It’s In The Eye Of The Beholder

By Ricky Philippi

“Here comes the Muy Grande”; those were my last words before I harvested my first P&Y buck on the evening before Thanksgiving. 

I bagged my first doe with my bow when I was 11 years old, now I am 24 years old and have held off this long for a nice mature buck. I watch many hunting shows on television and one thing that drives me crazy is when a hunter does not let the deer reach their full potential. I always told myself I would never be a part of that. 

Game management and letting bucks grow to their maturity has always been my burning passion.  I have passed on many bucks in the 130’s with my bow at 8 – 10 yards while sitting in a Double Bull blind.  Which by the way is the best blind to hunt with the world!  I will never sit in a tree stand or tripod ever again after hunting out of a Double Bull. That is how much I believe in this blind. 

Back to my story, over the past years, I have been taking my video camera with me to film my hunts.   I would always bring my videos back and show them to my buddies. My friends would always ask, “Why didn’t you shoot that?”  I started wondering if any deer was going to be good enough for me. 

It had been 12 years since I shot a deer with my bow.  In my musings, I think maybe I just like to sit in the outdoors and watch the wildlife. On November 24th, all that changed in the blink of an eye.  

I was filming this cool looking palm leaf buck, the small buck looked back over his shoulder and that is when I saw the buck of my dreams. I sat the camera down and went into the “hunter” mode.  In my head, I was thinking, there is absolutely no way I am going to screw this up. 

Finally, the big guy was at 8 yards.  Sitting patiently I waited for my opportunity. 

When it came I slowly drew back my bow, took careful aim and let the Carbon Express arrow fly.  Immediately my heart sank because I thought I hit the buck too far back and up. It is instinct to a bow hunter to know if his shot is bad or good before it makes impact. 

All I know is I love my Spitfire Maxx broadheads, here is why. Right as the buck turned and ran away I could see what the broadhead had done and I knew the buck was not going far. Lo and behold, I heard him go down.  

The first thing after the shot, I sent my Dad a text saying “I just got a big 10 point.” Dad was hunting a quarter mile up the woods from me on the highest point on our land. I think he thought I was joking because prior to the deer coming in my Dad and I were texting each other asking if anybody saw anything. I dropped my phone and went to look for my buck. In 60 yards I saw antlers sticking up out of the grass and leaves.  I ran up to my deer, throwing my fist in the air not caring that I was looking like fool. 

Ricky with his first Pope And Young class buck. Check out that smile.

I was pumped, by myself, and didn’t care about anything else in the world at that moment!  

Here came my Dad walking up the road.  When he saw me with the buck I think he was more excited than I was.   It was a pretty cool thing for us because I know my Dad puts a lot of work into the game management program for our deer. As I get older, I see why he has been doing what he has for the deer population on our land. The results speak for themselves. 

We filmed and recapped everything for 20 minutes (not a detail was missed). We took a billion pictures, I wanted a picture of every angle of this deer, and I mean every single angle. After all the pictures Dad and I shook hands and headed back to camp. 

Ricky Philippi with his mom, Cathy.

Driving up to camp my Mom walked out of our trailer and she knew by the smile on my face what had happened.  I know this deer was not a160 or anything, but to me it felt like it scored 200. I always wanted my first buck with a bow to be special and this one was!  The trophy is in the eye of the beholder and in my eye at this moment and for the rest of my life this deer is going to feel like a 200 class P&Y.

Special thanks to these great companies

Double Bull Blinds:  A great blind that gets you eye to eye with your game. 
For more go to: Double Bull Blinds

At the time I was shooting a Ross Bow. Now I am shooting the Destroyer 350.  I can’t wait for this upcoming deer season to put this bow to the test.  for more go to: BowTech Archery

New Archery Products -I was using the Spitfire Maxx on this hunt.  I also shot 5 wild hogs with this broadhead last fall and all I can say is that it is lethal. I took 6 animals with this head and none of them went over 100 yards.   It also fly’s like my field tips. For more go to: New Archery Products

Carbon Express- I used the maxima hunter’s on this hunt.  They have incredible penetration and fly like a bullet.  For more go to: Carbon Express

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