Wired To Hunt Nation member Nathan Storm put down a heck of a buck earlier this year and it was his first bow buck to boot! So check out the story in his own words below and join me in congratulating Nate on a great start to his bowhunting career! – MK, W2H
“I know its not the midwest or a monster, but its my first whitetail buck with a bow, which was exciting.
Anyways there were a lot of firsts with this buck, I had him show up on my trail camera three weeks before the season, and was hoping he’d still be in velvet come the opener (which didn’t happen), but he did end up being bigger body wise than I saw on the camera which was cool.
The second morning of hunting our farm, which backs up to a small mountain, I sat on the edge of a ridge near where the deer were coming into bed after eating the day before. Unfortunately my entry route bumped some of the deer that were already bedded down, so after about an hour and a half sit I got up and hiked down to meet my dad and my buddy Geff.
We decided we would hike up a draw slowly doing a push through another area deeper into the woods where it backs up to just wilderness, we had seen a good sized 5×5 the day before take off through there when we were about a hundred twenty yards out. We were going to work slowly through and spread out about a hundred yards or so between each other.
About halfway up the hillside, I came to a pile of branches, trying not to make too much noise, I looked down to carefully pick my steps. As soon as I did, a very nice 5×5 in full velvet crossed over the ridge line on the run.
This was the biggest deer I have ever had within shooting distance, while I was hunting, and of course I wasn’t ready, couldn’t get my release clipped on and couldn’t get him stopped.
What I did next has happened a couple times and I don’t know why I do it, however as soon as he crested the hillside to the skidder road, I took off running, as if I’d catch him, lol. It makes no sense when I look back on it, but I’ve done it three times now, once after a cow elk last season, just trying to get in position, and a day later trying to get close to a 5×5 elk when he ran the other direction, and this time. I know I obviously won’t catch them, but I always think if I can see where they head I can get a game plan on where to push through using the wind to my advantage. So far it hasn’t produced, because with the elk by the time I figured out where they went, its on a ridge miles away.
Anyways, as I got to the hill I could hear him crashing down into the next draw, towards where my trail cam pics were from. I stopped and waited for my dad and Geff to get to the top, fortunately my dad had seen the 5×5 when he jumped him out of his bed but also wasn’t ready for a shot, as the brush was about chest high, so I knew the typical “big one that got away” story would be justified.
We decided we would try to play the wind again and split the next draw into thirds and push through in the wind. It’s hard to explain but this area is very open on the top of the ridges, then about halfway down there is thicker brush along some of the skidder roads, then at the bottom it is thick, like back country middle of nowhere thick. So we quickly decided who was going where, and Geff suggested I drop into what we call the swamp area which is at the very bottom, in this extremely thick area of trees.
The week prior a black bear had moved into this area and started ripping up all of the trees. I have no problem with bears, I really want to shoot one with my bow, just not at three yards, which is about the furthest shot you would have in this area, but if this buck went anywhere on the run, he headed there, just like an elk would, I figured.
As I climbed down into the swamp, which isn’t an easy task as its about a 7 foot straight drop and I’m 5’6″, I could hear deer scatter out of the trees, some went up towards my dad, who I was really hoping would get a shot at a deer as this would be the first with his bow, and most likely the biggest deer he had ever taken with anything, the others went further down the draw. I decided I would stick with the plan of keeping the wind in my face and not get excited trying to stay on a noise I heard firther down the draw.
As I came out of the draw I decided to work my way to an area I knew was easier to stalk through if I could see anything up the hill side. I worked quietly along the road and came up to a game trail that I knew was used alot from shed hunting earlier the year and decided I would follow that while working back towards my dad and buddy.
When I stepped off the skidder road a couple does and a smaller 3×3 jumped up and took off over the hill, so not wanting to make the same mistake twice I clipped my release on my d loop and started to take the trail slowly one step at a time, thinking I might see something, the very next step four more deer stood up, one of which was significantly bigger than the others body wise, he disappeared behind two big trees, I could see his chest, but not his rack, this game unit changed to a 4 pt minimum this year, so I had to make sure he was legal.
I was already drawn back and had to let down to step over a log to get a clear shooting lane, but in the process, he took another jump about ten yards up the hill. As he did, I saw a fourth point and could tell his main beams went outside his ears so I knew he was legal and older. I drew back and did my best vocal cord bleat imitation I could, which i’m sure sounded nothing like a doe, but none the less it stopped him broadside up hill from me. I put my pin on his shoulder and let it fly. As I did he realised where the noise came from and turned towards me taking off running all in the same stride, I heard the crack of the arrow, as he took off running. I stood there for a minute and then tried to, as calmly as possible, work my way to where I thought I’d hit him.
I got to the trees he was originally behind and started scanning for blood or my arrow. I couldn’t find anything, so my first thought is a complete miss, but I knew I had hit something, maybe a tree, so then I started to search for my arrow hoping that if I find it, it will have good blood or no blood at all. I searched for about twenty minutes, to the point where I was getting really stressed thinking he is hit, but not a good hit because he turned towards me. I probably hit a shoulder or something and now he is wounded, which is the worst feeling.
I decided to start over, working in a circle from where I thought I hit him, and on the way back I see what looks like blood about forty yards above where I hit him. All of the sudden I felt relief knowing it was a good hit, and I started following the trail. Each step there was more and more blood, at about thirty yards all of the brush is snapped and covered in blood, which wS where i’m guessing he went down the first time, from there I could see his back. I walked over to him to make sure he was dead and thanked God it was a good enough hit to put him down quick.
As we were looking at him we pulled up the trail cam pics on our phones and realised this was the same deer we had a couple weeks prior which was cool and a first for me, I had never shot a buck I had on trail cam. It was also my first buck with a bow and the biggest deer body wise and rack wise that I had ever shot. I know he isn’t a monster, but until I get to hunt my grandpas farm again in Michigan, he’ll be the most meaningful buck I have shot yet.” – Nathan Storm