As we rolled up the mountain late Thursday night the unmistakable sound of air hissing out of my tire put a little damper on the adventure. With me was 3 of my best friends Brody Floto, Codee Raymond and Kyle Stuart. For 2 of them it was their first time on the Henry Mtns and the other had his first trip the week before.
Early Friday morning found us looking for "Bruno" but with no sightings the last 2 weeks and 2 other hunters after him, I decided to go to my backup buck "Big Pig". Friday evening after my dad and brother arrived we found "Big Pig" in his usual place and decided I wanted to harvest him the next morning.
Here are a few pictures of him from each trip and you can see how much he grew.
Those last 2 pictures were from the night before the hunt. We watched him for almost 3 hours until it got dark. i knew in the morning I would get my shot. As we arrived back at camp well after dark, I fired up the lights on the truck and did some last minute shooting out to 60 yards and was shooting great!! Even in low light conditions my confidence was high.
Morning found us the same place we were the night before. His buddies increased from 4 smaller bucks to 12 other bucks opening morning.
This is them on the skyline before I made my first stalk.
As I got to 60 yards behind a tree, one of the smaller bucks noticed me and they made their way over the hill. I knew they would want to come back down towards the cedars so we waited them out. They crossed the ridge lower than I thought, but with a quick jump in the back of my dads truck we were down the hill and in position once again.
I jumped out of the truck as they kept going and threw my boots off to make the final stalk. Once again at 60 yards I had no shot because of a smaller buck in front of "Big Pig" shielding him. They made their way through some oak brush so I scurried up ahead of them. When I got to a clearing I saw the majority of them out of range walking in some sage. Luckily for me "Big Pig" was still slowly feeding in the back of the group.
A smaller buck came out in front of him and I ranged him at 42 yards. I set my pin on my Sureloc and had an arrow nocked. "Big Pig" wasnt far behind. When he stepped out I ranged him just to make sure I would hit my mark. 42 yards, read my Nikon. As he stepped behind a samll bush I stood and drew back.
After that it was all auto pilot. All of the pushups, the miles of running and riding my bike, protein shakes and countless arrows shot in practice came down to this one moment. I settled my pin and let it fly. With the "thwack" of the arrow I knew I hit my mark. He took off running, but only in vain. As I watched him through my binos I could see my broadhead sticking out of a big hole in his right side. I knew he wouldnt go far.
My excitement couldnt contain its self any longer as I let out a yell " I got him, holy crap I got him!!!!"
A short tracking job and we found him under a tree and the hugs and high fives couldnt be tamed.
This was definately the adventure of a lifetime.
First morning, First arrow, First buck with a bow!!!
He is a 4x5 that is 29 1/2" wide and rough scores just over 190".
To be able to watch a buck for so long and then harvest him opening morning with family and friends there to watch was an experience I will never forget.
A huge thanks to everyone who said I couldnt kill a monster buck on the Henry Mtns with a bow!! It was an even greater motivation.
A special thanks to Brody Floto, Kyle Stuart, Codee Raymond, Sean Morgan, and Shane Harris - my hunting friends for life.
A very special thanks to my dad. This hunt was for you. As I think about all the big bucks you missed on the Henry Mtns when it was a general unit because you were draggin me up the hill with a bloody nose or cold feet crying. You are a man I look up to and admire. To have you there to witness this meant the world to me.
And to my wife. You put up with alot. Words cant describe how much I love you and how grateful I am that you let me chase my dreams.
Thanks everyone for sharing this adventure with me!! Good luck to all.
CX Maxima Hunter 350
Sure Loc Single pin
Epek XC3 Broadheads