Today’s Wired To Hunt reader success story comes from Mike Hugill, who enjoyed a picture perfect November rut hunt this past year, full of frantic does, chasing bucks and a giant whitetail at the end of a blood trail. Please join me in congratulating Mike on a great hunt! – MK
By Mike Hugill
“It was November 5th and I got in my stand in the dark and waited. First light arrived and on the edge of the woods and corn field I saw what looked like a doe or small buck walking the edge. It got behind me and hung around for a little while, and I finally see it’s a doe. She walked off down the hill and was gone. I thought to myself it would be awesome if a big buck would chase her back this way and then a couple minutes later I heard crashing, I turned and looked and here she comes with a fork on her tail. They run by out of sight, but ten minutes later I heard more crunching, and I turn and look and here comes a bigger fork on their trail. It was great. Now it’s 8:00 AM and I was still scanning the woods. I looked behind me to the right and I see a shooter sniffing where the doe was hanging out.
I stood up, got turned around and grabbed my bow. He was at 44 yards, but I wasn’t confident on my shots past 40. He began sniffing and then turned around and walked away headed down the hill. So I grabbed my grunt call and bleat can and gave him a grunt. No response, so I bleated and grunted again, and he stops and turns his head to look in my direction. My heart was racing, but he turned back and continued down the hill. I stayed turned around watching for him to come back for 15 minutes, but nothing.
About 10 more minutes go by and I heard crashing again behind me, to the left now. I whipped my head around and here he comes at full sprint, leaping over downed tree tops, mouth wide open. I grabbed my bow as fast as I could. As I turned, I hook my release on, he gets to my tree and stops at 13 yards. I drew back and shot.
From the time I heard the crashing to the time I shot was maybe 5-10 seconds. I saw the arrow hit and he jumped, kicked and then starts walking like nothing happened. I could see his hide distorted behind his shoulder and when he got to 50 yards away, he just stood there like a statue for five minutes. I saw him wobble side to side, walk away and then bed down about 75 yards away.
I waited an hour and then got down to look for my arrow. When I found it, I saw eight inches of it were missing, but there was blood another foot up the shaft. I looked over to where he laid down and I could see him walking again. I backed out and thinking back to last year when I lost a deer, I was getting really worried.
Eventually my uncles, myself and a few neighbors got together and began the track job. We tracked and tracked, eventually lost blood and then began just checking everywhere a hurt deer might go. After nearly giving up, we decided to check a few more water sources and as I headed down towards a spring, I walked past some tall grasses and I saw horns! I jumped over the spring and grabbed him, yelling that here he was. I was so happy to find him.”
– Mike Hugill