Utah/North Dakota 2018
Hello everyone and welcome to my first blog for our new website. Allow me to begin by saying, “Okay, we’ve had enough rain already!” Like much of the upper midwest, we are past the point of being saturated. Thank goodness it looks like the rain may have actually stopped…and now it’s supposed to get cold for a few days. On a positive note, maybe the colder temps will spur mature bucks into more daylight friendly movement patterns. Fingers crossed on that!
Anyway, before going any further with what’s currently happening, I’d like to get you caught up on what’s been happening with THE HUNT the past month. In mid-August Jake and my nephew Zane Miller traveled to Utah for a spot & stalk bowhunt for mule deer with our good friend Brach Pulver. Though they saw a number of really good bucks, the guys struggled to find one that was in a real “stalk friendly” position. Also, it rained nearly every day of their hunt, which made for something less than desirable hunting conditions. All this being said, however, Jake and Zane did come away from their trip with full intentions of going back in 2019 for another go ’round with those big Utah muleys.
A little over a week after returning from his Utah trip, Jake jumped right back into the game by joining Matt Tande, Jon Goldsberry and myself on a bowhunt for whitetails in North Dakota. I should add that Jake was making the trip solely as a cameraman and CFP or Chief Field Producer (a term I just made up by the way). As it turned out, his presence proved to be a blessing. Though the first three days of our hunt were something less than eventful, the next three days were nothing short of unbelievable! I started the ball rolling by arrowing a 5 1/2 year-old, heavy horned 8-point on the fourth evening. The old whitetail made his appearance a good half-hour before dark and fed in front of our blind for a full 15 minutes before offering a decent shot angle. Fortunately for us, the hog-bodied deer went only about 40 yards after I arrowed him.
The very next evening found me sitting in a ground blind with Matt and running camera to hopefully film him arrowing a big whitetail. We’d been getting RECONYX scouting cam pics of several different shooter bucks near the blind and were very optimistic that one of those deer would make an appearance. As it turned out, we had to wait just a little over an hour to discover that our optimism was well warranted. That’s when Matt spotted a big 9-point buck headed our way. As is so often the case, it seemed to take forever for the mature whitetail to close the distance and walk in front of the blind. But when he finally did, he was just 20 yards away. Matt made a perfect shot and we recovered his beautiful North Dakota trophy after a 150 yard trailing job.
So now we were down to Jon Goldsberry’s one remaining archery tag–but with only two days left to fill it. None the less, Jon and Jake (who was filming Jon) were very confident about their chances for success. They’d also been getting RECONYX pics of some big bucks near one of their treestands. However, the largest of those bucks, a gorgeous full velvet 9-point, had yet to make an appearance during daylight. But as the two men were about to discover, the buck was about to dramatically alter his travel schedule.
Jon and Jake had been waiting only a short while when, unbelievably, the big 9-point they’d been waiting for suddenly strolled into view! The trophy whitetail walked right out in front of their treestands and promptly began feeding on the many acorns that were lying on the ground. Unfortunately for Jon, the buck remained at an unfavorable shot angle for quite some time. Patience proved to be a virtue, however, as the 9-point suddenly turned perfectly broadside and offered Jon the angle he’d been waiting for. Put simply, Jon’s buck made us three for three on what was a total do-it-ourselves North Dakota bowhunt. Just an incredible and unbelievable trip!