A routine trail cam check finds a stunning Booner-class buck. Add in the power of the HuntStand app and you get our Week Two winner.
As we see most every year, more and more hunters are benefitting from the latest in trail cam technology. Even more deadly? When you pair those helpful tools with the power of the feature-packed HuntStand app, as was the case this past summer with Kentucky’s Michael Bobo, a focused and dedicated bowhunter. For submitting the story and photos of his stunning Boone-and-Crockett class Bluegrass State buck bagged Sept. 16, Bobo, 50, is the Week Two winner of the 2019 HuntStand Big Buck ALERT contest that earns him a sweet pack combination from ALPS OutdoorZ: The Bino Harness X with Vital X (see below). The weekly win also makes Bobo eligible for our Grand Prize drawing in November (more on that below). We’re still looking for eight more weekly winners so enter today!
Here is the story of Bobo’s riveting HuntStand app success story, in his own words:
“Thank you for the opportunity to share the story of my buck that was harvested on Sept 16, 2019, in west KY, with help from the HuntStand app,” Bobo wrote. “We have had a Redneck box blind on a 15-foot tower for the past several years on the back side of my farm, located outside of Murray, KY. It was set up for gun hunting, but the past couple years, my oldest son and I have converted over to archery hunting only. There is a nice pine thicket behind the blind that has been well traveled by deer. So, this summer, I decided to set up the blind for archery by planting a food plot closer to the blind, establishing a new salt lick and moving the corn/protein feeder closer to the blind, tucked just inside the pine trees with 2-3 available shooting lanes from the elevated blind.
“So, in August, I noticed the buck my son named ‘Crab Claw’ started showing up on my trail camera, in the afternoons at the new salt lick/feeder site. I immediately informed my son (who is six hours away in college) and he granted his permission for me to pursue this amazing deer, as we were not sure how long he would hang around, and we were pretty certain he would not survive once gun season started. This was a new deer on our property, the likes of which we had not seen before.
“I began to pattern him, anxiously awaiting opening day of KY archery season. I noted early evening and occasional 4- to 5-a.m. deer movement. I began to monitor my HuntStand HuntZone to pick the ideal wind. I did sit the stand for two evenings in which the HuntZone was not exactly favorable, but this buck was on my mind, and I didn’t want to risk him leaving the premises. On Sept. 16, the HuntZone red cone was looking the most favorable it had in two weeks, with a gentle NW wind blowing in my face. It did happen to be a Red Moon as well, for what it is worth. It also happened to be the hottest day of the year, topping out at 97 degrees.
“I arrived in the stand by 4:30 p.m., sweating profusely. Several does and fawns meandered by, beginning about 6:30 p.m. At about 5 min. prior to the end of legal shooting time, I noticed a large antlered deer arrive at the mixture of corn, and all stock feed that I had placed on the ground three days prior. I looked through my binoculars, and yes, there was Crab Claw. He was quartering away in a low-light situation, but at 25 yards, I felt that I needed to capitalize on the opportunity he was presenting. My heart rate went from 70 beats per minute to what felt like at least 250. I took two long, deep breaths before I was able to calm my breathing and heart rate enough to draw back my Mathews. I drew and let her fly.
“It was not a full pass through, so I was able to follow my lighted nock as the deer disappeared toward an adjacent open field. I felt that the shot was a lethal one. I stayed in the stand for 45 minutes and then got down and checked for blood at the site of the shot…none! I briefly looked in the direction he ran out to 50 yards, and never saw blood. The next morning, I attempted to follow the trail that he ran after the shot, and still found no blood. I began to get a bit demoralized.
“I then consulted with a friend who is a local outfitter, who suggested a bloodhound to track the deer. The hound we wanted was in Ohio when we called, tracking another deer, but would be able to come to my farm later in the day. Hank, the bloodhound, and two handlers arrived at 10 p.m. Within 2 min. of Hank sniffing around the site of the shot, he was able to locate a nice blood trail that had eluded me. We carefully tracked the deer for over 2 hours and 1.7 miles. We found an area where it appeared the deer had bedded, but then saw hair nearby indicating that likely a coyote had gotten after the deer. We kept going, across three fences, two creeks and up and down several steep slopes, until finally Hank led us to the prize. It was such an amazing relief to have found this deer. It’s the largest buck we have ever seen on our property at [a green score of] 169 inches, and the largest of my hunting career to date.”
To enter the HuntStand 2019 Big Buck ALERT contest, simply send us a few clear, high-res. digital photos (three to five) of your 2019 buck bagged after Aug. 31 (Entries accepted NOW THROUGH NOV. 29) along with a brief story of your hunt that explains how the HuntStand app played a part. Be sure to tell us if your buck was known to you or a newcomer, then describe the area where your stand sits, or where the encounter took place, as well as the fateful day’s wind and weather conditions, and of course, the blow-by-blow account of the exciting action as it unfolded. Include your full name, age, successful hunt date and state, weapon used, and also be sure to include your mailing address. Your e-mail subject line should read: Big Buck Alert! Send your photo(s) and requested info to: [email protected]
Team HuntStand will choose 10 weekly winners that we will share with the extensive HuntStand community; EACH weekly winner will receive BOTH the Bino Harness X (valued at $49.99) AND Vital X rangefinder pocket (valued at $19.99) from ALPS OutdoorZ (see above).
In addition, at the end of the 10 weeks, all weekly winners will be placed in a drawing for our Grand Prize: an ALPS OutdoorZ Contender X pack (valued at $199.99; image above). Pack specialist ALPS is calling this new feature-packed design the ultimate whitetail day pack; the coolness of the Contender X begins with its innovative self-standing L-shape frame, which allows you to set your pack on any flat surface. The unique U-shaped zipper provides extra-large, flip-down top access to the main compartment—ideal for easy gear access while hanging in your stand or sitting on the ground, without losing precious pack contents. You’ll also find Elimishield Scent Control Technology to help eliminate scent, and a Drop Down pocket to carry gun or bow securely.
Good luck out there this fall from all of us here at Team HuntStand and let us know when (and how) you score!