Part 5 – Giving It Our Best “Shot”
After Travis killed Stickers, our crew was content to face whatever fate lay ahead. I mean, how could any one group of bowhunters hope to enjoy more good luck than it had already experienced? Being the bowhunters that we were, however, you can bet that we were all still hoping for our own good luck, if such was at all possible. Only time would tell — back to reality.
Travis had crossed the finish line, won the gold medal and was basking in the afterglow. Shane was yet to dive in, and Peg and I were treading water. Oh well, at least the remaining contestants knew who was going to finish on top of the pile this season; there would be no more pressure from that direction! Turning our hand to the grindstone, Shane, Peg and I set forth to find out who was going to come in second – even if it was going to be a distant second, at that.
By the third week of November, Peg and I had come to the realization that it was going to take a miracle for either one of us to get a chance at a big-antlered buck. With the rut long since full-bore, we knew that we’d seen about every buck that called our property home – and we were as of yet to see anything that would score over the mid-130’s. Now it wasn’t that such buck wouldn’t thrill Peg, but she simply couldn’t seem to get one of them close. As for me, I had no intention of shooting such an animal because I knew that such a kill wouldn’t “send” me. So we plodded on, hoping every day that that “special moment” might come our way.
On the other hand, Shane was chomping at the bit to simply get afield. With the approach of Thanksgiving week, Shane loaded up and headed out for the previously much-acclaimed “Land Of Stickers.” Problem was, the legend was dead – certainly, the area would never be the same (the previous season, Shane had missed Stickers at 20 yards). Not one to be discouraged, Shane hit the ground running – surely, another big buck inhabited the area?
With a few days of hunting under his belt, Shane had little to relate. Action had been slow, with only young bucks sighted. To top it off, the weather had turned noticeably warmer at Shane’s location, hitting the 70s during the day. To the contrary, Peg and I – about 120 miles north of Shane – were enjoying(?) highs in the 30s! This was adding further insult to injury for Shane, who’d just purchased a set of top-end clothes for cold weather whitetail hunting! Furthermore, having to hunt and camp alone was adding frustration to my friend’s brew. Overall, both hunting parties were having a less than desirable hunting experience at the time. Oh well, sometimes you’ve just got to hang in there!
Up north, Peg and I were freezing our butts off while spending a lot of hours in trees, passing countless young bucks — I’d even passed on a 135-class buck twice. Trying for all we were worth, we simply couldn’t seem to get Peg on even a “nice” buck – I was getting desperate to get her a shot. Finally, her chance came on a late-November evening.
Here’s her tale: “I was sitting there, enjoying the sunny evening and the pleasant temperature when, wham, just like that, he was upon me! Quickly grabbing my Mathews bow as he passed behind some brush, I came to full-draw and prepared for a shot. As he stepped from behind the brush, he stopped at 15 yards, broadside. I’d worked so hard for this moment that I guess I was overcome with excitement — I was shaking like a leaf on a tree. Going through the motions, I placed my sight pin in the right place, and ler’er rip. The arrow and deer were gone in a second. I thought I made a good shot, but when I got down later, I couldn’t find much blood. I marked the spot and came to get you.”
Follow along in Part 6 of this series as we find out if Peg gets here buck, and if Captain Claypool and Shane can “represent” bowhunting studs … or not!