My 2016 season was all about locating the big 8 that I had passed up late season 2015. My plan was to hang several covert cameras in the 8’s core area, along with several other farms just in case the big 8 was a no show. After running cameras all summer, I had located the big 8 and several other really good bucks.
The only problem was the big 8 was never daylighting and all the pictures were in the middle of the night. I was a little concerned that he had moved off my farm and just visiting the food plots at night, but this could all change during rut. I hunted the 8 really hard all season when everything was right but never ended up laying eyes on him. The last picture I got of him was mid-morning on the last day of the first gun season. I continued to run cameras all over several farms in hopes the big 8 would show, but ultimately it was time to move on.
I had another farm that had 3 really nice up and comers and one buck that was 7.5 years old and really went downhill. I decided to hunt the 7.5 year old to hopefully make room for the other 3 bucks, and keep my second tag for the 8 if he surfaced late season in cold weather. I ended up watching the older buck from the Banks Blind two nights in a row when the wind was marginal. The third evening the wind was going to switch so I went in mid-morning and hung a Lone Wolf where I’d watched the buck enter the bean plot. That evening the buck was the first deer to enter the plot, and everything went according to plan right up to the release of the arrow. As the buck worked his way into the beans I settled my pin in and released the arrow. Watching what I thought was a clean miss, I was trying to replay everything in my mind. I couldn’t figure out what just happened. I decided to get down because that was the only animal on that farm I was interested in hunting and I had to try to figure out what happen. As I approached the area I couldn’t find my arrow and there was blood everywhere. You’re definitely going to want to tune into this roller-coaster ride of events.