Hunting Stories

FIRST BUCK WITH A BOW 

Dear Bighorn Outdoors Staff,

My name is Lewis Kieffer I'm 14 years old and live in Illinois. This year I was bow hunting about 3 fields away from my house. It was November the 11,2005. I was out of school for Veterans Day and decided to go and try to get a big buck because I had already filled the freezer with 2 does earlier in the season. I went out that morning to a little strip of woods with weed fields on both sides of it. I saw about 15 deer. They were all either young bucks or does. At about 8:00 a nice 8 point walked right under my tree. His g2 on his left side was broken so I passed on him; I was looking for a Pope and Young buck. I decided to go home for some lunch and and come back out in the afternoon.

This time I went to a fence row where my uncle said he saw 2 big bucks bed down that morning. I wasn't up in my stand for 45 minutes when I looked to my left and saw a huge 10 point walking a trail that would lead him 8 yards in front of me. I drew my bow when his head was behind a tree. When he was perfectly broadside, I let him have it. It was all in slow motion. I saw my arrow in the air then I saw it hit the buck. I hit him a little forward and got his shoulder blade but my muzzy busted it. He ran about 75 yards and went down. I got out and started to track him. When I broke over the hill and saw him, I almost fell down. This was the biggest buck I had ever shot at and I got him! I ran over to him and counted his points. He was a main frame 10 with a kicker making him an 11pt. I then called my dad who was asleep because he works nights, but he was glad to get up and help me get this big boy out. When he saw it he was amazed. We took a lot of pictures then gutted and dragged him out. We showed every one we knew. We weighed him he was 220 pounds field dressed. I will never forget that day. It was the day I got my first buck with a bow. And yes we are getting him mounted!!

Your loyal viewer,
Lewis Kieffer
  


GOD SMILED ON ME TODAY
  


13 Point, 22 inch wide, 175 lbs.
Killed in Weakley County, Tennessee, 
50 Caliber muzzleloader
Boone & Crockett

It was a hot November day in west Tennessee. Not a day that you would think much about deer hunting. The mosquitoes were out and it was about 80 degrees on a bright sunny day. I had two hours before my 13 year old daughters basketball game and I was itching to go deer hunting. Most people hunt for food here and with all the hunting pressure, a deer rarely lives past his second birthday. Finding a Boone & Crockett trophy deer in Weakley County is like finding a needle in a haystack. As I waited for my daughter to get home so we could shoot some free throws before the big game tonight, I couldn't help but think about deer hunting. My daughter arrived home after what she called a hard day and said she just wanted to just rest this afternoon and for me to go on an go deer hunting.

I had joined a deer hunting club this year with some of my buddies and this would be my first time to hunt this new property. I went by and picked up my son's muzzleloader and got my mosquito spray and off I went as it was only ten minutes from the house. I thought this could be as much of a scouting trip as a hunting trip since I knew nothing about the farm I was about to hunt. I am a handicap hunter and if it wasn't for my trusty Honda 4 wheeler getting me to and from the field I would have had to give up hunting twenty five years ago when I had a massive stroke. I was very blessed that over time I have regained almost everything except the use of my legs and I can get around with the use of a cane. But through the help of my family and friends and the grace of God I haven't missed a beat in my love for hunting and fishing. 

   
As I got to the field, I grabbed my muzzleloader, my fanny pack, my doe in estrous scent, and my grunt call. It was 4:00 pm and I had an hour and a half to hunt. I always carry a drag rag doused with doe in rut scent behind my 4 wheeler to help cover my scent and also to attract bucks. I could see a nice big tree stand of one of my friends from the road that I thought might be a good spot as it was overlooking a bean field in the river bottom. I rode my 4 wheeler dragging my drag rag along the edge of the bean field and parked in the bushes behind the deer stand. I tried my best to get up in the stand but it just wasn't going to happen as I almost fell out trying to get situated. So I climbed down and fixed me a comfortable spot under the deer stand and leaned my muzzleloader against the first step of the ladder. 

As I peered through the ladder I could see the cars and trucks going by quite often down the highway. The thought ran through my mind that I'm just wasting my time but I told myself let's just enjoy being out in the woods and sit here until dark. I've always thought the best way to deer hunt was just to be quite and sit still and let the deer come to you. An hour went by and all I'd seen were two squirrels. 

With no deer activity, I decided it couldn't hurt anything to try my old grunt call. I could still smell the scent of doe in estrous scent on my fingertips from earlier while putting it on my drag rag. I'm not a professional grunter by any means but I grunted a few short grunts. What happened next left me is disbelief as in my 40 years of hunting I've never seen anything like it. This monster buck bolted from a thicket looking for a fight or at least to protect his territory and he was heading right at me across the open bean field in full view. It happened so quick that when the buck stopped he was at 75 yards but I hadn't even had time to even get my gun ready. I have a scope on my muzzleloader but it didn't take any kind of optics to tell this boy was a shooter. I managed to get my gun up and get my sights on him but he started walking again looking for the other buck. His hair was all bristled and his ears laid back as though he was ready to fight. When he stopped at 60 yards I pulled the trigger and I couldn't see a thing for a couple seconds. When the smoke cleared all I could see was antlers, big antlers like I've never seen before.  I waited 10 minutes to be sure he wasn't going to run off and that was the longest 10 minutes of my life. 

At 5:10 I got on my 4 wheeler and rode up to him he had 13 points and some of the longest points that I've ever seen. He had mule deer forks on both sides and drop tines on both sides. The deer had a 22 inch spread and weighed 175 pounds. It was the nicest deer that I've ever seen in my lifetime. I've never been a big believer in using a grunt call but after this hunt I will never be caught without it ever again. There's no doubt the combination of my deer scent and a grunt call did the trick on this old buck. Looking back on my deer hunt now a week later I almost didn't even go deer hunting on that lucky day. Had my daughter wanted to shoot basketball, I would never have gone deer hunting. Also I had those thoughts: "its just to hot" and "the deer wont be moving." Then, after I did go hunting, I almost talked myself into leaving early. So the bottom line is if you get a chance to go deer hunting you better go. You never know what's going to happen. I have hunted for 40 years and spent thousands of hours in the field but you just never know when its going to happen. Its kind of like that old saying: "A bad day of hunting is still better than a good day at work." Just when I think life can't get any better, God lets something else unbelievable happen to me. Thank you God. -- Larry Porter

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
   


A TARPON FOR A BUCK

It all started when three of Bighorn Outdoors pro staff, Todd Dittoe, Tammy King, and I decided to go Tarpon fishing off the beaches of Sarasota Florida. It was early July--the time of year when pod's of the silver king's can be observed cruising barely a hundred yards from the white sandy shoreline. In preparation for this salt-water adventure, we contacted several Marine Biologist, a few local sporting good's stores/bait shop's, and one very helpful Charter Captain--Jason Ramsey with www.fishtheflats.com.

His website was the most informative salt-water fishing site that I had ever seen. It told us what bait & tackle to use, when and where to look for our quarry, and even a phone number to call for self-guided angler's needing help.

I called and introduced myself to Capt. Jason--a charter captain willing to share his knowledge of the sport and even his fishing spot's. He said "give me a call when you get to town and I'll show you how to do it." 

  
When we arrived at Anna Marie Island, we called Mr. Jason and made plans to meet about a hundred yards off of Bradenton Beach the next morning. Even though he had paying fishermen on board, he still took the time to give us a couple dozen threadfins and said: "stick close, they'll be along anytime". It was a perfect calm morning with a slight breeze out of the east--exactly what we needed for sight fishing these Tarpon. The first pod came through about 9;30 am. We made sabout four cast at them before they went deep and disappeared. A half hour later we seen Capt. Jason set the hook and jump a 150 pound giant. He handed the rod to one of his client's and begin following the acrobatic fish. "Wow that could of been us", Todd said. They never landed the giant, he through the hook after 8 jump's. We quickly realized that our heavy action Quantum rod's with 20 pound line wasn't going to cut it. And when the wind picked up we knew the same thing about our 17 foot Astroglass bass boat.

Later that night, I called Capt. Jason to thank him again for his tip's and the bait. He told us the wind would be out of the west for the rest of the week and Tarpon would be invisible. He said he didn't have a charter planned for the fourth of July but, he was still going fishing and we could join him if we liked. Wow! A free fishing trip with a pro (yeah we'd like that). He was tired of chasing Tarpon so, we went after Bonita and Jew Fish offshore. We didn't hook up on a Tarpon that week but we made a good friend, that was willing to show some Ohio folk's a good time in the Sunshine state. A friend that had never harvested a Whitetail buck, but did a lot of management on near by Orange groves and farms. He helped keep doe's and wild hog's under control with his seven mil. magnum.

I asked if his fishing season slowed down in November, and invited him to come see what the Ohio rut and archery hunting was all about. He showed up with a new Alpine bow that had never been shot. I set it up with a peep sight, kisser button, string loop, sight's, and a quick tune rest. Everything I could think of to help a beginning archer. He was shooting a baseball size group at thirty yard's in thirty minute's. He caught on quicker than anyone I'd ever seen!

We hit the stand's that evening and experienced awesome deer movement. The rut was kicking in and the buck's were cruising. A 130 inch ten pointer came to sixty yards and stopped in a cut bean field, then faded away as the sun set. The next evening, we met Todd Dittoe at his honey hole and hung two stands back to back. I was on one side with my Sony and Capt. Jason was on the other with his Alpine. After watching two small bucks running does that were not ready to be bread, Jason said "if they come over here I'm gonna wreck-um". At 4:00 pm a bruiser approached from the far end of the tall weed field. I tickled the rattle bag and got his attention. When he was directly up wind of us, he turned away and scent checked some doe's in the second field. Twenty minute's later he began thrashing a sapling on the other side of a fence line dividing the two field's. The light was beginning to fade and so was his chances of a shot. We had one last resort, I slammed the rattle bag against the tree, raked it a few times and through it through the woods. Finally a response other than an ear twitch. The big buck jumped the fence and began heading right for us. We had plenty of time to rehearse when Jason should draw and when he should shoot. The 174 inch ten pointer stopped at twelve yard's with a maple limb obstructing his entire body. With Jason at full-draw the buck stomped one time. I remember thinking at least he got to draw on a big buck. When all of a sudden he did the last thing I expected him to do, he kept on coming. Jason sent his Easton shaft tipped with a Stilleto broadhead between the deer's shoulder and into his heart. As Jason laughed on video, we could hear the trophy whitetail make his last move. Since this hunt, I've been hog hunting with Jason, and he's been back up here with some young bow hunters. The next time your in a sporting goods store, or on a vacation, take the time to strike up a conversation with someone. You just never know what might come of it. -- Tom King


    
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