Icing On The Cake

A few seasons ago, I traveled to southeastern Wyoming in late-November to try to accomplish the seemingly impossible feat of taking my third P&Y whitetail in one month.

Previously, I’d spent the first two weeks of November in Illinois enjoying one of those seasons that come along possibly once in a bowhunter’s lifetime. It seemed that everything that I’d done in Illinois had come up roses. In short order, I’d filled both my tags and was on the road to Wyoming.

As I passed through Nebraska I met a winter storm head-on. By the time I crossed from western Nebraska into eastern Wyoming, I was creeping along in a total blizzard. Pulling my truck off the road along the Platte River, I crawled into my camper and slid into my goose down sleeping bag. I remember thinking, “whew, it’s really cold!”

Facing Bitter Cold
The following morning was so bitter that I wasn’t sure if I could make myself crawl out of the sack. Finally relenting, I cranked the engine on my old Ford, barely getting it to cooperate. As soon as the heater warmed things up, I turned the radio on, finding out that the morning low in area had been minus 11 degrees Fahrenheit. Add a stiff north wind, and the wind chill was a dangerous minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Wow, what a change from the week before when I’d enjoyed 30-degree nights and 60-degree days.

Pulling into a Burger King in Torrington, Wyo., I shoveled some biscuits and gravy down the hatch. Noticing a couple of “rancher-looking” fellows at a table near me, I strolled over for a chat. Miraculously, in a few short minutes I had permission to hunt a piece of ground that bordered the Platte River, about five miles west of town. The rancher even offered, “My combine has been broken down and I haven’t gotten one of my cornfields harvested yet. I noticed a bunch of deer in there this morning on my way to town. Have at’em.” I couldn’t believe it! I’d been in the area less than an hour and I already had access to a prime spot! Getting directions to the property, I headed out, pronto.

Too Good To Be True
As I drove onto the property, I immediately noticed deer near the aforementioned cornfield. Grabbing my binoculars, I quickly determined that they were whitetails, one of them being a good buck. This was too good to be true!

Parking behind the ranchers feedlot, I headed down the riverside cover (mainly tamarack) that passed immediately behind the cornfield. Taking a treestand with me, it wasn’t hard to find a good-looking spot. Slapping the stand in a cottonwood tree, I then vacated the area.

Arriving back at my truck, I headed back to town to get a motel room — it was going to be much to cold for me to stay in my shell camper. How about this for laughs? I found a nice room for $18 a night — surely, things weren’t going to continue going this well for much longer, were they?

Rising long before daylight the next morning, I bundled up and headed out toward my hunting area. Parked, I slowly made my way to my treestand. With a bright moon and a snowy landscape, the going was easy, but man, was it cold!

And A Mature Buck Yet!
I’d been sitting quietly for about an hour when I glanced to my left, immediately spotting a mature buck headed my way. I simply could not believe this! Well, as they say, “never look a gift horse in the mouth!”

Here’s the 148-inch gross, 143-inch net 8-pointer the author harvested in Southeastern Wyoming.

Quickly “assuming the position,” I watched the big 8-pointer close the distance between us … and fast. When he was at 25 yards, I slowly drew my bow and settled my sight pin 3 inches behind his shoulder blade, dead-center vertical — in an instant, the shot was off. Center-punched, the big buck never made it out of my sight. I simply sat down (before I fell out of the tree) and took in the reality of the moment. I’d just accomplished my finest whitetail hour … and I knew it!

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