Whitetail Video: Monster Buck Walks Under the Treestand — But There’s a Problem!

Bowhunters work hard to get within shooting range of big bucks, but sometimes the timing is off by only a few seconds, resulting in frustration.

Whitetail Video: Monster Buck Walks Under the Treestand — But There’s a Problem!

In the Facebook video below, a bowhunter has successful climbed into his treestand without alerting nearby whitetails. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, he’s just a few seconds too late when it comes to hauling his bow into the stand.

Anyone who has pursued whitetails long enough probably has a similar story to share. Timing is everything, and it’s uncanny the number of times a big buck survives because of . . .  well, fill in the blank for your own frustrating experience.

I can remember having a big buck walk under my hang-on portable, which was only 12 feet high. I was climbing up the tree, standing on the last screw-in step before moving onto the platform. Suddenly I heard nearby footfalls, and then mature 5x5 walked right under me — I felt like I could kick the top of his rack with my boot. All I could do was watch him slowly walk by. He stopped for a second and sniffed my bow, which was suspended off the ground by my hauling rope. After he walked out of sight, I finally stepped into the stand and pulled up my bow. This was mid-September, and even though I bowhunted the property at least 30 more days until the end of December, I never saw that buck again.

Another year on the same river-bottom property, I sat in a high ladder stand during a snowy late-November afternoon. Gun season was in full-swing, so I was wearing a blaze-orange vest while bowhunting. After a few hours, the accumulating snow had covered my hat, arms, shoulders, chest and lap. A couple gun blasts at least a mile to the east caused me to turn my head to the right, and I thought, Better brush off this snow so any gun hunters wandering around can clearly see me. To avoid spooking deer, my plan was to turn toward the tree. I didn’t want my hand movements to alert any deer in the distance. I had clear visibility for 150 yards to the east; no deer. I slowly stood, facing away from the nearby main deer trail for 7 or 8 seconds to clear snow from my clothing. As I turned my head back toward the deer trail in front of my ladder, a massive chocolate-racked buck was high-stepping through my shooting lane. I bleated loudly while grabbing for my bow, but it was too late. At 50 yards he stopped and looked over his back, toward the gun hunters who had likely missed him minutes earlier. In total, I spent 7 hours in that ladder stand, and the only mature buck I spotted passed broadside within 10 yards of my tree during the 7 seconds I wasn’t ready.

I could go on and on, but I won’t; I’m likely preaching to the choir. As you watch the smartphone video below, remember your own frustrating close calls. If you’re like me, you remember these encounters with more clarity than the ones ending with a punched tag.


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