I don’t know as if there’s anything that can take you from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows like bowhunting can. I set trail cameras up in Mid June, fully expecting to see several of the past year’s 3 year olds blow up into 4 year old shooters, but come Mid September, all we had to show for our hard work and discipline (for passing on several nice 3 year olds) was one 4 year old that we call “Straight 8”.
I had high hopes, knowing that I had passed on several future studs and none were to be found. You can’t help but think the neighbors got em, they got poached or they passed away due to some fatal disease. You continue to check trail cameras, hoping, praying, for another shooter to show up, yet all you’re getting is one shooter and several more “up and comers”. Either way, these known shooters aren’t showing up, leaving you slightly bummed at the end of the day.
Fast forward to Late October and one little cold front and Katy bar the door, because here they come! We went from having one mature shooter to having several shooters, literally over night. Not only that, but with each new appearance, they seem to be getting bigger and bigger as well. Hopes are once again high!
The cold weather gets me off work early and back in the stand. Buck movement picks up and the rut’s gettin ready to kick in. Hearing buck grunts and seein several nice 3 year olds on their feet movin during daylight hours can’t help but get you excited. Anticipation continues to grow and one evening a new shooter shows up with legal shooting light and stands broadside at 8 yards, for 25 minutes. Problem is there’s not enough camera light, so you have to pass (as hard as that is). You go to bed anxious for the next day’s hunt, KNOWING that it’s only a matter of time before a shooter walks in front of you with good light. Hopes couldn’t be any higher!
Cold weather still in effect and the deer movement is still rockin! You know it’s gotta happen tonight. Camera man taps you on the shoulder and says “shooter!” Sure enough, another brand new deer shows his face and this ones bigger than the last. He’s headed straight for you with plenty of camera light. Hopes continue to rise as you’re getting everything ready to go, when all of a sudden he turns 90 degrees and hops over the fence onto the neighbors property, out of sight.............................................................................. He’s gone. The neighbors are probably gonna shoot him now. You’re never gonna see him again. This guy was a stud and everything was just right. He would have been your biggest buck to date and now he’s gone. Depression sets in again. :/ ................................. NOPE! He’s comin back!!! Walkin straight towards us. Camera’s on. Record buttons pushed. This time its a for sure deal. It’s gonna happen tonight! Patience...... get plenty of pre-roll... Control your breathing... Calm down... Breathe... Let him turn broadside... Slowly draw... Pick a spot........... Hold..... AND LET HER FLY!!!............................................. CRAP!!! Right over his back!........................ You’re sick to your stomach. You’re questioning everything that just happened. You’re replaying the shot in your head over and over. What possibly could have happened. It’s not like this is your first time. You know you were steady. What on earth happened?
Sickness sets in again. You don’t want to hunt ever again. He was your biggest buck to date.
:( You were on top of the mountain trying to contain your excitement and control your breathing, now you in the deepest of depths, trying to keep from vomiting. You’ve shot big deer before and you knew everything was good to go, but now the only thing you know, is that you just missed the biggest buck of your life and he’s now gone... out of your life forever. You go from the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows, all in the matter of seconds. You’re down in the dumps. :(
Fast forward two days... You check the trail cameras... New buck shows up... And guess what... HE’S BIGGER than the others!!! Hopes are high!!! :)