On October 30th myself and 5 other guys left for a trip to central N.Y. for what was supposed to be a meat hunting trip. On November 2nd we returned (a day early) from the worst trip I have ever been on (one deer sighting in 4 days).
I was happy to be back in MA and even happier to see that the 16 inches of snow that had fallen on the morning that we had left, was almost gone. We got home from N.Y. late Wednesday night and I spent Thursday washing all my clothes and getting ready for my hunt on Friday. The winds had been primarily from the southwest for the previous few days but were going to be switching to the N/NW on the 4th. I had two stand that I could hunt on the N/NW winds, I considered these two stands to be my best two stands. I thought long and hard about how I would hunt the two spots and which one I would go to in the morning. After flipping a coin I made my decision.
On Friday morning I made my way out to the stand I had chosen. The stand is about a 40 minute hike, out onto a ridge that is mostly made up of mountain laurel so thick, you can't walk through it. My stand is located where this laurel reaches more open hardwood (mostly oaks). Over the summer this location produced tons of trail camera pictures of does. It only produced two buck pictures (a broken racked 6 point and a fork horn). I still set the stand with the idea that the does lived in the laurel, and come November the bucks would be there.
I got to the stand before dark, it was cold, and fairly windy (10-15mph). At approximately 8pm the wind took a break just for a bit, the woods fell very quiet. I took the opportunity to roll my estrous bleat can about 4-5 times and put it away. About 5 minutes later as I looked up the thick line of mountain laurel out in front of me and a little to my right I could see a piece of laurel moving and the black nose of a deer. A buck was rubbing some laurel about 50-60yds away. As the buck slowly came out of the laurel I could see it was a good 8 point buck. He moved very slowly toward me. I could feel that the wind was perfect and he had no chance to wind me. He was very careful, looking hard, and checking the wind with every step. It seemed like he was never going to step out in the open. As he reached about 40 yds and appeared as if he would step out, I noticed movement in the same spot where he had exited the laurel. It was another rack buck, another 8 pointer. I quickly realized that the first buck was the biggest, and that he was now working closer and was going to walk through the wide open at 25 yards. I quickly disregarded the other buck and focused on the first. I slowly came to full draw as he stepped in to open. I gave a quick mouth grunt to stop him. He didn't hear me, and walked right through the first lane. Within a second he entered the second lane and I again grunted and he didn't hear me, I quickly grunted louder and this time he stopped. I released me arrow and within a split second knew that this buck wasn't going very far.
I grabbed my phone to let everyone know that I had just shot a good buck and that I was gonna need some serious help to get him out of the woods. I also let my brother know that I knew which buck I had killed. Over the summer he had got a trail camera photo of a high-racked eight pointer on a ridge about 1/4 - 1/2 mile away. This buck was very tall and unique and I knew as soon as I had seen him which buck he was.Within an hour or so I was back at the stand with a 4-wheeler and 3 friends to help. With snow still on the ground and a large hole made by a Rage broadhead, the trail was easy to follow. The buck ran about 150yds before dieing at the edge of the same mountain laurel he had come out of. The buck was big and took some serious work, even with a 4-wheeler to get out of the woods. Thanks to everyone who helped get him out of the woods.