I’m more excited than usual to share our W2H success story today, as this big buck tale comes from my great friend Corey Fall. Over the past few years Corey has filmed for Wired To Hunt, and has had some tough hunting seasons here in Michigan and Ohio. After grinding it out for the past three years, he finally pulled an Iowa tag and headed back to his old stomping grounds, where redemption was his. I’m super happy for Corey and proud of his perseverance! – MK
By Corey Fall
It has been three long years since I graduated from Palmer College in Davenport, Iowa and moved back to my home state of Michigan. While living in Iowa for almost four years I met some great people, established lifelong friendships, and was blessed to hunt and harvest two great whitetails. Now, after a long wait, I would be packing my bags, loading my gear and making the seven hour drive to the land of the giants once again!
To say I had high hopes for the 2013 hunting season would be an understatement! Since moving home to Michigan, I had not taken even a single shot at a buck! I suppose that is in part due to the fact that I hunt only mature deer and Michigan is not particularly known for big deer. I couldn’t wait to get back to Iowa.
A good friend of mine who also hunts the same farm in Iowa I’d be hunting had sent me a few trail camera pictures of a big shooter in late August and early September. The first picture I received in August left me speechless. The only good picture was a side view but this deer had at least 11 or 12 inch G2’s and G3’s, main beams that went on forever and what looked like 11 or more scoreable points! His two year old son wanted to name him Spiderman and the name stuck! Then in September he pulled another card out of a different camera and what looked to be the same buck was on the camera again. He seemed to be popping up all over the farm and the pictures were in daylight!
Daylight on October 31st found me headed west with high hopes of bagging Spiderman or one of the other potential shooters on the farm. I had planned a 10 day hunt and looked forward to spending as much time in the tree as possible. Unfortunately there was a huge storm front pushing through which brought an entire day of rain followed by heavy winds. This made the first evening and the following morning sit rather difficult.
The first few days of November were slow with sightings of a few small bucks and several does. On the fourth full day of my hunt I chose to harvest a doe. The landowner asks anyone hunting his farm to harvest an antlerless deer before taking a buck to help balance the population. This is a great practice and I was happy to do so.
November 6th I arose to the sound of heavy rain and a stiff northwest wind. Therefore I decided to go for breakfast and wait until the rain had quit before going to the woods. By 8:30am the rain had all but stopped and as I drove down the gravel road toward the farm I remembered an overlooked area that was surrounded by standing corn with steep ridges on each side, a creek in the bottom and CRP grass along the timber edge. I thought with the recent rain and the wind direction I would be able to sneak in close for a quick look without disturbing too many deer.
I hiked towards this area, and as I rounded the point I wanted to explore I spooked about a dozen turkeys out of the standing corn which made a loud racket. After a short pause I continued on and upon cresting the hill I saw something I will never forget! There before me stood an absolute giant no more than 40 yards away looking back over his left shoulder trying to verify what had spooked those turkeys. Almost as soon as I saw him he took two bounds and was out of sight. Immediately my mind went into overdrive and I started piecing the puzzles together. I quickly turned around and headed to the next ridge to grab a stand and sticks to try and get set up before he returned to inspect his bedding area. I was going to try the famed “Bump and Dump”.
For more details on what a “Bump and Dump” is and how to pull one off, check out this new article on Wired To Hunt —> How To Pull Off The “Bump and Dump” for Monster Bucks
By 10:00 am I had moved one of my stands and found a suitable tree that would allow the Northwest wind that day to blow my scent out over the standing corn providing me with a good shot to the point I suspected he was bedding on. I quickly went to the truck, changed into my gear and sprayed down with scent eliminator before heading back to the stand. I made a quick call to my wife informing her that I had some intel on a big buck and would be sitting daylight until dark until I was able to get a shot at him.
At 11:00 am I was sitting in the new stand location. The rest of the morning and early afternoon was slow. At 2:30 a 4 pt cruised by right under the stand and at 3:00 I had a small 6 pt pass by at 30 yards on a trail I suspected deer may use but had not trimmed branches for. After I lost sight of him I thought to myself; “if that big boy takes that trail I won’t have a shot!” I thought about getting down and trimming a couple branches but didn’t want to spook any deer. Finally, I couldn’t take it and I got down and used my Wicked Tree saw to trim out a small opening to be able to shoot that runway.
With 20 minutes left of shooting light I began hearing a deer in the cornfield behind me. The deer would take a few steps and then stop. It did this for at least five minutes without me being able to lay eyes on it. Then suddenly without warning he was there! The giant I had seen only hours before and dreamed of my whole life.
He was standing 40 yards from me at the edge of the field. What I witnessed next was the true prowess and survival skills only a mature whitetail possesses. He stood in the cover scanning the bedding area for several minutes. He had already circled down wind because had he come in the other direction I would have seen him. Then he scent checked the wind several times and then for a second time, and then finally he took several steps straight toward me. By now I was standing, release clipped on and ready for the moment of truth!
He then turned and began walking straight away from me. My heart sank at that moment because I knew if I tried calling to him it would put him on high alert. Then, at the last second, he turned and dropped down on that trail I had trimmed the branches on earlier. As he stepped into the clearing I drew, aimed and released the arrow. I saw my arrow make contact, but it hit a little further back than I had intended. He immediately bolted only to slow down after 50 yards and slowly walk off.
After the shot I was sick to my stomach thinking I had made a questionable shot on the biggest whitetail I have ever had within bow range. So to play it safe I backed out and left the deer overnight.
In the morning I returned with a good friend to pick up the blood trail. Blood was good at first and we found the first place he bedded down within 10 minutes. The next hour we scoured the hillside finding small drops of blood until finally Cody yelled out, “come on up here and see if we can find him!”
I thought for a second he was trying to lighten the mood but as he pulled out his camera from his pocket I knew he had found my buck!
Unfortunately the coyotes had found him first and had eaten some of the deer’s back haunches but a majority of the meat was salvageable. We spent the next hour admiring this magnificent animal and taking pictures.
He is by far my biggest and will surely be one of my most memorable whitetails ever. After returning home I scored the rack which tallied a gross score of 170 5/8″. I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to hunt and be in the presence of such an amazing animal. – Corey Fall