This all started just over a year ago when I went with Vic and Kyle to another piece of property last year trying to get Kyle his first deer.. Long and short we seen one deer in which Kyle elected to pass and that ended up being the only deer we seen and he was pretty bummed out cause he went home empty handed! Lesson learned… Its Hunting!
Now let’s fast forward to this year… Prior to the youth hunt me and Vic were talking and I asked him if he would mind if Kyle came with me to one of my properties where there are generally quite a few bucks. He said “Not at all!” So we then went into planning mode and started getting things ready for the hunt.. Went out and got a double ladder stand and put it up with camo burlap around it and planted a food plot on each side of the plot. Once I finished it all up I hung a camera and got out of there to let things settle down!
Now fast forward to 9/17 I go out to check the camera and I have pictures of several different bucks coming through in daylight hours and one being an exceptional 9 point. Had a couple other dandies coming through but usually at night after dark.. Didn’t think much of it other than wish we would have been there hunting then.. Ah well that’s how it goes.. Get deer on camera in daylight go hunt and you never see them right?
Fast forward to Saturday morning!
Opening morning of the youth hunt.. I get up for no apparent reason at all at like 4:15 AM and am sitting there all giddy and ready to go and sit around waiting for time to come that I can go get Kyle.. Time comes I head over to Vic’s and grab Kyle and we get back to my house and I had him jump in the shower and take a scent free shower while I grabbed his clothes and turned them inside out along with mine and tossed them in the dryer along with some of Dr. Jim’s Scent buster dust and get that going. once he was done I ran down grabbed the clothes and had him get dressed outside and explained why we took these steps and the reasoning behind it.. If you have read Spitfire’s story about his nephews success you know they were hunting in what I would consider a small lodge so scent is really not a factor.. Looking at the forecast everything is shaping up to be a great morning and looked like the rain was going to miss us.. So we get to the tree stand, climbed up and settled in for the morning!
As it was breaking day I could see we had a sea of fog that was lingering and were pretty limited on sight..
The morning as a whole was pretty slow.. Seen one deer and the tail end of one going into the corn.. So we took a break and went to get lunch and take a little nap and about 3:30 Kyle jumped back in the shower and we headed back over to my house to get ready for the evening hunt where we got dressed, sprayed down and off we went to the stand! Having seen a couple bucks coming through in daylight hours we both had pretty high hopes that it was gonna happen tonight!
About 6:30 caught one crossing the tracks that I think was the 6 point I had on cam but was too far out for the combo we were using out of the muzzle loader.. Then about 7:30 i hear deer coming down off the side hill and look over and its 4 does coming into the food plot to eat. As I am watching them I can tell Kyle is trying to look over my shoulder to see them and tell him don’t move cause at this point they are inside of 30-40 yards. I could still tell he was trying to look so I turned to look at him to tell him to move real slow to get a look and got about half way around and look in the other food plot and there is the big 9 coming.. I tell Kyle “Get that gun pointed straight out in front of you there is a buck coming” so he swings the gun into position and gets his head down and is in the ready position and I ask ” are you solid and can you see the middle of the food plot? ” Kyle says “yeah, I am good ” Me ” OK.. Slowly reach up and cock the hammer, he is gonna step out into the opening any minute and when you see him get them cross hairs half way up his body on the shoulder OK? ”
Hammer comes back and I see him settle his cheek and I start rolling camera.. At least I thought I did anyway! In the mix I must have double punched the record button!! At any rate I see the deers head come out and say ” OK, Here he comes Kyle, are you on his shoulder? ” Kyle “Yes” Me ” Get ready to shoot, I am going to stop him and when I do I want you to settle and squeeze the trigger! ” I had to wait for the deer to break a little as he was quartering too us too hard and when he did I stopped him.. ” Bahhh..” Deer stops and stands there looking broadside and I said “Shoot Him” …. Kyle shoots and all I can see is a cloud of smoke and the buck wheels around and takes off.. I thought I could see him jump a little but just couldn’t tell with all the smoke!
Kyle then looks up at me and says ” What did I just shoot? ” I said ” What do you mean what did I just shoot? You shot a good one!! ” Kyle ” I did? I never saw his rack! ” At that point I was extremely proud of Kyle for being disciplined enough to listen and keep his eye on the prize so to speak and never took them cross hairs off the shoulder!
To be safe I called my other Good Buddy Rob Miller of Michigan Deer Tracking Hounds cause I just wasn’t positive and I didn’t see him go down.. Called Rob and told him we got a good one and he said lets give him an hour and I will be there! So we go back to Vic’s tell him the good news and I cant count the number of times Vic said ” No, You didn’t!!! ” but am pretty sure it was into double digits and gave Kyle a bear hug that pert near about crushed him and we piled into my truck and went back to my house to wait for Rob..
Upon his arrival we went over the hunt and the shot and I told him I was pretty sure we had a good hit but just couldn’t tell through the smoke.. Knowing what he had told me before, we stayed away from where the deer was when Kyle shot to give the dog the best start on that trail. When we got out to plot I showed him about where the buck was standing and we could see where he tool off out of the plot but no blood so at this point I am pretty nervous and we go about 40-50 yards and Sypris breaks off into some tall grass and I hear Rob “I got blood!” “Lots of it” Should be a dead deer so the buck jumps to the right and then back to the left and Sypris stayed right with it and she takes us right down into the marsh about 200 yards away and the blood is starting to fade and now I am getting nervous again.. Thinking to myself.. Did it penetrate the shoulder? Was it really a good shot? and as we are tracking Sypris comes to a stop and Rob is Just ahead of me and this buck stands up literally an arms length away from Rob.. Stands there face to face with him and then lowers his head and lunges forward all in a matter of a few seconds and just here Rob yell and fall backwards as the buck jumped between him and his dog and there was only about 4 ft of leash.. So I am standing there in shock and ask Rob.. “Are you ok? ” he says yeah so I shine the light up and the buck is trying to get through the marsh and you can tell he is struggling and weak and stops about 50 yards up on the edge and stads there and looks back at us so at this point I know he is hurt bad… I watch him hobble off to the left and I told Rob.. I know right where he is going to go.. There is a small pine stand around the corner they almost always try to get to so we made the decision to back out and wait a couple more hours and go back in after him and this when we got to see the TRUE capabilities of Rob’s dog Sypris Which by the way had her first confirmed recovery only 5-6 days prior on a doe I shot and knew was fatal so was good training..
Rob put Sypris back on the trail and off she went from the deers bed where she took the same line he did so Rob knew she was locked on him and she ended up tracking that buck for nearly 200 yards without a drop of blood until we finally came upon the buck less than 50 yards from the Pine Stand! Was in AWE of how well she maintained a line on that buck with what we would consider ZERO sign..
So we gutted him out and drug him up to the house and went in and got Kyle and his cousin as they were pretty whipped and crashed out as we had told them to do and said come take a look at your buck buddy!! Both him and his cousin come out of the house about the same time I heard “HOLY” out of one of them and “Wow” out of the other! Then there eyes lit up and they were both smiling ear to ear!! We all hugged and congratulated each other on introducing 2 new hunters into the outdoors!! Kyle & Sypris!!
Very proud of both of them and here is our final result of the 2011 Michigan Youth Hunt.
Kyle W/ Rob & Sypris of Michigan Deer Tracking Hounds! (MDTH)
One Proud Father With One Happy Son!! He set the bar high for ya Vic.
Me and Kyle the next morning taking pics..
Last but not least.. He had to have a pic of just him cause god forbid there be any adults in the picture when he is showing his buddies!! LOL.. To be young again!!