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Bear Kelly Hunts Big Game with Bows, Guns and Muzzleloaders

trail cameras.

The day I decided to hunt this buck, I had a favorable wind. I had a climbing tree stand but I only got up about 12 feet off the ground to see over the brush and the undergrowth. I set up on the edge of a hedgerow because trees there were big enough for me to climb with my tree stand. I picked this stand by identifying the trails the does were using and the trails the bucks were using. I learned that most often the bucks used trails that weren’t being used by the does. Although several good bucks were on the land, this was the buck I really wanted. The city’s property adjoined a corn field, so the deer had plenty of agriculture to feed on and could bed and feed on natural browse. Too, due to the houses around the property, the area was an ideal sanctuary.

beaver damEven though I had a favorable wind that day, I’d learned over the years there’s an advantage to being totally scent-free, since bucks don’t always do what they’re supposed to do. I felt a lot of confidence in being scent-free when hunting, particularly bowhunting. Not only was the wind good while I was hunting this buck, but I also had a day off, so I could devote the entire day to taking the Orchard Park buck. As I sat in my stand, I caught movement off to my left, and when I looked, the buck was walking down the edge of the hedgerow where I’d anticipated he’d come. When he was 18 yards from me, I saw that he had his nose in the air sniffing for an estrous doe.

At that time my bow of choice was a Hoyt Reaper and I was shooting a Wasp SST broadhead。 I especially liked that broadhead because I found that when it came out of my bow, it flew straighter at long distances than other broadheads I’d shot in the past。 When the buck was walking away from me, I drew my bow and then grunted to him to stop him。 He looked back to the direction where he’d heard the grunt call, offering me a perfect broadside shot。 The arrow flew true and hit the buck right behind his right shoulder and made a clean pass-through。 The buck only ran 20 yards and was down for the count。 

This hunt took place late in the morning after all the residents around the property had gone to work. At that time, I was wearing Mossy Oak Break-Up, so I was not only invisible to the buck but also to anyone in the neighborhood. I drove roads into and out of the property where neither I nor my vehicle would be seen. I knew these lands well because my Grandmother Smith owned it originally, and she sold that property to the town to make a park. However, several years went by before the town started building it. That’s why the town wanted the beavers removed from the property. Then the town could route the stream where they wanted it to go and not have it dammed-up and flooding the land. Over the course of my arrangement with the city, I removed five beavers off the property.

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