This story starts back in 2007 when I met the farmer that owns the land we hunted in Kansas. He was placing a large order for Rudy’s BBQ sauce and brisket rub while visiting Austin. I decided to ask him where he was from since it was so unusual for someone to buy that much at one time. When he told me he was from Kansas, I immediately started asking questions about hunting. I have always wanted to hunt those big Kansas bruisers so I just had to ask if he had any place to hunt or knew anyone that did. He told me that he had a small farm that had deer on it, but that he knew nothing about hunting or what was really there. He just knew they left some big tracks. He asked me if I was a gun hunter or a bowhunter. I told him right away that I was a bowhunter. He proceeded that we might be able to work something out since I bowhunted and he didn?t want any rifle hunter hunting since he had cows on the place. I took down his number and called him a week or so later to discuss the details and see if we could work out an arrangement for me and my Dad to come hunting.
We came to an agreement on a price for the two of us to hunt for a week and the excitement began to build. I knew our chances would be slim for getting a tag the first year, so we put in for the draw and waited to find out. We didn’t get drawn for a tag, so we knew we would get a tag the following year. This year, knowing we would be drawn, we were really excited to get started scouting and just go see what the place looked like. So far, all I had seen was an aerial map of the place.
This past June we went up and looked the place over, put up a couple feeders and got an idea of where to hang our GameTamer stands. September came and we returned to hang stands and fill feeders. There was activity at the feeders, but the ground was so hard you couldn’t really tell what was coming in to feed. Finally, the end of October came and we were supposed to leave Halloween day. As y’all know, it turned out hot and windy so we decided to put off our trip until the following Thursday when the next cold front was coming through.
The next Saturday morning I got a call from the land owner telling me he had seen a bunch of deer down by my stand. He didn’t mention what he was doing there. Then on Sunday he called back to say that he hoped he hadn’t messed up my stand as he had done a bunch of clearing with a dozer around my stand, but had left the tree my stand was in. I was worried sick but what could I say other than it would be fine, it wouldn’t bother the deer?
I was just sick thinking that he knew we were coming up Wednesday night, but he went ahead and did his dozing anyway. We arrived there Wednesday afternoon around 3pm and headed straight to the farm to see the damage we had been told about. It wasn’t as bad as I had imagined but I was afraid it would change where the deer crossed since it was wide open around my stand and about 200 yards of the fence had been cleared. There was no need in them crossing under the fence where they had been crossing. Thursday morning I get to my stand with little hope of getting a deer within range.
GameTamers TS-30 allows a central swivel seat that is silent while the stand itself may be mounted on any tree even if it is not straight.
Right after daybreak I was on stand facing the tree line when I caught movement behind me. It was a 135 inch 9pt about 40 yards away and walking in the open where the dozing had taken place. Before I could get my bow up, he had gone into the trees and disappeared. The next morning, the deer crossed in the open about the same place so I decide to try and see what I could do to hang my GameTamers stand closer to where the big buck had crossed the previous mornings. I found a group of trees that I thought would work as it had a background but nothing in front of me. Due to the way the land owner had pushed the brush, this was actually the only place for the deer to cross the creek in that area now.
Saturday morning came and we had decided to only hunt until 8am as we were going to pack up and leave at that time. This was one of those cold crisp mornings when you can hear yourself breathe it is so quiet. Just about the time I was ready to call my Dad on the radio to tell him to head my way, I saw the same 9pt. coming down the tree line. He didn’t present a shot, so I was pretty bummed and thought my hunt was over. Unwilling to admit defeat and cash the hunt in I decide to sit for a few more minutes and boy am I glad I did. I saw another buck coming and could tell he was a big bodied mature deer. His tines looked short and he looked pretty narrow, but I could tell he had good mass and large brow tines.
He got to about 60 yards from my stand when he stopped and started to browse. Then he disappeared and back into the woods. After about 5 minutes, I decided to grunt a little and rattle. I didn’t want to take my Release off the string as I knew he was close and for some reason, I was having a hard time getting him to move close enough for a shot. I grunted very lightly a few times and then reached over with one hand and rattled my horns just a little. To my surprise I saw another buck come running in, the big 9pt! He cautiously walked to the spot on the tree line that the big buck had gone in and stops and stared into the woods. I knew the other buck was still there. Then the 9pt began walking straight to me on the trail he had traveled earlier. I really had my hopes pinned on the other buck so I let the 9pt go hoping the other buck would follow. Sure enough, here he came. He was walking straight toward me and rapidly closing the distance.
My heart in my throat, I slowly turned in my GameTamer’s swivel seat so I could get a shot if he continued on the same trail. At 35 yds, he turned and headed up the same trail the 9pt had taken. If it had not been for my GameTamers swivel seat being soundless when I made the turn I don?t think I could have pulled it off. When the buck went behind a tree, I drew and held. Of course he had to stop behind the tree and investigate something rather than just waling by and out the other side to give me a shot. Finally, still at full draw, he took a few steps from behind the tree and stopped. I let the arrow fly and heard it hit hard. I picked up my binoculars to follow the deer as he ran. He stopped about 80 yards out and I confirmed it was him by the blood on his side. He stood there a few seconds and then the weak legs syndrome set in and he went down. I knew he was mine.
I called Dad on the radio and told him I had shot a big deer. He assumed it was the 9pt I had seen several time and said, “So you got the 130 class 9pt?” I said nope, I got a bigger one with a lot of mass.
We waited 30 minutes and went to get him. He was lying right where I saw him get weak legged and go down. We were both in shock when we walked up to this awesome deer. He grew and I mean a lot. It looked like a yearling calf lying in the grass. While we were admiring the deer, the neighbors saw us and come over to look. I could tell they were disappointed. They said they had been hunting this deer hard with no success but were glad we got him and not a car like the big one they were hunting last year. I never guessed this deer would go 162 when I first saw him. His body was so big and he had so much mass, I just never imagined he was as large as he was. This is by far the biggest bow buck I have ever shot. I owe this buck to my GameTamers stand and luck. I can?t say enough about how great a stand the GameTamers is. It is easy to hang, very comfortable and most of all it is super quiet. One little creak and this buck would have been gone and I would have gone home empty handed. GameTamers are the only treestands and quadpods I will ever use.