Today’s W2H reader success story is an extra special one, as Tim Nebel actually put some of the tactics we discussed on The Wired To Hunt Podcast into action, and ended up getting the job done on a great buck! Huge congrats to Tim. Enjoy his story! – MK
By Tim Nebel
The second full week of October had not proven to be very advantageous for a bow hunter in Eastern Ohio. With daily winds out of the South, temperatures had been consistently hovering above the 70 degree mark- a drastic change from what much of the Midwest had seen during this year’s early October cold snap. Threats of rain for the better part of every week had also made it difficult to climb into a favorite tree stand for a damp afternoon sit.
The afternoon of October 15th was calling for a temperature drop of about 15 degrees or so down to the high 50’s, and a 60% chance of rain until the following morning. I had hoped that at least one of these two factors might get a nice buck on his feet prior to daylight slipping by.
My set-up for the night would be on a farm that I’d gained permission, although not exclusive permission, a few years prior. This particular farm usually remains relatively un-touched during archery season, only to be later hit pretty hard during the Ohio gun season. However, I’ve seen some of the biggest bucks of my life on this property in late October into November. I wish I could say that I had a “Hit List” on this particular property, but I did not. The property owner, for whatever reason, does not allow trail cameras on the farm. This makes the situation both frustrating, but also sometimes more interesting. Perhaps the only thing more exciting than getting a picture of a nice buck on trail camera, is not knowing what caliber of bucks you would have on trail camera, had you been permitted to use a trail camera. Make sense? It’s sort of like having wrapped Christmas presents under the tree, and not being allowed to open them. The possibilities are endless.
This would be the first sit of the year on this property, and I intended to use it to gain some precious inventory, given the situation. My set-up was on the edge of an alfalfa field and an oak flat, with some thick bedding below the oak flat. I had high hopes that a nice buck might stage up amongst the dropping acorns below me before making his way out into the field for an alfalfa salad.
At about 6:00 pm, the predicted rains came. After hearing on the last W2H Podcast about Weather and Whitetails about the benefits of holding tight in your tree stand during a rain shower, I decided to stick it out. The rain lasted until about 6:45 pm, with about a half hour of shooting light left. Seconds after the rain had stopped, the woods turned incredibly still- almost uncomfortably still. The rain had dampened the crisp leaves on the forest floor, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to hear any approaching deer. My head was on a swivel.
Over my right shoulder I caught movement out of my peripheral. A great looking 8 pointer was walking the field edge toward my treetop perch. He was a mere 50 yards and closing, not taking his time, but rather walking like he had somewhere to be. He made his way into my shooting lane to the field, and I was able to send a well-placed shot through his vitals at only 15 yards. He expired quickly, about 40 yards past my stand.
I think that there were two main keys to success during this hunt. The first key factor was recognizing that a front was about to move through with some precipitation, which was likely to get some deer on their feet, and even more likely to soak me to the bone. Whether they were to move before the rain, during the rain, or after the rain… I think sometimes you have to be willing to get a little soggy, to give yourself a good opportunity at catching up with the buck you’re after.
The second key to success of this hunt I believe was low pressure. This was the first time this stand had been sat in since it had been hung during a miserable 80 degree day in August. The field edge was not visible from the nearest road, and to my knowledge there were no other bowhunters hunting that part of the farm. Also, since there were no trail cameras allowed on the property, I wasn’t going in every couple weeks to check cameras and bump deer and spread scent around. This was most likely a true blessing in disguise.
– Tim Nebel