Travis Yancey-Harrison, AR
All the time in the woods with my bow finally paid off. My name is Travis Yancey I am from Harrison, AR. I have only hunted with a bow for two years thanks to my Father-in-law Eric Estes, who introduced me to bow hunting and how to shoot a bow.
Well I'll begin my story now. After hunting all year and having a little luck in south Arkansas with my rifle taking two does on our lease, I was ready to kill a buck. I had been hunting on some private land of a friends on Cove Creek over in Praire Grove, AR. My father and I had scouted the area and found sign and saw a few really nice shooter bucks there earlier on in the year, except none of them gave me a shot with my bow. I had taken the advice that Rick White had e-mailed me with and put it to good use... however the buck was not feeding on acorns when i took him.
It was Dec. 3, 2005, my Dad, Ken Yancey, and I got up about 4:30 because we knew it was going to be a good day. We got to our stands at about 6:30 he went on the other side of the cedar thicket and I sat in my stand on the south side above a scrape line and on a rub line coming out of the thicket where the bucks were bedding and into the hardwood feeding area. At about 7:30 I heard something coming down the logging road back behind me i got up and turned around then reallized it was two deer running. The doe ran right under my stand like she had a fire under her. I looked up the hill and the buck had circled trying to cut her off so I never got a good look at him just his hind end as he ran after the doe.
Later on that morning around 9:30 I was starting to get bored not seeing anything else after the two flew by me earlier. The wind had started blowing and I was fixing to call it a day when all of a sudden I thought I heard something walking up the hill. I saw a glimpse of something moving through the woods so I picked up my True Talker and grunted. The deer stopped but only for a second the proceeded to walk farther up the hill. I then grabbed my original can doe in estrus bleat. and turned it over. The deer stopped in his tracks, then i knew it was a buck, so I did it again.
All of a sudden he started at a full run towards my stand. I saw he had a nice rack so I drew back and held it thinking I was going to have to try to stop him and make a quick shot. To my suprise he stopped on his own about ten yards below my stand and jumped broadside to me and started grunting. Needless to say I was starting to get buck fever and i could see my pin wobbling back and forth so i told myself to slow down and drop my finger......then the sound of my arrow and the hit all in slow motion I knew I made a good hit but looked a little low. The buck ran off into the thicket.
After I lost sight of him I was kinda like Stan... I needed a minute!!! So I gathered myself and waited on Dad to get over to me. We gave him about thirty minutes or so and started following blood. He bled good all the way through the thicked and layed down a few times only for a minute then ran about half a mile down the mountain. We followed blood then lost it so we waited another 30 min. knowing we weren't pushing him and he would die. Well we lost blood so we descided to sweep the area in 40 yard sweeps, we never found it so we gave up.
The rest of the day I was sick. The next morning i decided that I was going to find that buck. I got to the spot we last found blood right at daylight. I swept the mountain again and never found him. So I went to the last blood spot and crawled up the little nole and found one speck of blood going the opposite direction of where we thought he went. I then crept down finding blood here and there then more blood again and where he'd kicked leaves or brushed against some grass or broke a limb.
Finally, about 350 yards later at the very bottom of the hill, I found where he had bedded down that night. He had stopped bleeding so I thought he may have fell off the bluff into the creek about 10 yards below looking for water. Nope, he wasn't down there so finally discouraged and upset I walked back to the place he had bedded and just happened to look to my right. He was there laying looking at me.
I thought he was dead so I yelled "thank you good Lord" and startled to him. But he wasn't dead. He jumped up and went a few yards and fell again. That's when I noticed I didn't have as good a shot as I had thought. I was real low and I had broke his shoulder with that muzzy broadhead. I walked over to him, not having anything but my knife to finish him with. When he lunged at me he rolled and got his horns caught on a sapling. When he did I pinned him down and cut his throat, knowing it was over now and I had claimed my Trophy--the biggest buck of my life so far.
Everyone was suprised when I pulled up in the driveway with him and no one could believe my story, but I'm telling you now it's the truth, all of it. Thanx for everything I've learned from you guys, Alex, Phillip, Rick, Stan, Pat, Greg, Matt and good luck this upcoming season