Today’s story comes from Cody Nickson of Citz Boyz Outdoors. His story is true testament to persistence through tough times and it’s certainly a good reminder to us all to keep hunting hard when the going gets tough. Congrats Cody! – MK
“When the year 2011 rolled around I was pretty excited to get back in the tree during the fall. I had found some pretty good sheds during the spring time and never did catch a glimpse of these deer on hoof during the 2011 archery season. Nevertheless I had put some extra time into scouting and putting out mineral sites to catch what deer I would be hunting for the upcoming archery season.
I was bummed out because I couldn’t get anytime off of school, I attend Wright State University and play on the golf team. With golf and school getting in the way of hunting, which was 3 hours north in Summit County Ohio, I was trying my best to focus on the time I would actually have in the tree. After going out opening morning Sept 24 and then managing to put a small Coyote down on Oct. 7 I would have to wait a few weeks before I was able to make the journey back to my home to hunt because golf traveling was the priority at the time.
Finally golf ended right before halloween and the RUT! I was pumped and was able to come back home for the Halloween weekend and finally hunt. October 28th was a crazy day to remember, many other people I saw on facebook had gotten a big buck down on that day, but not me. My cameraman Mike and I started the day with only two small bucks in the morning, then around 11 o’clock a.m. we saw some does work into a large CRP field. I looked around and then said, “OH MY GOSH MIKE, GOOD BUCK IN THE FIELD.”
This big 8 pointer which I had trailcam pics of, named Field Goal for how wide he was, kept working his way towards us. I couldn’t decide if he was a shooter, he would’ve scored 140″ but I couldn’t tell, when he finally got with in the 100 yard range, and finally saw the decoy. Needless to say he came to a yardage of around 49-53 yards and I did not feel comfortable with a few limbs in my way shooting that far. When he slipped away and never gave me a shot, I was heart broken. That was the biggest buck I had ever seen while in the tree stand and he ended up only a few yards out of my comfortable distance. He slipped right out of my life never to be seen again.
Fast forward to the RUT! Oh wait… what rut? This year’s rut was not even visible, I went from November 5 through November 20th without seeing a buck on his feet during daylight hours. The weather was warm here in Ohio which made me believe they may have been rutting during the night. I continued to sit just because you never know what will happen. The day of November 25th, day after Thanksgiving, Mike and I weren’t doing anything so we decided just to come out for the fun of it. It was 60 degrees on the 25th of November! I guess it wasn’t prime conditions for buck movement but oh well. We slipped into a section of the farm where there was standing corn still only 100 yards away from us. When we got there around 2 o’clock and made our way to that section that I have not touched all year, I was surprised to see the farmer was cutting the corn! Finally they were getting it down after the wet fall that we had. We were all set up around 2:30 pm and were just talking when all of a sudden I saw a doe bolt out of the corn and run across the middle of the field. Knowing the farmer may have kicked her up and knowing that the deer still might be with does, I tried a good buck growl sequence, for about 20 seconds. Not two minutes later I look behind the tree and see a good buck coming right at us!
I knew he was a good one by the width of his rack and the way he was walking at us. He had followed the trail which we came in on, and was on a string. When he got to around 12 yards he pretty much stopped right in a shooting window, I gave him a little MURP so he wouldn’t move, and double lunged him. He ran about 40 yards and fell over, I was going crazy. Instantly I looked up into the Heavens and told my Grandpa, that had just past away this June and had taught me everything to know about hunting and being a man, “Papa, that’s for you, I love you.” To go that many days without seeing a deer, and finally seeing a beautiful 3 and half year old buck, I wasn’t going to pass on this opportunity. I was blessed to have my Guardian Angel watching over me that day.”