It was a sleepless night. I felt good about the shot and the amount of blood on the ground, but the look of the arrow concerned me. I replayed the shot over and over again in my head. I pulled through my Scott Longhorn Hex perfectly, but the buck dropped and whirled. I just wasn’t 100 percent positive of my arrow placement.  The more I replayed the night’s event, the harder it was to sleep.

The rising of the morning sun was a welcomed sight. Full of hope and anxiety, I loaded my 10-year-old son Hunter up in my truck along with my father-in-law. Meeting us at my hunting grounds were a pair of good friends. You can never have enough eyes when looking for an animal.

The author's son, Hunter Bauserman, poses with Dad's DIY Colorado buck.

The author’s son, Hunter Bauserman, poses with Dad’s DIY Colorado buck.

Once we reached the first blood – blood I’d marked with pink flagging tape – we started down the trail. The blood was heavy and light-colored, and my hopes started to rise. We had gone about 50 yards when my son Hunter pulled at the tail of my ScentLok jacket and said, “Daddy, I really think we are going to find him.” I was in the midst of explaining to him that staying positive is a big part of bowhunting when one of my good buddies, who was about 30 yards in front of us said, “Hey Jace, maybe you should just come look over here.” He was smiling ear-to-ear and had my buck hoisted up by a single antler. He hadn’t gone 100 yards. The arrow fired from my Bear Escape had clipped the top of his left lung and broke off in his offside shoulder. Yep, I’d gotten both lungs.

At a dead sprint I took off and jumped into his arms. Nope, nothing wrong with a good man hug. All the hours of planning, studying cameras, looking at maps and moving stands time and time again had paid off. The good Lord had blessed me with a great Colorado buck. For me, few things trump the feeling of success I get from a DIY hunt, and having my son, father-in-law and friends there to share the moment with me made the experience all the more special.

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