It was October 10th, 2014.  Opening morning of Duck Season here in Michigan, and it seemed to be a perfect wind for my spot in Fowlerville.  I woke up at 515 AM, and headed out.  About 45 minutes later, I was all setup in the tree.  These first few hunts every year always seem like they take forever to get setup.  I had not become the well-oiled machine us hunters become just yet, like we are a few weeks into the season.  Camera arm set, quiver hung, backpack secured, and as I sit down… it’s barely starting to get light.

Right away I hear leaves crunching, and footsteps getting closer. It is extremely quiet out, with barely any wind.  But it was a good slight N wind, blowing my scent straight out toward the property owner’s house. The footsteps are getting closer and closer, so I stand up and flip on my camera to see if there is any camera light yet.  That is when I heard 2 deer snort and take off running.

At this point I am not happy. My camera shutter snapped open making a “click” sound, and that’s when they took off.  That’s how quiet it was.  Now I’m thinking: “How the heck am I going to shoot anything if it’s this quiet?!”  So I sit back down, and still I see those two deer at about 80 yards walking away from me.

Next thing I know, there are 2 more deer following them.  I look up, and can barely see tines through my bino’s … but they’re good tines.  I reached for my grunt tube and grunted three short grunts, and he stopped.  He looked my way for just a second, and then continued after the others.  At this moment I am back to excited again, as I just saw a good buck right after the two does just snorted.  I could not believe it!

As I stand there waiting for the sun to rise, I intensely study the direction the 4 deer went through my binos.  Waiting… and waiting… and waiting for a tail to flick, or a twig to snap, to warn me of their return.  Low and behold, I catch a glimpse of a deer, and find it to be an eight point and a smaller buck in tow, heading right towards my tree!  My heart begins to race as I flip on the camera and try to find the deer through the viewfinder. With all the early season leaves and excitement, I did not get the camera on the deer until he was within bow range. I finally got the camera on him, and followed him through the leaves as he browsed his way to an opening….where I waited for my shot.

As soon as I have the camera settled on him, he started moving again!  I quickly drew my Mathews and bleated with my mouth.  The eight point stopped… and looked towards me at 17 or 18 yards.  I settled the pin right behind his left shoulder as he was quartering away.  I released the arrow, putting the NAP Killzone through two lungs into his opposite right shoulder.

He took off running towards me and then turned back toward the way he came in.  That was as fast as I have ever seen a deer run.  What seemed like 10 minutes later (more like 10 seconds later) I heard some thrashing and crashing, and knew he was done.

I then spun the camera on me, and recorded all of my raw emotions and celebrations.  BBD texts, emails and Facebook posts to all of my buddies who were duck hunting that day.  I climbed down 30 minutes later, and immediately took up blood.  I tracked it 100 yards and walked up upon a nice Michigan 8 point.  This is my first buck in MI since 2011, and I am pretty proud of him.

Check out the footage up top!

Michigan Out-of-Doors TV was kind enough to air my footage on November 13th as well.  You can watch that episode, #1446, on their website here:

As always, thank you for reading!