James Nickols’ First PSE Buck
Editor’s Note: Forty seven year old James Nickols from Sparta, Missouri, a PSE Field Team member, has been shooting PSE for 5 years. I shot another company’s bows for several years. But when PSE came out with its original Dream Season bow, I fell in love with the technology built into the bow. I also liked the company’s target archery bow, the Moneymaker. I was shooting target archery back then too, so I switched to PSE. I was shooting as a semi pro on the ASA circuit and had several top 10 places in competition archery. I got into 3D archery to help me become a better deer hunter because I was missing deer with my bow and felt shooting 3D archery would help me.
The biggest buck I’ve ever taken, I took with my PSE Dream Season. A storm was coming in to our area. I was hunting in Bruner, Missouri, about 35 miles from Springfield. About an hour before dark, the deer started moving, and I was set up in the woods in a ground blind I’d built using sticks and limbs that I picked up. I was hunting close to a white oak tree on the edge of a field, and the deer were feeding on white oak acorns. This was the only white oak tree in the area, and the only way to get close enough to that tree to make a shot was to build a ground blind.
I was wearing Mossy Oak Bottom Land, and that pattern really blended in well with the limbs and branches I’d used for my ground blind. I was wearing Scent Lok base layer and had sprayed down with Dead Down Wind odor eliminator. The deer were coming out into the field and then coming to the acorn tree. I had pictures of this big buck on trail cameras, but the problem I had was that he was coming into the field from three different trails. On this day, a big thunderstorm was about an hour away. I thought the deer might feed up ahead of the storm, and that this 160-class buck hopefully would be with the other deer on the field. Forty-five minutes before dark, the buck came out into the field and started feeding about 100 yards away from my blind. He slowly fed my way. Finally, when he was 35 yards from the blind, he turned broadside, feeding with his head down. But when I drew, a huge gust of wind blew my scent directly to him. He raised his head and looked in my direction, before putting his head down and started to graze. When the deer’s head was down, I released the arrow.
I got a double lung shot and the buck only ran about 40 yards before he piled up. Just as I released the shot, the wind blew, and I lost sight of my arrow. However, I saw the buck kick his back legs in the air like a mule kick. Then he bolted and ran before going down. When I checked my deer for the entry point of the broadhead, even with that gust of wind, I was only about 2 inches off from where I was aiming. That’s one of the advantages you have with a Dream Season bow, because it shoots so hard and so fast, I’ve found the wind has little effect on the shot. This buck scored 162 Pope & Young points and some change. I was shooting the Carbon Express Game Tracker broadhead with a Maxima Hunter shaft.
I never hesitate to carry a chair, build a ground blind and shoot from the sitting position when I can’t find a tree stand site from which I want to shoot. Today, I can shoot out to 100 yards from the seated position. I don’t shoot game at that distance, but I do practice that 100-yard shot. I also can shoot fairly accurately from a tree stand at 100 yards. I’m confident I can take animals at 70 yards with my PSE bow, as long as the conditions are right.