The Pine Ravine Buck
Hocking County, 10/27/2000
   

Well, it all began in October of 1998. Archery season has just opened, and I am off to the woods in search of the legendary whitetail deer. As my hunt begins just outside the city limits in Hocking Co. Ohio, where one other person and I have permission to hunt.I have seen a lot of good signs already, and I knew this was going to be a good year. With the first week and a half gone, there has been a lot of activity in the woods. I have been seeing a lot of does and a few smaller bucks. On the 14th. of October it began the start of a discouraging streak as I got an itchy finger, and took a shot I shouldn't have, and missed a 140 class 10 point. With that still in the back of my head, to the field I went, week after week. While still seeing a lot of deer, but nothing with any size. On a cool day in mid Nov., I was back in the same stand where I missed the 10 pt. a month earlier. While sitting on stand throughout the day, a 130 class 12 pt. appeared directly in front of me at 60 yards. As I prepared myself for the shot, he quartered toward me at 33 yards and I shot right underneath him, but not spooking him. After that day I was so frustrated I didn't know what to do. As I was talking to a friend on the phone, we came to the conclusion that I have nothing to lose, but give it another try the following weekend. It is now the 21st. of Nov. and the rut is in full stride.

I am hunting right on the edge of a pine thicket and a patch of oak trees in some of the thickest, sapling infested woods you could ever imagine. As daylight broke, I saw a couple of does walking through the pines, and all of a sudden on top of the ridge, came 4 does bent for election day, and right on their trail was a beautiful 130 class 10 pt.. Within a few minutes, he was chasing the does and running off a decent 6 pt.. They approached to within 60 yards and just hung out there for a few minutes, and they disappeared just as quick as they arrived. It was about 10 o'clock when I heard leaves rustling behind me on the other hillside. As I looked over my shoulder there was that same 10 pt. chasing a doe through the brush.

They were gone in a flash. I had seen a few more doe throughout the day, but things definitely slowed down. It was 4:00 now and I am
bitterly cold. With the temperature dropping I noticed a different 6 pt. heading out of the pines, and as he walked within 10 yards of me, I was really debating on whether to shoot him or not. I decided to let him walk, because I knew that with all the action today, I just might see another trophy buck. It was around 4:30 now, and I have two does in the ravine behind me. They are just calm and collective, when all of a sudden I noticed the big buck was back, and he was traveling through the pines to the ravine. He passed by me at about 80 yards or so, and when he entered the ravine the two does came bursting out and climbed the hill I was on, and disappeared over the ridge top. While I watched the huge buck thrash on the brush, I heard a grunt coming in from the rear. The 6 pt. was on his way back, and that caught the attention of you know who. As he ran the smaller buck off, he turned and hit the trail of the
does, and it brought him to within 40 yards of my stand. I stood and drew my Onieda Eagle, and said to myself "Just try and relax and DON'T miss again". He then turned and started walking toward me and turned broadside at 12 yards. I released the arrow and watched the huge buck drop.

For me this was my biggest deer yet. It scored 135 3/8 Pope and Young points putting it as the new #12 whitetail out of Hocking Co. entered into the Pope and Young record books. I have seen this deer for the past 4 years, and he has eluded me, until this cold ovember day. Like I said, "It is not the thrill of the harvest that makes it exciting, but the thrill of the hunt". I am thankful that I had the opportunity to harvest such a wonderful animal, but I am more thankful that I have the opportunity to hunt. In closing I would like to say "Take the opportunity to teach a young boy or girl, the gift of hunting.

Let them explore the beauty of the woods, the scenes of nature and most of all, JUST HAVE FUN!"

Take care!

Michael