By Pat McClain
The Broken Beam Buck
It was kind of a warm morning for November 23, 2012 when I headed out to the stand. I had checked one of my trail cams on Friday evening and was excited to hunt the next day. There were a couple of shooter bucks on the cam, and I was basically hunting in their bedroom.
The stand was hung in August and I tried to stay out of it earlier in the season. I had cut a small trail in and I knew I had to slip in early. It was lightly raining and I knew I could slide in to the stand quietly and get settled in way before daylight. It was a quiet morning with the light rain dripping off the leafless tress and it was very peaceful. This is as good as it gets in the third week of November. There is no place I would rather be. Everything seemed so slow that morning just the smell of fresh fall woods and light rain. There was a gray squirrel playing to my right. I enjoyed watching him as he bounced around going about his daily chores. He was really quiet except when he jumped off the base of the big oaks in the damp leaves. I was so comfy sitting there just scanning as far as I could see in the thick cover and honeysuckle vines, then all of the sudden I hear a stick break, it sounded like a dry, loud crack from behind me and it got my attention immediately.
I was sitting with my bow on the lap and my release was already snapped on the loop. I patiently waited for what had snapped the twig behind me seemed like forever, when actually only a few moments when the heavy racked buck stepped straight to my left. He was on a slow walk and as soon as I saw his head, I knew he was a shooter. One thing I always do is make a quick scan of the antlers, make my decision and start picking a spot that I plan on placing my arrow, and not at the rack. Just concentrating on the shot, on this buck, his rack looked just like the trail cam photo, and I had no doubt. He was in the open only about a couple of seconds, straight to my left and at about 12 yards from my tree then he had to pass behind a couple of large tress and about two or three steps and he would be right in my shooting lane. His walk was steady and he was on a mission so he did exactly as I had rehearsed several times in my mind as I had been sitting in the stand that morning. He was so close he looked so thick as I settled my pin right behind his shoulder, the arrow barely made a noise as it blew through both lungs and it buried in the ground. He jumped just a little and bound forward like he wasn’t sure what the sound was. He was down in just a few bounds.
I sat back in my stand against the big oak tree and I thanked the Lord for blessing me with such a wonderful hunt and such a wonderful animal that my family will eat and enjoy every meal from. I was so surprised when I got down and walked over to him to see one side was a perfect heavy 5 and the other side was broken on the beam of his left side just past the G-2! At first I felt like I messed up but I quickly got over it and I thought how blessed I was. It was an awesome hunt, an awesome buck and even when I looked at the trail cam pictures I didn’t notice that he was broken until I after I shot him. When he came into my left I thought he was a perfect 10. He is still one of my favorite racks to look at on the wall.
God bless and good hunting!