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by Ty Chatell a.k.a. MIHunter     Last updated: 2010-03-15 12:28:21

Deer season 2009 started out pretty slow for me. One reason was that I didnít get to hunt as much as I have in the past. I hunt 2 times during the Michigan Early Antlerless Season in late September. Since you could hunt with any legal weapon I took out my Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter .45LC which my wife gave me for our anniversary a few years ago.

My first evening out I walked up to within 40 yards of a small buck. Of course he knew he was off limits so we just looked at each other for about a minute before he decided to leave. The next morning I had a 6 and a 5 point come in to the stand and hang around for about 20 minutes. Both offering easy 20 yard or less shots. Early antlerleess season ended without 1 doe sighted.

When October 1st rolled around the archery season opened. My first evening out was a little wet and windy. Around 6:30 PM I was standing up in the tree stand looking around. To my surprise right behind me stood a very nice 8 pointer. I was afraid to move and was not sure where he walked to because I lost sight of him. While trying to figure out if I could turn around a 6 pointer came walking in and was looking behind me so I figured he was looking at the 8 pointer. I was able to turn around as the 8 pointer walked straight away from me never offering a shot. The next 3 or 4 times I went out I never saw a deer from the tree stand.

On November 7th my dad and I went out for the evening hunt. It was warm for November in Michigan so I was not expecting much. I went to my tree stand which was near a pond on the south side of the property. The stand has a small clearing in front of it which is about 60 yards across to a very thick wooded area. I had not hunted this stand since the early antlerless season. I was in the stand watching turkeys run around and start to roost when I heard a buck grunt. After the grunt I heard deer running on the dry leaves. A nice looking 7 or 8 pointer ran straight to the pond followed by a smaller buck. A third buck ran in front of my stand then circled back to the pond. The third buck was breathing very hard. The bigger of the 3 bucks stood in the pond and drank some water and then swam all the way across to the other side which was about a 150 yard swim. After he reached shore he got out and grunted. In the meantime the 2 smaller bucks went back into the woods where they came from. Iím thinking thereís no way the 2 smaller bucks ran off that bigger deer. About that time the 2 smaller bucks appeared at the end of the opening followed by a bigger 8 pointer. Now I knew why the other deer swam across the pond. He had probably gotten his butt kicked by the one I was now looking at. The big 8 then chased the 2 smaller bucks past my stand into the woods behind me but he never came closer than 50 yards. He then walked back to the thicket. I grunted at him and used a can call but he never came my way.

All was quiet for the next 20 minutes until a doe stepped into the clearing followed by the big 8. He was 60 yards away and I reached for my bow just as he looked up towards me catching my movement. I froze. Meanwhile the doe kept walking towards me. As the 8 pointer looked away from me I grabbed my bow, easing it off the hanger. He looked back at me and again I froze. We stared at each other while he walked closer. When he looked towards the doe I got my bow in front of me and my release on the string loop. He stared at me again and continued walking straight at me. The doe got to 18 yards and smelled some Tinks 69 scent I had placed out; she ran back towards the thicket and stopped about 40 yards away. Meanwhile the buck stopped at 30 yards and continued to stare at me. Then he finally had to turned to see where his doe went offing me a 30 yard quartering away shot. I made a good shot and the deer ran back into the thicket. A few seconds later I heard him crash down. I called my dad on the cell phone and he came over to help track the buck. We found good blood right away but ran into some problems with the turkeys in the area. As we were tracking, the turkeys kept spooking off the roost scaring us half to death thinking we were bumping the buck. By this time it was pretty dark in the woods. Just then my flash light caught a set of shiny eyes looking at me. At first I thought it was the deer but then I saw more and more eyes. I realized itís a group of raccoons. A few minutes later we found the buck down. He went approximately 60 yards after the shot. Unfortunately he died in the thickest part of the woods. It was only about 40 yards to the clearing, but in the dark that was a long drag through all the briars. It was well worth it; he was my biggest buck ever.

After getting the buck to the clearing I was able to drive my truck right up to him and use the headlights to help with pictures. One of my favorite parts of hunting is calling out my camera crew for pictures. My daughter, Leah 6, my son Tyler 3 and my wife Michelle always hurry out with the camera. My kids really enjoy it and both look forward to the day they can hunt. I donít think that day can come fast enough.

November 15th was the opening day of the Michigan Gun Season. I was hunting on the same piece of property with my dad where I shot the 8 pointer with my bow. I decided to hunt in a different stand. It was cool, but warmer than usual for this time of year but we planned to stay in stand for the entire day. I was again hunting with my Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter .45LC. The morning started out really slow. I only saw a few turkey and 2 does. After a few cat naps and lunch I saw a buck about 100 yards away down by the pond. I kicked myself for not sitting in that stand again. I grunted at him, bleated at him but he only looked my way and then walked out of sight. About an hour and a half later I began thinking about where to sit tomorrow morning when I look to my left and see a buck standing there. He was looking my direction and was walking very slow. I focused the red dot on him as he stopped, facing straight at me. What little wind we had was going his direction. He started to get a little nervous and turned severely quartering away from me. I put the red dot on his last rib and squeeze the trigger. The buck took two strange hops and I heard him crash down. I stayed in the stand for about 20 minutes and was about to get down to look for the deer when I hear my dad shoot. A minute or so later my dad calls me on the cell phone. He shot at a buck but he did not see anything after the shot because of the smoke from his muzzle loader. I told him that I thought I had a buck down and I would look for mine and then come help him. I walked to where I last saw my deer and there he was a nice 7 pointer. The Corbon 300 gr JSP entered in behind the last rib and exited the center of his chest. He traveled about 20 yards after the shot and died right next to the clearing. I was happy because this meant no dragging through the briars this time and it was time to call out the camera crew! After calling the family to get them on the road I walk into the woods and found my dad standing over his 6 pointer. He was probably an 8 at one time but was busted up on one side.

When I rolled my deer over I noticed that his hip appeared to be dislocated which is why he was walking slowly. A closer inspection found 3 puncture wounds which appear to have been caused by another buck goring him. I can only wonder if this is the same buck I saw swim across the pond to get away from the bigger one I got with the bow.

What a season, my biggest deer ever with my bow and a nice 7 pointer with my anniversary gun. Plus my dad and I shot bucks 20 minutes apart on opening day.



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Recent Comments:

Poster: Hawkeye    Date: 2010-05-08    Top

Great article and it is good that you get the family envolved. Congratulations on your deer and your Dad's deer. How do you like the red dot on the SBHH ? I have one just like yours with a Weaver 2.5 x 8 and it is great with 300grn Cast bullets. Mike
Poster: jamesfromjersey    Date: 2010-04-14   Top

Great day for you and your father. James
Poster: SChunter    Date: 2010-03-24    Top

Ty, Great season and story! Good luck this coming year with bow and gun...
Poster: KRal    Date: 2010-03-21   Top

Congrats on a rewarding season, Ty! Great looking camera crew you have.
Poster: rancilio    Date: 2010-03-19    Top

Nice story, nice wife, nice camera crew and nice deer. Nice.

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