JIM CRUMLEY'S BIG DEER
Hit Or Miss?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
TOMORROW: CRUMLEY GETS THE BEST OF THE GUIDES