Beautiful deer. Boy I would have been shaking so bad if that deer was 20 yds away. I still get the shakes when a doe walks into bow range. I guess when I stop getting excited about deer I will stop hunting.
MATT: Thanks for the good wishes. I WAS shaking badly, but after the shot. I practiced so much with my bow this summer that I had a very high level of confidence that I could make a lethal shot. I don't think I could have killed this deer 10 or 15 years ago, when I was less patient and less skilled. I would have made a sudden move or let the arrow clank off the rest, or set up my stand upwind of his scrape.
LEN: Here's the story: Had seen him once before, in velvet, in early August. I intentionally stayed away from the area I knew to be where he bedded during the day. This Thursday, I found where he had shredded a 6" diameter tree, and made 2 scrapes the same day. I set up a treestand 20 yards downwind from the scrapes. On Friday afternoon, I climbed into the stand, and less than 1 minute later, 3 does checked the scrape. 10-15 minutes later, a nice 6 pointer came right to the scrape, and I actually drew on him, preparing to shoot him. Just as I was about to release, the big guy appeared in my left peripheral vision, and I slowly let the bow down. The 6 pointer ran off scared, but the big guy took 10-15 minutes to finally come into the clear near the scrape. As Len knows, I've practiced A LOT this year, so I was fully confident of the 20 yard shot. I waited 10 minutes, and since light was fading fast, I climbed down with some difficulty due to nervous shaking. I checked for blood, of which there was LOTS, and walked 121 paces to my backdoor. Changed into good clothes, and took my wife out to dinner at a nice restaurant. Got up at 7:00AM, tracked him (like Len, I'm colorblind), and found him at 7:50AM. By coincidence, 7:50AM is the same time I shot my first deer 39 years ago. This was my 50th buck of my hunting career.
WYOWHISPER: To answer your question about score, I originally scored him at 175 4/8 gross, 171+ net. Not knowing any better, I counted his 9th and 10th points as G-5's. Subtracting 13 4/8 inches for erroneous G-5's, his correct gross is 162 even and 157 4/8 net. I still am REAL happy with him, regardless of score. I'd change the title of this thread, but don't know how to do that. Maybe when he gets back from Montana, Len Backus can re-title it.