Ralph Barton replied that he had been hunting.
Of course he had been hunting.
Here’s his story:
“Yes, as mentioned in my earlier blog comment I have been hunting the last two days during this horrendous weather. I had scheduled these days off from work months ago for hunting so I was going no matter what, (OK maybe I am a little bit crazy!). But there is reason behind the craziness….. Historically I can usually see, (and sometimes tag), a decent archery buck during Halloween week so I always make sure I have a couple days free to hunt. That week the bucks always seem to move a lot…. I guess in anticipation of the soon to come breeding season.
I will admit these have been two absolutely miserable days to be in a tree stand but sometimes you just have to take what you get and adjust as needed. In this case my adjustment was that I moved a stand into a deep hollow where there was some wind protection. It also turned out to be a pretty lucky move since a bunch of new rubs and scrapes had shown up in the area! As I sat there I just kept looking at those rubs making them my focal point to help maintain a level of confidence.
Monday I hunted all day, and late in the evening I saw a buck but he was very jittery and nervous and never offered a shot. But just seeing a deer in that wind gave me renewed confidence in the stand location.
Tuesday morning I was back….. and questioning my sanity….. I was being pelted with sideways rain and sleet and the wind was ferocious. Fortunately that discomfort only lasted a while! Shortly after daylight I saw movement up ahead in the pines…. a small group of turkeys heading my way!!! I thought to myself “I’ll never get a shot…. they will see me draw my bow”….. But God smiled down and said “I’m gonna let you have this one”…. they fed into range and I was blessed with an 18 yard shot.
The turkey flopped around a bit then laid still. After that I was rejuvenated with confidence and the biting wind and sleet didn’t seem all that bad. I settled in with new hope and my intentions were to wait it out till a deer showed up. Again God sent down his blessings and I didn’t have to wait long! 1/2 hour after the turkeys came by I caught a movement to my left and there was a deer coming down the hollow ! A Buck !
I slowly stood and turned towards him hoping that he would present a shot. He got in behind a clump of small trees at 20 yards but there was no way I could not get an arrow through there. Even though it was only a few minutes it seemed like hours as he stood obscured in the cover….. I kept thinking “he’s never going to step into the open”. But finally it happened….. he took a few steps and his rib cage was exposed at a sharp quartering away angle. Again I was blessed and the arrow found it’s mark.
Now I realize that this is not a big buck to most hunters….. and maybe one that a lot of guys would pass up. But this brings me again to the fact that sometimes the true “trophy value” of a any animal we harvest can be more about the hunt itself than the size of the rack. And this of course is a completely personal thing based on any hunters goals and expectations.
For me this was a challenging couple days in the field and just being able to SEE some game made this hunt very special. Sometimes the true measure of success is tied to the adversity that comes with the endeavor. No matter the size of the animals I was overjoyed and thankful to take a turkey and a deer with a bow on the same day ….. something I had never done. ”
Well said, Ralph, and congrats on toughing it and tagging a great buck and great turkey!