thicket at 20 yards. The briars and deadfall are so thick in this one section I had no idea where she came from. She veered to my left up the ridge from me. At 30 yards she she was eye level with me since she was up on the ridge. My freezer is low on meat so figured I would take her if I got a shot. I drew back and needed one step to whack her, but never got it. She just froze in that spot. After holding my bow at full draw for a couple of minutes I had to let down. As she is standing there I notice she starts looking behind her in the same direction that she came from. Through all the thick mess in front of me I see tines moving. As soon as I caught his right side I knew he was a shooter. Instead of following the path of doe he circled around and veered off to the trail on my right. I slowly turn that way hoping the doe doesn't bust me, and thankfully she didn't. As his head went behind a couple of small trees I drew back. He stopped for a split second quartering to me at about 12 yards and I squeezed the release. He mule kicked and ran directly under my tree. The arrow spit out about 4 feet from my tree. I watched him run full speed for about 70 yards before he was over a ridge and out of view. The shot felt good and looked like good, but when you don't see them go down you just never know. I sat down, said a little prayer, and tried to calm back down. I gave him about an hour and a half and got down to check the blood. The blood looked good with a lot of bubbles, but the trail was a little spotty. I was finding a bunch of small drops with a big spot every 10 yards or so. I found blood where he went down the ridge out of my sight, and he tried to make it up the other side but couldn't I guess. I never found a spot where he bedded down, so figured he was dead somewhere. At this point the blood trail is getting pretty light, so I just took a a few steps down the ravine and there he laid. He ended up going about 150 yards. The shot was pretty good considering the steepness of where he was in relation to the stand. The Slick Trick went in high right behind the shoulder on his right side, and came out in front of the back leg on his left side. Took out his right lung, liver, and exited through the guts, which had the exit hole plugged up making the blood trail a little sparse. He's not my biggest, but definitely a very solid Illinois buck. I was more than happy to stick a tag on him and bring him home for the kids to see. He's a main frame 8 with a little kicker on his right side and an inside spread right at 20 1/2".