My 2015 season got real hot during the Summer months when I hung several Covert Cameras on my properties searching for those mature bucks that had begun packing on some good antler growth. With no plans of leaving my home state of Maryland I flooded my properties with cameras and started getting pictures of a really cool looking buck that I recognized from the 2014 season in mid August. He was hitting my Whitetail Institute 30-06 mineral really hard which made it easy to get several pictures and to watch his final antler growth. His main beams wrapped around and started to look like two hands that were about to smack together like a “Back Hand”, so the nickname stuck. He also had a big flyer off his left side G-2 which had a golf ball style base to the tine. With an early Sept opening day here in Maryland I was fortunate enough to place my first tag on this really cool looking buck on my second hunt of the season, and with three different shot angles it was time to celebrate!
During the beginning of October I always travel to Maryland’s Eastern Shore to hunt our Sika Deer herd in the marshes of Dorchester County. This year was no different. Hunting these deer is no easy task, especially with archery gear. The rut is in full swing this time of year as are the ticks and mosquitoes but with the proper clothing such as Game Hides Elimitick clothing, the hunts can be enjoyable. I made one particular hunt extremely enjoyable when I was able to self video a 6 point Sika Stag kill with my Hoyt Carbon Spyder! With a perfectly placed spine shot at about 5 yards I was able to harvest my second 6 point Sika stag in as many years. Any Sika Deer with archery gear is a trophy in my opinion but to put a Stag down while self videoing, it’s a trophy of all trophies. Not to mention it is delicious table fare.
Well after harvesting the proper amount of does with my bow I found myself on a 2 1/2 week vacation from work in November to hunt Maryland Whitetail bucks during the rut. With three different shooters on this one particular property I decided to hunt my Lone Wolf stands very sparingly. Not to over hunt each stand I decided not to hunt one stand two days in a row. The rut was very slow due to a warm front but I still hunted everyday. Everything changed on the morning of November 9th. The weather had changed to very seasonal and bucks were seen chasing and tending. I passed on a very nice up and comer 8 point at 5 yards that was chasing does in the area. Without ever picking up the Hoyt, he was shot only with the camera. I got some great footage and I knew I had to get back in this stand for the evening hunt after a quick lunch.
That afternoon found me back in the same tree and after sitting for about an hour with no action I had a friend text me from the other side of this property and said that he had mature bucks chasing like crazy! With only about 30 minutes of light I began to doubt my decision to hunt the same tree as I did in the morning. But as any seasoned hunter knows that can all change with the sound of footsteps in the leaves. I grabbed my Meopta’s binos to see my largest racked buck on the property tending to a doe and headed in my direction. He was a large framed 9 point that I had passed up last season and nicknamed “Pitch” after an Oct self video hunt where my view finder was pitch black when the buck finally offered a shot opportunity. One well placed shot with a Black Eagle Carnivore arrow and the buck went down quick which resulted in 2 different shot angles.
After shed hunting with my trained Black Lab Chandler and finding some really nice sheds, to say I’m excited for the upcoming 2016 season would be an understatement!! With the same plans of staying in Maryland I already have cameras out and new stands hung, September can’t come quick enough!!