Today’s Wired To Hunt reader success story comes from Brent Rich who killed his first buck this year and got an especially exciting story to go along with it! Today we’re lucky that he’s chosen to share it with us. Enjoy, and join me in giving Brent a big congrats! – MK

By Brent Rich

A little about me before my success story:  I’m a 32 year old husband, father of two boys,  soldier in the Iowa Army National Guard and work full time.  So you can imagine how hard it is to get into the timber.  I am from Mt. Pleasant Iowa (home of W2H Podcast co-host DFW!) and have been bow hunting for seven years now, minus one year in Afghanistan.  I am lucky enough to have great property to hunt, that I gained from knocking on doors and using my group of local friends. But I didn’t shoot my first buck until this year. I have passed more big deer than I care to mention, chasing the buck of a lifetime, but this year I told myself that I would shoot the first mature buck that comes by. By doing that, I was able to experience the excitement of both my boys helping daddy hang his “big buck”,  as well as the excitement of friends that have helped me over the years learn this sport of bowhunting. Now, to the hunt …

November Project Day 3:

I got out to my stand very very early on the morning of November 6th.  I had hunted this piece of property the night before and knew that today was going to be a great day! I had a perfect wind for my stand location, overlooking a small CRP finger and a creek bottom. The temp was about 45 or so and rising.

Just after day break I had my first encounter of many throughout the day. It was a two year old chasing a doe. A couple hours later I looked up into the CRP and saw my #2 buck standing about 75 yards away. As he approached my trail I thought for sure he was going to pick up my drag rag scent and come right in, but to my surprise he didn’t and continued on his way. Then it hit me I had left my drag rag on my tail gate! No harm no foul!

I changed stand locations around 11:30 A.M to a creek bottom with well traveled ridges on both sides. I wasn’t even in my stand yet when the 3rd buck of the day came into range. He was a one sided three year old and it was neat to see him, but would of been better if I wasn’t half way up my ladder stand! Around 1:30 P.M I hit the horns for a quick rattling session and within minutes I had a great four year old with good potential come in, but I chose to pass him.

Then I saw him, the big 8 that I wanted! He came from nowhere and was 28 yards away or so I thought. I drew back on what would be one of the biggest deer I had ever seen on the hoof and whiff… missed him! I was devastated.

After two more hours of licking my wounds and taking a swig of my three day old two liter of Mt Dew, I could smell the distinct smell of a rutty buck. Without looking around I said a quick prayer that went something like “please lord don’t let this two liter be the reason I don’t get a shot off.”  I was able to get the pop sat down on my stand, get situated, range the buck and then sat and waited. Once he came into 30 yards (I triple ranged him this time), the arrow was off and SMACK. Perfect shot placement.

This is when things get awesome. As soon as I shot him, he took off down the trail, and then I heard what I thought to be two bucks fighting. That’s when I realized that the buck I just shot ran head first into an eight year old deer I call Curly.  The impact sent my buck to the ground and Curly gave him a look like “WTF?” and then continued on about his way. What I also didn’t know was that the sound of the crash attracted numerous other deer. Within ten mins of shooting my buck, I had seven other deer within 50 yards or so.

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I feel that my key to success was my focus and determination. What I mean by this is that I did what it took throughout the entire year to be successful on this day. First and foremost I kept momma happy and when it came time to put work in, I didn’t cut corners. I used the knowledge that my cameras told me, put stands in the right locations, practiced scent control not only in the field but at home as well and I chose my hunting days wisely. Usually I cant wait to get into the woods and hunt, but this year I hunted Oct 2nd to harvest a doe to put meet in the freezer,  and then stayed clear until I knew the rut was on. This allowed me to not only raise my chances of harvesting a mature deer but also not burn vacation time and allow me to spend more time at home with the family. Also this year I was able to have both my sons with me while doing the work that it takes to better your chances! This allowed me to teach them stuff that it took me years to learn.

– Brent Rich