This season has been frustrating one. After not seeing much deer movement recently and already being November 9, I was wondering when the action was going to start. After celebrating with my brother, Matthew Melville, who harvested his largest whitetail buck the night before and looking at the forecast of 20 to 30 mph winds I did not hunt in the morning. After speaking with my great friend Steve Petrilli and deciding we would brave the high winds and go out for the evening hunt we hit the woods. Due to the high winds I decided to set up in a stand we have set up near a creek and protected from the winds by some ridges.
I got excited walking to my stand as I noticed a large rub that was not there the day before. I placed my bow on my bow hook that is screwed into the tree, however, after several minutes of watching my bow swing in the wind, I decided to just hold it for the hunt. After sitting for a couple hours, I figured I would not see any deer as darkness was approaching. All of a sudden I looked behind me and saw tines walking through the woods. I immediately stood up and noticed a large buck with white tines on a trail that parallels my stand by 40 yards goes toward the new rub I noticed. I am unable to shoot this trail as it is heavily covered by tree limbs.
I grabbed my grunt call and gave a couple grunts. The buck stopped as I was worried he would not be able to hear me due to the wind. He continued on, and I again grunted several more times until he immediately turned and started heading towards my stand. He came to about 20 yards away and began working a scrape that also was not there the day before. As he worked the scrape I noticed the tall tines and decided I was going to take him.
I drew back my bow and placed my pin just behind the front shoulder and squeezed my release. I watched the lumenok light up and hit right where I aimed, however, I did not get a pass through and feared that I may have shoulder blade hit the deer. The deer took off down a grass path out of sight. Nervous, I found a lot of blood right away, and I quietly exited the woods to meet with my brother and Steve at the shed. After discussing the shot we decided to eat dinner and then go after him. We asked my little buddy Andrew Petrilli (8 years old) to help us track, as this was his first tracking experience. Andrew was able to follow the blood and was very excited. After following the blood trail for just over 100 yards we located my 8 point buck.
I was thrilled and glad I was able to have my friends and family with me during the experience. I would also like to thank the Petrilli family for allowing me to hunt with them.