By Mark Kenyon
Today’s story from my pal Bobby Polanic is one that I’m particularly excited to share, given that we’re friends from back home, and I’ve been following along with his hunting season via Facebook and random chats over the past few months. Bob had some tough times, but he persevered and was able to close the deal on the last day of bow season in New York. A true testament to perseverance. Congrats Bobby! – MK
“My job requires me to travel for work as I am in the environmental restoration industry. I found out in early September I would be spending my 2012 bow season in Syracuse, NY, not to mention the following two years as well. I was scheduled to work 12 hours a day, everyday, and became worried that I would find myself going insane with all my friends pictures and stories of bucks killed being put up on Facebook while I was stuck working. I immediately switched to night shift in order to free up my daytime hours, began searching for hunting property, and came across a nice 96 acre lease butting up to a golf course. I checked for sign from last year, and didn’t find much but pulled the trigger on it anyway. After a week of trail cams being up, I found a nice 8 point, which I named Bent Brow, and a week later found a beautiful 10 point.
Naturally the 10 point would be placed on the top of the hit list, but I knew it’d be tough to pass on Bent Brow if he came along first. A week into October, a coworker who I have known for a while was begging me to join my lease and I gave in with the agreement that the 10 point was off limits. He understood, and all was well.
He shot a decent six point in late October, which I wasn’t too thrilled about considering he would have been a great buck next year, but at the same time my two biggest bucks were still alive so I couldn’t complain too much.
November 10 will be a day not soon forgotten. I experienced the lowest of lows. My hunting coworker got his hands on another buck tag , didn’t tell me, and shot the ten point that I had been patterning for 2 months. He had broken his G3, therefore he claimed it was a 9 point that was new to this property, at least that was his excuse. Never the less, it violated our agreement. Words cannot explain how crushed I was. Shame on him, but shame on me for trusting him.
It was tough for me to get “back in the saddle” if you will, but after a few days, buck fever was back harder than ever. The clock was ticking, working 80+ hours a week on night shift and spending an additional 20-30 hours a week hunting before or after a 12 hour shift was taking its toll on me as well. I had only seen two small bucks and not many does all season, but there is nothing more motivating than good ol buck fever. It truly is a passion that only fellow hunters can understand.
Last day! November 16 wrapped up bow season out here, and it just so happens that I was able to end on a great note, the highest of highs if you will! It was a dead silent, crispy, 25 degree morning. Around 7:15 I heard what sounded like a freight train coming through the woods 100 yards behind me. I slowly stood up, turned and saw Bent Brow rutting his face off. Nose to the ground, running in circles, gruntin like crazy, and then ran out of my view. Two hits to the grunt tube didn’t stop him, but the doe can made him turn around on a dime. In a matter of seconds he was behind me to my right, nose to the ground, and my heart was beating out of my chest. I drew back, assuming he would circle again and present a shot, instead he walked in a straight line behind me, never offering a shot, I quickly brought my bow back to rest, spun around completely, drew back, and at ten yards away, let one fly! I wasn’t impressed with my shot placement which was further back than I wanted, but after 5 minutes I heard a crash about 150 yards away. My biggest buck to date had taken his final breath! In 6 days I went from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. I also learned to never give up, especially during the rut.” – Bobby Polanic