Trail Tree Stand
by Mark Fetcho
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
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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