Super Trail Tree Stand

by Mark Fetcho

10/08 Pennsylvania

The deer on the right in this picture was taken during the 2006 Pennsylvania rifle season. I was hunting a small piece of private land owned by a friend from my church. I had harvested a decent 7-point there the year before, and had seen a big buck in second squirrel season. So during the spring and summer of 2006, I spent as much time as possible on the property scouting and looking for sheds to make sure the buck had survived. I didn’t find his sheds, but there was enough sign to lead me to believe that he was still around.

The property has nut trees and good water sources on both ends, and a small valley that runs through a thicket and into a pine grove. The deer use this valley to travel back and forth from the water supply. My son and I nicknamed it super trail because of how well worn it is and that we always see deer on it. I was hunting fall turkey the following season and got a good look at the buck. He was a typical 8-point with three sticker points around the bases. So when the opening day came, my son and I were both pumped knowing that there was a chance one of us might get a shot at him. My son was using his climber stand and I would hunt from the ground and hunt in a still hunt manner working toward his stand. He had shot doe in years past and smaller buck but had never “put one on the wall.” And he had to leave at noon anyway for work, so I was going to give him first crack at the big buck. I jumped two small bucks, neither of which was legal in the area where we were. Because of antler restrictions the buck have to have 4-points on one side.

So lunchtime came and as we sat at the truck my son asked me if would like to use his climber? I had never used one before so he said he would walk out with me and get it set up, and I knew right where I wanted to go. Super trail! So I got set up in my tree with a vantage point overlooking the trail. My son hadn’t been gone more than an hour when I saw my first buck. It was a big buck and he had come from my left out of the pine grove. But I was too high up in the tree and before I could get the scope on him he dropped into the ravine and out of sight. That got my blood pumping. I said a little prayer and asked God to turn the buck and waited.
After about two hours, I started to get restless because I hadn’t seen any more deer and was about to talk my self into committing one of the cardinal sins of stand hunting and climb down and go to where I had seen the buck earlier thinking maybe he had bedded down in the ravine. But I wanted to take a last look around before I unhooked the safety harness.

When I looked to my right, there was a buck coming down super trail. He wasn’t running but he wasn’t wasting any time either. He was headed to the pine grove .So when he passed by my stand at 60 yds. I had to shoot as he walked into the scope. When the 30-06 cracked I saw him stagger sideways. Then he took off right past me but he was favoring his left shoulder. He was hit well so I didn’t bother to shoot him again. I just watched and he only went 40 yds. from where I had shot him and stopped. He stepped off of the trail into a small patch of saplings and within a few minutes I saw him stagger sideways and collapse. That night I called my son and asked him how much he had paid for his stand. I own my own now.

For Mark's Other Deer - The High Rack 10

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