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John's Journal... Entry 174, Day 3


Hit Or Miss?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Crumley, founder of Trebark camouflage in Roanoke, Virginia, talks about his hunt at Heartland Outfitters in Illinois where he took a monster buck.

QUESTION: How did you aim?
CRUMLEY: I just put the 20-yard pin a little bit in front of his chest and let the bow go. I shoot yellow feathers so I can track the arrows. Usually, when the arrow hits the side of a deer, you can see it splatter like a paint ball. But I lost sight of the arrow. The arrow was going right where it was suppose to, and then it just disappeared. The deer didn't even pay any attention to it. He didn't even know he had been shot. He chased the doe over to this next little rise about 40-yards away and stood there. Then, he looked back behind him, stomped his right-front foot three times and looked back behind him again. He looked at the doe, made a movement toward the doe and stumbled. Then he stopped, staggered back over on his right side and died. For about 30 seconds, I thought I had missed the deer.

QUESTION: What did you think when he stumbled?
CRUMLEY: Well, I knew I must have hit him. He obviously wasn't acting right. He didn't know he had been hit. Then 30 seconds later he was dead. I saw him go down. In a matter of 30 seconds, I went from the low end of thinking I missed a deer to the absolute high end of the spectrum. My heart can't take too many more situations like that.

QUESTION: How long did you stay in the tree?
CRUMLEY: I remained in the stand about 15 minutes to calm down. I was shaking pretty badly. I came down, packed my stuff up under the tree and went over and looked at the buck for the first time. I realized what a beautiful buck I had taken. I felt lucky because I did hit low from where I was aiming. The arrow chose its own path and still did the job.

QUESTION: Did you find the arrow?
CRUMLEY: I found the arrow. It had passed through him, and he had kicked it with his hind feet when he ran. It went behind his right-front leg and came out in front of his left-front leg. So he probably ran 40 or 50 yards before he fell.

QUESTION: What did James Woodley score this buck?
CRUMLEY: It grossed 150 something and netted 144 points. It was a 9- point, so it had 4 points on one side and 5 points on the other side, which meant 6 or 8 points in deduction.

QUESTION: Was that one of your best deer?
CRUMLEY: Yes. It is by far the prettiest deer I've taken. My best deer scored 156 points on Boone & Crockett, but that was a 12 pointer. This deer was just a 9 pointer, and it still scored 144. I'm going to call it my best.

QUESTION: Tell me about grunting the deer.
CRUMLEY: Well, right at daybreak, after I saw him walk up to the edge of the field, I got the bleat call out and bleated one time. Nothing happened. I grunted one time after that, and nothing happened. Probably 5 minutes after that, the doe came out of the field down the trail. The buck really didn't seem to pay any attention. He was just strictly waiting on a doe to come out of that field. He had a plan and was sticking to it. He wasn't going out and running around in the field. He didn't go out and run that little buck off. He had figured out the does would come out of the field that way.

To learn more about Trebark camouflage, call 1-800-843-2266 or visit www.trebark.com. For more information about Heartland Lodge, write RR #1 Box 8A Nebo, IL 62355, call 1-800-717-4868, or visit www.heartlandlodge.com.




Check back each day this week for more about JIM CRUMLEY'S BIG DEER ...

Day 1 - Crumley Sets Up To Take The Big Deer
Day 2 - Crumley Takes A Shot At A Monster Buck
Day 3 - Hit Or Miss?
Day 4 - Crumley Gets The Best Of The Guides
Day 5 - Crumley's Preferred Equipment

John's Journal