PSE’s James Nickols’ Second Big 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.
The next year, I was still hunting with my Dream Season bow. I was hunting the same farm in Bruner, Missouri, where I took my first PSE bow buck. This year, I was hunting later in the winter, and the deer had transitioned from crop lands and white oaks over to feeding on red oaks. I was hunting out of a camouflaged tree stand and got into my stand before daylight. I could hear a deer crunching acorns before the sun came up. I had my bow in my hand. A little after daylight, I was able to see the buck when he came in to 22 yards. I drew my PSE Dream Season bow and loosed the arrow on this nice 8-point buck that ran about 60 yards before piling up. This buck scored about 132 on Pope & Young.
When I put up a tree stand, I try to get 15 to 22 feet high. I believe that deer have a peripheral vision, so they can see danger. But I don’t believe their peripheral vision extends above 15 to 22 feet. By getting that high, I don’t believe the deer can see me. On this morning, I had no wind at all, and that was why I could hear the deer crunching acorns. I stood and took the shot. When you’ve got deer that close, you’ve got to make sure that your tree stand doesn’t crack or pop when you’re preparing for the shot. I had already trimmed the limbs around the tree stand and put felt on any place that had metal parts that might rub together. Where I couldn’t put felt, I used scentless oil to lubricate the stand to ensure its absolute silence.
I’d been scouting this buck since mid July, until I took him at the 1st of November. Although I do walk the property I’m hunting, early in the season, I use binoculars to stay as far away from the deer as possible. I also use trail cameras to keep up with the deer’s movement patterns. I had about 15 or 20 trail camera pictures of this buck that I’d started seeing in July. However, then I lost him and didn’t get him again on trail cameras until just before the rut started. That buck had moved 3 miles from where I’d originally photographed him on the trail cameras. I’ve learned that many times when you have trail camera pictures of a buck, and he vanishes, he may be a long way from where you’ve first photographed him. This nice buck was feeding on a soybean field in July, next moved to the white oak acorns when they first started dropping and then moved to the red oaks. That’s where I caught up to him. One of the things that impressed me when I started trailing this deer after the shot was that I got a clean pass through and had a blood trail to follow that looked like a painter had taken red paint and painted the trail the buck went down. I like the speed and the knock down power of my Dream Season bow to not only put the buck down efficiently, but to give me a clean pass through, so I have a good blood trail to follow.