It was cloudy and overcast on November 3rd when these bucks came to a bow fight with antlers. My hunting partner Travis Wolfe and I had hunted this property in Indiana on two previous occasions and saw a couple young bucks chasing does but we knew there were big bucks here.
Jury duty ruined my morning hunt so around 2 p.m. that afternoon, Travis and I headed to a steep ridge over a creek that offered an overgrown field to the west, an uncut cornfield to the north, a cow pasture at the top of the ridge to the east, and nothing but miles of ridgeline to the south.
We got canopy high in a poplar tree and settled in by 3:30 p.m. Three years ago my friends and I started taping our hunts; we aren't professionals but we have a lot of fun and on this hunt I was here to film Travis but I brought my bow just in case there were a few does to bust.
At 3:45 p.m. Travis conducted a really aggressive buck-roar/rattling sequence that must have worked well as within 12 minutes we had two really nice bucks come from the overgrown field across the creek about 75 yards below.
I didn't see the second buck well as I was taping the first, who was a nice mainframe 8 point with junk around his bases. Travis was going to shoot the second buck as he thought it was bigger, but when they started to go west down the ridge the first buck presented a perfect 22 yard chip-shot and Travis let an arrow fly that hit a little high.
I handed Travis another arrow as the bruiser tried to crawl back down towards the creek but Travis' second arrow found the heart.
Fist pumping and high fives filled our set as nothing on earth compares to arrowing a trophy buck. Travis started to do his post shot interview about the buck he'd just taken when I saw movement behind a tree over his shoulder.
Our Nikon binoculars went up and there was the other buck standing only 58 yards away! We couldn't believe it even after all the hoot'n, holler'n and high fives that had just occurred.
Now my adrenaline was haywire. I handed Travis the camera and nocked an arrow as Travis grunted and snort wheezed at the bigger buck that was standing behind another small beach tree facing back down the hill where the first buck lay.
"This might be a booner " said Travis.
Don't let this one get away was all I could think of.
After 18 minutes of him standing like a statue my nerves were shot, but right then he started back our way. Travis had the range finder in one hand (camera in the other) and was calling ranges.
"42 yards Doug," shared Travis.
I saw shoulder and let an arrow fly.
My arrow glanced off a beach branch and deflected 10 feet over his back. Getting another arrow nocked, the big buck stepped 5 yards closer.
"35 yards Doug."
I let another arrow fly and it hit high lung with a thwack that only allowed slight relief from the thought that he was going to get away.
I shot again and another clean miss, but he was now five yards closer and I could see my second arrow sticking out of the top of his ribcage screaming: YOU'RE GOING TO FOLLOW BLOOD ALL NIGHT AND NOT FIND ME.
"25...Doug shoot him again."
My fourth arrow found liver and would have killed him but as long as he was still standing and I had arrows I was shooting.
I sent the fifth arrow through his heart at 25 yards.
That's right - I shot 5 arrows at a four-and-half year old free-range whitetail. I missed the first and third shots and he came closer every time. A testament to the ultra quiet Matthew's Z7, the wind being in our favor, being 30 feet high, and the right day for a fight I guess.
So after almost falling out of the stand and burning up the phone we got down and looked at the 317 inches of North American Whitetail antlers we'd just put on the ground.
Travis' buck featured 12 points and grossed 144 & 6/8 inches. My buck had a split G2 on the left side that made it an 11 pointer. All of the G2s and G3s were over 11 inches and it grossed 173 & 3/8 inches and netted 165 & 2/8 inches which qualified for all three books: Boone & Crocket, Pope & Young, and the Indiana Record Book.
Editor's Note: If you'd like to see video of this hunt, please click HERE
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