Season opens, and my trail cameras haven't captured a shooter buck in nearly a month. I decide to take the first doe I see which so happened to come by the afternoon of the first day. The shot was terrible, and I have no idea what happened but I hit the deer midway up the body right in front of the back leg. I waited awhile and went to the impact site to look for blood and nothing. I decided to travel a trail that leads back to a thick bedding area where I figured she was heading, but still no blood. Not even 50 yards down the trail from where I shot her and I heard a deer jump up and take off. I waited a few minutes and headed to where the deer jumped to see if I could mark blood and come back later. I found the bed, and no blood. I decided to take a different trail back to my stand and jumped the deer again, this time I saw that it had antlers... not my doe. I decided to head back and I was planning on giving her the night. I made it a few yards and bam, there laid my doe, dead! Meat in the freezer! With my doe tag filled and the trail cameras showing me nothing, I hunted very little through October. When I did hunt, it was from stands that I could slip in and out of without causing any disturbance. I was hoping around between a few different sections of woods and this season I even took my scent control routine to a new level. I have always had an attitude of "enjoying myself" in the woods and whatever happens is fine with me. My goal this year was to maintain that, but also embrace the idea of a chess match with one of the shooter bucks... and then it happened. October 22nd I captured pictures of a main frame 8 point with a kicker and a droptine working a mock scrape that I had set up by my stand. With pre-rut heating up, it was game on. I spent the next week hunting this area and passing up more bucks that I could imagine. It was strange to me, I would see a buck headed my way and when I caught a glimpse of the antlers I never stood up and never reached for my bow. I have always stood up and grabbed my bow when I saw a buck heading my way, even if I planned on passing it up. Well, after the week had passed and I had no sightings I switched it up and hit a nearby property where I had another mock scrape and camera set up by my hang on stand. The Reconyx showed that the droptine buck was now on this property and visiting the scrape every evening. Jackpot!!! It was a done deal, I was going to set up and shoot this back. Game over..... or so I thought. I played cat and mouse with this buck up until last week. I never laid eyes on him, but the cameras showed me that I didn't have this deer patterned, he had actually patterned me. I have photos of him in front of my stand every evening that I didn't hunt, and when I did hunt the stand I never saw him, but every evening he would visit the scrape 10-20 minutes after I left stand. I needed to change my approach as this pattern wasn't getting me anywhere. Nov. 9th. My vacation finally started and I had the last week of archery season off to hunt my tail off. I decided to go back to the stand where the droptine buck was in the morning. I hadn't hunted the stand much in the mornings, so I gave it a shot to switch things up. That morning saw a few doe and a couple small 6 and 7 points, but no shooters. That afternoon I decided to move to the other property where I had first captured pics of the droptine buck and yet again, more small deer. I pulled the memory card from my camera and when I checked the pictures I got a surprise. That morning, while I was in my other stand, a new buck showed up and he was beautiful. After playing cat and mouse with the droptine buck, now having this buck show up and playing the "I should have been in that stand, why did I chose my other stand" game, my morale was low. I spent Monday and Tuesday hunting the stand in the picture above but the deer sightings were non-existent. Wed evening I decided to switch things up and head to a ladder stand overlooking a cornfield about 85 yards in front of me. That evening started with a parade of doe entering the field followed by a spike and two other 5 or 6 points. Then I spotted him... Droptine. He came out in the north end of the field and worked the doe to the south end of the field and entered into a thicket before I lost sight. I know had a game plan as the field is owned by an anti-hunter, so yesterday evening I moved towards the south end of the field and set up on the edge of the thicket where he had pushed the doe the night before. Around 4:15 the doe showed up and he quickly followed. I was already picturing him on the my wall and planning out the numerous text's that I would soon be sending... but not so fast. He decided to stay in the north end of the field and headed straight to my fiancé who was in the ladder stand. I was beyond pumped waiting for a text or a phone call. Nearly 30 minutes later he showed up in the field and then headed back where he came from. I called Tiffany and she told me that she had him at 25 yards but didn't feel comfortable because there was some brush in the way. I was sad that she didn't get a shot, but very proud that she held out and didn't try to force the issue and attempt a risky shot trying to get her first deer with a bow. This morning, I decided to hunt a stand that really hasn't had any activity at all for the past few weeks. I have no idea why, probably because I was running on less than 4 hours of sleep, I was feeling lazy, and this was the easiest stand to get to. As I am sitting in stand, planning out how I am going to approach my evening hunt and where to set up near the cornfield that Droptine has been running does my phones starts buzzing. My best friend is texting me, he had went to camp to hunt and had slept in this morning. He was telling me that the only reason he woke up was because a grouse flew into the side of the camp and made a loud thud. He was bummed as it was already 7:25 a.m. and he was missing prime treestand time. I sent him a text saying "Dude, I am in a stand I have no faith in, I haven't seen a deer, heard a deer, hell I haven't even seen a bird... kinda sucks". He replied "it can happen in an instant, all it takes is one doe, Goodluck". I replied "Goodluck" to him and stuck my phone in my pocket. 5 minutes pass and I hear crashing coming straight up the steep hill 35 yards to my right. I stood up, grabbed my bow, and turned to see Droptine headed straight towards me. He is at 25 yards and turns and heads away. He is now in brush and I start reaching for my can call as I have to try and get his attention. I don't even get to the call and he turns and walks right into my shooting lane at 18 yards. I draw and as soon as I hit fulldraw he looks up at me. I remind myself to keep calm and focus. I settle the pin and hit the release. The arrow finds it's mark, but the shot was back and a little low. I figured that I had a solid liver show and possibly hit the lungs. I listened as he ran and swore that I heard him crash. I called my buddy and told him what happened, then called my twin sister, my mother, and my fiancé and told them what happened. I headed to my parents house and decided to wait two hours before tracking him. 9:30 and my fiancé is with me and we are on the trail. The blood is good, bright red with a few bubbles and constant. We followed it around 200 yards and I start getting nervous. At this point I am about to back out and give him more time when I noticed something on the trail about 60 yards out. I decide to head there and mark that spot and head out for a few more hours. When I walked to the spot I noticed I saw my buck jump buck up in a thicket and I heard a very loud crack like he ran into a tree and then it went silent. My heart sank, and it was only made worse when I looked down and saw the weird spot I had been walking towards was a large chunk of fat. I saw the buck, and he was definitely hurt bad, so I still had hope but we backed out and decided to give him till 2 p.m. 2:00 came and we headed back to last blood. We followed the dried blood trail into the brush where he jumped up and we searched for his bed but couldn't find it, nor could we find anymore blood. My heart sank again, but I knew the direction he had went so I decided to head up a trail and I noticed what looked like a deer. I pulled up the binos and there he was... 20 yards from where I saw him jump up. I walked up to him and couldn't believe my eyes. My shot was about like I thought, maybe a hair further back than I thought, but that wasn't what amazed me. What amazed me was that the deer had all of his guts hanging out of him. The only thing that I can figure is that when he was running with the arrow in him, it worked its way down and sliced the bottom of his belly open. How he made it as far as he did after the arrow came out (150 yards) is amazing to me, but it get's even more strange. His back leg was broke off. The only thing that I can figure is when I jumped him and I heard a loud snap, it was him stumbling through the deadfalls and he snapped his leg off.