After 4 years of successful hunting with a crossbow, Aleah went into the 2018 season here in Ohio wanting to hunt strictly with her compound.
Just as she had done in her previous 3 years of hunting, Aleah chose one specific mature buck to target. This year that buck would be a mature low 140s 10 point we nicknamed “Meanie”, due to his bully-like personality. Just 2 weeks into bow season Aleah would take a mature doe with her Hoyt Ruckus, her first deer with a compound bow. Now she would turn her attention to Meanie. But trail cams pics just a few days later in mid-October revealed a stud 160″ buck we hadn’t seen since last January. He had added over 30″ from the previous year. Naturally, her focus now switched to this buck, who we nicknamed Hoyt.
Over the next 3 weeks, Aleah had several great encounters with Hoyt but was never able to get a shot at him. Unfortunately, in mid-November, Hoyt was killed by a poacher. Though this put a huge damper on our season, we knew Meanie was still alive and a very respectable deer to hunt. For the next 2 months we played cat and mouse with Meanie but never did have any good encounters with him. 2 weeks ago, we decided to check a ridge top oak and beech flat near home on a property that held a 5.5 or 6.5 yr old main frame 8 pt we called Curve 2.
We had a few years’ history with this buck, including finding his sheds the past 2 years. He was actually my target buck coming into the season, but I had decided not to hunt him until Aleah had gotten her buck. When we checked out the oak flat we discovered a ton of fresh sign including several big rubs. Surprisingly there were still some acorns and beechnuts on the ground which the deer were absolutely hammering. I quickly placed 3 trail cams there and sure enough Curve 2 was on 2 of the cameras the very 1st night. We set up a ground blind this past Sunday and at that point it became a waiting game for the right wind and weather conditions.
Wednesday evening we had a good wind to hunt a different farm that holds a few too many deer. Aleah ended up making a great shot with her Hoyt on a mature doe at 30 yards and she crashed within sight.
Finally, last night the conditions were perfect to go after Curve 2. Soon after we got set up, 2 mature does fed into the oaks. At 5:25 pm, we looked to our left and there was Curve 2, heading up the ridge from the bedding area. After several tense minutes, he fed into a lane between the trees at 28 yards. Aleah drew her Hoyt, calmly settled her pin and let her rip. As soon as the arrow hit, we knew the shot had been true and the celebration began. The trail was easy to follow and Aleah soon would be holding her first archery buck. He was even bigger in person then he looked in pics. We rough scored him at 148″ and he field dressed at 205 lbs, Aleah’s 15th deer and 4th buck in a row here in Ohio to score between 145 and 170″. We are truly thankful, and blessed, to be able to spend the time we do chasing these incredible animals!
From The Staff
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