By Otha Barham
Randy Thompson has been bowhunting since he was 14 and has become an accomplished archer and bowhunter but would he be up for the task at hand? And that would be to locate and harvest a quality buck this season. There’s more to bowhunting than just pulling back a stick and string and twanging an arrow and Thompson aimed to find out just how far he could go in the art and science of bowhunting.
Back in September the young but seasoned hunter spotted a bachelor group of bucks and promptly set his sights on harvesting one of the better ones.
As every hunter knows there’s way more to it than just locating a buck. You’ve got to find him first, and pattern him and learn his habits and keep him from patterning you as well. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to take advantage of every opportunity you have when you locate a trophy buck. Because there’s a good probability that you’ll only get one chance at the gusto, one opportunity to harvest that wise old buck with a stick and string.
Venture into his den or bedroom and he’ll bust you just from a whiff of your scent, or blink of an eye. Even if you just walk through undetected and leave your scent it’s like a 911 emergency warning call to a buck;“leave immediately, warning, hunters are nearby”.
“There’s a lot more to bow hunting than just shooting straight,” said Thompson. “You need to be a good woodsman and be able to learn the lay of the land, find the buck sign and know where the acorns are falling among other things.”
And these days this young, modern die-hard successful bowhunter also has a relatively new weapon in his arsenal and that’s a game camera. “Game cameras are an essential tool now,” Thompson said. “You might find a real good looking spot and never see a deer. If you have the game camera out you can cut down on a lot of wasted time. A game camera played a big part in my hunting this year for sure.”
Thompson bases his hunting on what he sees on his game cameras. He may have multiple cameras out and switch them from spot to spot until he locates an area with lots of deer or one with a good buck frequenting the area and then hunt that area. All the while he’ll be scouting with his game cameras in other locations too.
“I started out following those deer back in September and was really excited about my chances,” said Thompson. “A few days after the season started the first week or so in October I made plans to hunt. Once I had the opportunity and everything was right I headed to my spot and climbed up into the stand.”
Leaving nothing to chance Thompson’s passion drives him to be the best he can be and utilize every tool at his disposal. “I hunt by the wind all the time and won’t hunt a stand unless the wind’s right,” he continued. “And I believe in the Thermo cell, and wouldn’t hunt without one.”
Thompson arrived at the stand around four p. m. and was brimming with anticipation which slowly faded as the afternoon wore on without a glimpse of a deer. Five o’clock came and went, followed by 6 then 6:30 and still nothing.
“At 6:58 I looked down and he was right under me,” Thompson said. “He glanced up and looked towards me and then put his head down and started eating acorns and walking straight away and then took a left turn and paralleled me. I was afraid I was letting him get away.”
With the sun dipping below the horizon and the last rays of daylight fading fast Thompson came to full draw at 21 yards. “ I had one small opening to shoot through so I let my arrow fly and it went straight to the kill zone but I didn’t hear a thing, nothing like a thwack like you usually would hear when you hit them, he said.” Thompson was in dire straits and thought he’d missed when he heard something not too far from the shot sight. “I heard it again and just took off down that tree and found him about 12 steps from where I’d shot him!”
Thompson had made a liver and lung shot and only the fletching and knock was sticking out of the deer. His patience, tenacity and woodsmanship skills had paid off with his best bow kill buck ever, a 200 pound tall racked eight point!
Contact Mike Giles at 601-917-3898 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org