Got my first archery buck this year. I scouted some backpack-in areas in early august and found a good area that held at least a few bucks (more than we were seeing anywhere else). We hiked in the day before opener, planning to go about 5 miles. As luck would have it, about a mile and a half from where we started, at around 430 in the afternoon, I spotted this big guy is standing in the middle of a meadow. Needless to say we changed our plans and set up camp nearby. Opening morning I started before first light back towards where I saw the buck. About a half hour before light, about 10 shining pairs or eyes stopped me in my tracks. I was close enough to the herd of deer to distinguish at least two nice bucks in the group, even though it was still dark. They spooked, so I just sat and waited for first light. At shooting time I slipped out of my boots and began still hunting down the trail. A few minutes later, my buck winded me and bolted across the trail 40 yards in front of me. Just when I thought I'd never see that gorgeous velvet rack again, I watched as he ran into a big meadow, stopped, and started feeding again! This was the first stroke of luck for me that day. When I was satisfied that he was calm, I began my stalk. There were a few lines of willows scattered throughout the meadow, which I used to slip within about 60 yards of him. Although I felt confident making a 70 yard shot on targets, my raging case of buck fever kept me from attempting (and certainly missing) the shot. I stood motionless, ankle-deep in freezing cold mud, for about 20 minutes until I formulated a plan. My buck fed behind a 30-yard long stand of willows, giving me the opportunity to close the distance. I stalked up the stand of willows, hoping that he would feed out right in front of me. Again, luck was on my side as the wind stayed true and he fed out 30 yards in front of me, completely unaware of my presence. I was ready to draw, but the grass in the meadow was so high it covered his vitals! I sat frozen in ready position, waiting for him to move a little and expose his vitals. 15 minutes later, I saw my opportunity. While his head was down in the grass taking his last bite of food, I silently came to full draw. Everything felt perfect-this was what I'd been dreaming of all year! I let out half a breath and squeezed off my shot-at the same instant he decided to take a big step! My heart sank into my stomach when I saw him jumping in circles with an arrow sticking out of his rump. I nocked another arrow but by this time he had seen me and took off running across the meadow. Again, I thought I'd never see that tall rack again. Imagine my surprise when he stopped, looked over his shoulder, and bedded down in the meadow! I couldn't believe it. I started another stalk over to where I saw him go down, hoping to put another arrow in him. When I saw tines poking out of the grass, I got ready to finish him. But I didn't need to-the luckiest part of the whole hunt was me hitting him in the femoral artery! I celebrated my luck, and found my buddies to help me hang him up for boning out. They both ended up missing 3 shots on 3 different bucks over the next few days! one of my buddies actually shot a small forkie in the same area during rifle season. The worst part of the whole thing......my deer season was over only an hour after it started
Cant wait until next year!