By: Mark Rohlfing

The rut was heating up and I was heading to spot that was a perennial hot spot for giant rubs and scrapes, along with the trail cam pictures of bucks to prove it. It was a 25-minute hike in and another 20 minutes to get my Lone Wolf stand and gear situated in this big awkward oak tree. Before I was settled I heard a buck and other deer grunting and running, but could not see them. A little rut activity is always a good start to the morning.

It was finally getting light enough to shoot, so I grabbed the rattling antlers and tickled them together in the refrigerator like darkness. While still rattling I heard leaves shuffling behind me and turned around to see a buck looking right in my direction. He stood motionless assessing the situation, looking for the fighting bucks he just heard. I could not make out his rack against the dark background. He worked a scrape and began moving my way.

In a brief opening I caught a glimpse of the tall tines on his right side and quickly grabbed my bow from the hanger. I had 30 seconds to decide if I was going to shoot. Those long G2’s looked too good to pass, even though he was basically a 4×4.

Author shows what the results are when everything goes right.

The kill switch went off. I committed and came to full draw. At 15 yards in a wide-open clearing I stopped him with the infamous “maaa”. I settled the top pin high and just a little back as he was slightly quartering away at a steep angle.

Time stood still for a brief moment… then the arrow impact broke the silence. I heard the melon thump and watched as the fletching disappeared right on the money. He ran about 80 yards into the brush and crashed into the dry leaves.

That was it – at least an hour and a half to get ready, then in 20 minutes its over… Kind of crazy, but very rewarding. I put the tape to him and got 141” gross.

Equipment used: Leupold Rangefinder with S4 Gear Sidewinder ), Victory Arrows, Goat Tuff OptiVanes, , Tru-Fire release, HECS suit, Nose Jammer, Lone Wolf Treestand and Hoyt Maxxis.