By Albert Quackenbush
My family is extremely important to me and is my top priority. Bow hunting is a very close second! Second to the excitement of filling one of my own tags is the thrill I get when my dad, Skip, or my brother, BJ, fills one of theirs. My California archery deer season for has been open for a couple months, but theirs has been less than a month. I try to keep up on their quest by texting my brother (who I know will usually answer from the tree stand) and calling my dad during the workweek. I have been keeping up with their progress since summertime as they have shared stand locations, deer they have seen, and trail camera photos. To be quite honest, I am a bit jealous. Whitetail hunting is a passion I share with them and hearing about it makes we crave it more!
Last week, I received a text from BJ saying he had a deer down. It was followed up by one that stated he had arrowed a 6-point. Then it stopped. No more texts. What? Where were the details? Not wanting to be left hanging, I texted him back asking for the story. He said he’d be posting it online. It seemed like a week went by, but my brother posted that afternoon and here’s what he wrote:
I was in my stand this afternoon and I surveyed the area to see what spot would be the best place for me to shoot a deer. There was one spot about fifteen yards away that seemed to be perfect. Nice and open with no obstacles. Guess where I arrowed this guy?? In that EXACT spot!! No joke. He wandered in tonight around 5:30 PM and came toward my stand, but stayed just out of bow range the whole time. He started going away from me so I hit my grunt call. He stopped. I hit it again and his head whipped around toward me. He turned and walked right in the spot fifteen yards away. I stopped him with a mouth bleat and the rest is history. A short drag out of the woods and a ride back to the truck and we headed home. Best of all, my wife had a huge Crockpot of venison pot roast ready to be devoured!! Thanks to my Dad for helping me out and I give him all the credit for this one. He’s the one who found the rubs and said we should put a stand up there. He picked the stands tonight and let me have that one. Thanks!! Happy hunting!
Knowing all the work that my dad and brother put in to hunting whitetails, this was huge for them. Getting some meat in the freezer is always a priority, but having one down with antlers is a bonus. I know they both have quite a few tags left to fill, but I also know that with the rut just kicking in and the cooler temperatures arriving that they are both fired up for the rest of the season. The best part for me is that even though I may reside 3,000 miles away, I am right there with them and I am also getting fired up for them.
With me taking my first elk this past September and now my brother taking a buck in NY, my dad is up to bat. He has said to me that his sons have set the bar high for him this year. All I have to say is he usually takes that bar, fashions an arrow, adds some fletching and a broadhead and arrows himself a few big deer by seasons end. Don’t let him fool you, he just saves the best for last.
Albert Quackenbush has been bowhunting for more than 28 years. He shares his adventures on his blog, www.SoCalBowhunter.com, and also writes for Bow Adventures e-magazine. He is a Pro Staff member for DIYbowhunter.com, Piranha Custom Bowstrings and Field Logic. He is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California Deer Association, and is a Life Member of the North American Hunting Club.
Albert was born and raised in New York State where he learned to hunt everything from squirrels to whitetail deer. He currently resides in Southern California with his wife and daughter and hunts year round.