A few years ago, I traveled to southeastern Wyoming to bowhunt whitetails along the Platte River. It was mid-November upon my arrival, the rut was in full swing and I had my work cut out for me.
I’d never been to the area before and I knew that getting permission to hunt would be priority No. 1. Tackling the task at hand, I went to the nearby county seat and acquired maps and a land ownership booklet for the area. Heading for the river, I began to look for good habitat and its landowners.
Watching an area from a distance before moving in to hunt can save a lot of unnecessary “messing up.”
The following morning I waited until daylight to get back out to my area to do some more scouting and stand erection. The wind chill was minus 45 degrees Fahrenheit. They say that, “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” so covering all body parts well, I gathered up a couple of stands and steps, and off I went. Two hours later, with two stands up in excellent locations, I stumbled back to the truck, and to town for a hot lunch!
The evening of my third day began my first concerted hunting efforts. Action was quick and plentiful. On my third morning on stand, I missed a hurried shot at a buck that I would come to know well. Over the next week, I hunted for him studiously. Not a monster, but a very respectable 8-pointer, the buck was one I knew I’d be proud of. I saw him almost daily and though he never came within bow range again, I was learning his habits very well. It seemed that one particular spot, which was about 100 yards away from my location, was a place that he liked to pass through regularly. Making note, I planned to be there soon.
This is the buck the author harvested in the article … it was a 4×4 that grossed 148 inches.
Slips Into Spot In Darkness
Under the cover of darkness the following morning, Badlands pack on my back and treestand in my hand, I slipped into the spot. Slowly and quietly, I hung the stand and climbed aboard. Daylight was a long ways off, yet with the light of the stars and the snow cover below, I soon made out deer passing nearby. It didn’t seem that anything was smelling me — things looked good.
Shortly after firstlight, like a dream, the big 8-pointer was headed my way. Taking deep breaths and preparing to make the most of a hard earned and well-executed hunt, I slowly began to draw my bow, watching the Rocky Mountain broadhead as it approached the prongs of my Bodoodle rest. In a second, the shot was over — perfect. The buck covered only 60 yards before piling up. Kneeling over the trophy, I soaked up the rush of the moment!
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Eddie Claypool provides tips on bowhunting, with an emphasis on whitetails. Over the past 20 years, Eddie has harvested 50-plus Pope & Young animals. Most of these animals were taken on public ground, though some came from private ground that was accessed through hard work & a handshake. He has not been on guided hunts, nor has he hunted on “managed” properties. Elk, Mule Deer, Antelope & Whitetails are his favorite species.