The ride continues. Buck #2 is down in the form of Playboy.

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Scott/IL, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Scott/IL

    Scott/IL Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Fresh on the heels of shooting a buck I was after on Halloween night, I hit a stretch at work where I just couldn’t get off. Yesterday though, November 7th, that changed as I embarked on what would be me spending the majority of November perched in a tree.

    But first let me rewind back to September. I returned home from my Idaho mule deer hunt and had one day off before going back to work and then leaving again for an Idaho elk hunt. My trail cameras had been soaking since early August and I ran out for a quick pull of the cards. Most all of the results were nothing to write home about, but two bucks had definitely caught my attention. The first was the wide 9 that I killed on Halloween, the 2nd being a buck that I believed to be the same that I had passed 4 times last year after already having filled 1 buck tag in early November. In recent years, after my dad killed a buck I had named Cecil, he has taken a real affinity to giving special bucks nicknames. So Playboy was tagged, but I figured he would be like so many of the other velvet monarchs before....once he’d be hard horned, he would vanish.

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    I went on my elk hunt and hadn’t really given much thought to Playboy. I knew the wide 9 was dominating the area when I returned and figured this was his turf. It wasn’t until a cool October morning that he got me really excited again. I caught a pic of him heading into a bedding area near the same stand I hunted that morning. The turn of events next was that this was the exact ridge the loggers started on that morning during there 2 weeks on the farm. I figured Playboy would get pushed out and likely venture elsewhere.

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    My hunting continued, and I honed in on the wide 9 and killed him on Halloween after setting up on his suspected bedding location. I then went to work the next week and that brings us to yesterday. I had decided I was only going to shoot one of the 2 bucks on camera if I got the chance. Playboy being one, and the other a high, tight 8 pointer.

    I awoke to the NW wind, and hunted one of my favorite rut stands. 4 does walking through was all I had to show for my efforts though. I climbed out at 11 and pulled some cards. Boy oh boy did these pics get me fired up....

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    I had a few ideas where he may be bedding but nothing that I could quite pin down. I ended up opting for an afternoon sit in a spot I have never hunted before. It’s a super brushy hillside about 80 yards wide that connects 2 brushy points that does will bed in. I hung a stand in here during the summer and cut a few of the honeysuckle bushes to funnel deer by my stand. I figured with a north wind, a buck could cruise this hillside smelling the field above him, while also staying out of sight in the security of this thick nasty stuff.

    I head in around 1 and not 5 minutes in the stand here comes a young 8 pointer. He walks by at 10 yards and carries on about his young buck ways. The rest of the night is fairly uneventful. That is until 4:45 (exactly when I killed the big 9 a week prior). I catch deer legs walking through the thick brush above me. I get ready just in case as I have a lane out to 30 where it is headed. The deer hits the lane and I immediately think “only Playboy has times that tall”. The buck immediately makes a hard right and is coming towards me nearly head on. I then change my mind and decide it’s not Playboy because I don’t see any G4’s. All of this decision making happened in about 0.25 seconds as I don’t typically analyze too terribly much before I shoot. If a buck gets me excited, I’ll send an arrow. I figure it’s the tall 8 pointer and I’m still going to shoot it if given a chance.

    The buck has different plans though as he never changes his course and walks through my lane at a sharp quartering to. I frantically looked for another opening to slip an arrow through as the buck thrashes a tree. He turns again and he’s broadside now. I try to stop him as he hits a small opening but nothing. A second quick, louder “Meh” stops the buck at 22 yards.

    Now when I tried to stop that buck he was perfectly broadside. But as I released and saw my arrow sink into the deer, I immediately realized something had happened. The arrow hit exactly where I aimed, but at some point that deer turned into a quartering to me shot. I feared a gut shot. I watched the buck bail out of the timber, into the field above and on into the bigger timber about 85 yards away.

    I get down and quickly find my arrow soaked in dark red liver blood. I track slowly back to the top field on my way out and I find a pool of bloody corn. At this point I’m thinking I hit the liver, but exited out the guts. I back out and lose my sanity by replaying the shot over and over. I get a local guy and his high powered dog tracking team on the hook in case they are needed.

    At 7am I am back at the farm where I found the bloody corn. The blood is sparse across the 40 yard stretch of field he ran through, but his tracks are easy to follow. I find where he busted into the woods as the brush has blood rubbed off and I crawl into there a few feet and I see the rump of a deer ahead of me. I can tell by it’s head position it’s already expired.

    Now what happens next I can’t really explain how it felt. I walk a little closer towards the back of the buck and I say out loud “Dang that tall 8 pointer sure is a whole hell of a lot bigger than what he looked like on camera”. About 5 yards from the buck I stopped in my tracks and couldn’t believe it. I see the double brow on his left side first....and the little busted off kicker on his left side and I still don’t believe it. That buck is Playboy....I killed Playboy!!! I was shocked, excited, saddened, and thrilled. I felt remorse that I didn’t fully realize it was this buck last night and kind of lost that extra excitement that I would have had knowing it was him, the type of excitement a buck of this size should garner. But also, with a clearer head, I made the right decision to back out and let the buck expire. Either way, I stood in awe for a few minutes before ever touching the buck.

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    In total he ran 110 yards from the shot and I found him still in a bedded position. I have no doubt he was still alive when I walked out of the woods that night and had I bumped him, who knows if or where I would have recovered the buck. Below is the arrow passage through the buck. Had I known this was the angle I was working with, I’d of likely kept this shot in my pocket and chose to do battle another day.

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    I’m still shocked this all worked out this way, but I certainly wouldn’t change anything. I’m tagged out on bucks in Illinois now, but it’s only November 8th so I may be pointing the truck east or south to get some more stand time in when I have the time. 2018 will go down as a special year in the whitetail woods for me regardless!


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  2. Shocker99

    Shocker99 Grizzled Veteran

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    That’s a beaut! Good job on backing out.
     
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  3. Longdraw

    Longdraw Weekend Warrior

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    Well done! :clap:
    I need to get a copy of your playbook.
     
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  4. triebs58

    triebs58 Weekend Warrior

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    Congrats awesome buck even better story


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  5. 95grvrMotive6

    95grvrMotive6 Weekend Warrior

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  6. gri22ly

    gri22ly Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Good post, awesome season, super buck....congrats again Scott, way to get it done man!!
     
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  7. early in

    early in Grizzled Veteran

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    Great story , great buck! Congrats
     
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  8. virginiashadow

    virginiashadow Legendary Woodsman

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    Wham. Good work Scott. Hammering it this year.

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  9. cls74

    cls74 Grizzled Veteran

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    Congrats yet again, year after year
     
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  10. grommel

    grommel Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Great buck, loved your story! Well done.
     
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  11. FEB

    FEB Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Wow Scott, what an awesome deer and killer season.
    Congrats brother!
     
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  12. Scott/IL

    Scott/IL Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Thanks everyone. It’s been a great season so far no doubt, I’ve been blessed for sure.

    We put the tape onto Ol Playboy the other day, and with the addition of his 3 extras off his browtines (he had a small 4th off his left G2 that was broken off also) he came in at 161 7/8, making him my highest gross scoring buck. Without the abnormals, his typical frame would be in the lower 150’s. Full disclosure, this buck was only a 3 year old....given another year, he’d of been a real gagger. However, he already was that in my eyes lol.

    Regardless, score means zilch to me at the end of the day. I mentioned in an earlier thread I was waiting for the “right buck” to have a wall pedestal mount done. Playboy is that buck.


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  13. Holt

    Holt Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Love reading story's like this! Congrats on a awesome buck! Now when your friends come over, you can say "want to see my playboy hanging on the wall?" Lol

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Bowhunting.com Forums mobile app
     
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  14. muzzyman88

    muzzyman88 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    What. A. Season. Awesome.. Congrats!
     
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  15. Lung Buster

    Lung Buster Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Congrats that is a great buck!
     
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