By Mark Kenyon
I love sharing success stories from the Wired To Hunt Nation, and today we have a story of a great milestone being reached for Mike Jahns. The killing of a first buck with a bow is an event that is engrained in many of our memories, and I’m sure Mike will hold onto this experience for a long time. Congrats Mike on a great first bow buck and good luck in getting the next one! – MK
“Well the season has finally arrived and it has already been a good one. Over the course of the summer I had gotten pictures of several 150 class bucks and a couple more from 130 to 140. That said, I wasn’t going to wait for one of these bucks to walk by, because I had been bow hunting for four years now and I still hadn’t killed my first bow buck.
Opening night, my plan was to sit in the “money” stand where my uncle had let 140 class bucks go by on opening night the previous two years. For some reason this stand has a lot of early movement. The stand is in between a bedding area and a soybean field, which had a small strip of soybeans that were still green.
I finally arrived at the stand that night at about 4:30 pm, which was later than I wanted. Maybe ten to twenty minutes after I got settled in , I had two does and two fawns coming down the trail I walked in on. They proceeded to come right under my stand and behind me to the watering hole. Meanwhile I had already seen two 1.5 year bucks and one 2.5 year old buck out in the bean field. I already had my bow in hand when the does were underneath me, in case a buck came, so I wouldn’t spook them trying to get ready to shoot. Sure enough here came a nice 3.5 year old 8 pointer down the trail. Not a monster by any means but a nice first bow buck for sure. He looked behind him, I glassed his rack and determined he was big enough. As he made his way to my shooting lane, I looked back to see if there was a bigger buck coming yet. After not seeing anything behind him, I grunted when he stepped into my lane and released. I watched the lighted nock soar over his back. I was depressed, I couldn’t believe I missed. I sat for a couple of minutes in disbelief and then nocked another arrow because it was only 5:30 PM. That was the end of my night and the end of my opening weekend.
I headed back to school early Monday morning, and during the three and a half hour drive and a week of long class, I determined that I made the rookie mistake of dropping my arm instead of bending at my waist.
After my last class on Friday, I booked it to my car to make the 3.5 hour trip home. After getting home and taking a few practice shots I was confident again and heading back out to the money stand. I watched a doe and two fawns for most of the evening when I finally saw a buck I call “Skyscraper” come out 70 yards away. He was not following the trail that they usually come down. He came out at 6:40PM and it was plenty early. I was confident he would make his way towards me before darkness fell. After watching him and glassing him for twenty minutes, I was getting worried he wouldn’t make it over to me. I sat down the whole twenty minutes to keep my nerves calm. Finally he started moving and I stood up with plenty of time before he came to calm my nerves.
He entered my shooting lane at thirty yards. I grunted to stop him, took my time, and released the arrow. I watched the lighted nock enter in right behind the shoulder. I watched him run about a hundred yards when he stopped, I went to pick up my binoculars and by the time I got them up, he was gone. He either fell down, bedded down, or worst case scenario, took off before I could get the binoculars up.
I sat until dark and headed back to the house to tell my uncle the good news. I told him I had probably hit him in the lungs. We got back to the house and had a drink to celebrate and check the weather to see when the rain would pass. It poured for about twenty minutes before it stopped and we headed out. We got out to the spot where I hit him and didn’t find the arrow or any blood. We walked a little bit down the trail he ran to look for blood and finally found some, but it had guts in it. I was astonished, I told my uncle there was no way I hit the stomach. He gave me the option to keep tracking or to back out and wait until the morning. I told him I wanted to back out because I did not want to lose my first buck if he bedded down where I last saw him.
It rained plenty that night, and I got very little sleep. Any sleep that I did get had some sort of bad dream with hunting or not finding the buck. I woke up early and managed to stay in the house until 8:00AM after most of the deer were back in the bedding area. I headed back out to the marsh alone and found the blood we spotted the night before. I tracked for an hour, a little blood every fifteen to twenty feet or so, I was hoping that the buck bled more than that, and the rain just washed most of it away. I nocked my arrow when I got close to the spot I saw the buck last in case he was still bedded down. I found my arrow as I got closer and I kept looking for him, when finally I saw him lying there. I walked up to the buck astonished. The coyotes had found him before I did. I called my uncle and told him the news, I was depressed to find my first buck this way, but excited because I had finally shot my first bow buck, and I did put a good hit on him. The rest of the day I celebrated with my uncle and a couple more family members and friends.”
– Michael Jahns