HuntStand Delivers Big-As-Texas Bow Buck [Big Buck ALERT]

A long-awaited buck appears. When the recovery takes a turn for the worse, HuntStand is there to point the way.

by Mark Melotik

HuntStand Pro Contributor MORE FROM Mark

A long-awaited buck appears. When the recovery takes a turn for the worse, HuntStand is there to point the way.

The powerful and multi-featured HuntStand app. Not only can it help you plan a successful hunt and bag a great buck this season, it can also help you recover your trophy after the shot. For proof, just ask Brian Barlow of Texas. For submitting images of his incredible 2019 Texas buck, and an equally incredible hunt/recovery story, Barlow is the latest weekly winner in the 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 Barlow eligible for our Grand Prize drawing (more on that below). We’re still looking for five more weekly winners so enter today!

Here is the story of Barlow’s incredible hunt, and miraculous recovery, in his own words:

“A two-and-a-half-year journey that involves a large whitetail buck has come to an end, but it isn’t as sweet as one would hope. I can’t begin to explain the feelings I have been enduring these past few days, but they followed in this order: Anticipation, exhilaration, impatience, foolishness, doubt, despair, disgust—and then finally—bittersweet!

Week5Three 900

“I had been patterning this buck all summer, and up until a week or so before opening day, he was coming every morning and afternoon. Unlike most deer in Texas, this guy wouldn’t come to a feeder; I had to set up in a small thicket and hand-corn. But once the local acorns began falling, all of a sudden he disappeared—for two weeks.

Week5Four 900

“Keeping a close eye on the moon phase thru my HuntStand app, I knew that with it being overhead 30 minutes before dark, that the next three days would likely cause him to cruise through at least once. I was planning on hunting that Saturday and sitting all day, in hopes of catching him slipping through.

Week5Six 900

“Well, the Thursday before, I got an update from my Moultrie XA7000i right at dark; it was him. So Friday afternoon, even with the temperature in the 90s, I got in my treestand right after work and settled in. Around 6:50 p.m. the does near my stand got nervous, and I just knew what was about to happen. Right on cue my target buck busted out of the brush and made a half circle, then strolled into my shooting lane. However, the big deer was facing directly away from me.

“I stayed at full draw for what seemed like an eternity.  Then suddenly he was broadside at about 19 yards; after releasing I felt I made a good hit.  Normally I try to wait at least an hour after a shot, but as thick as it was, and with a temp of 91 degrees, I felt I needed to slowly begin tracking him.

“Not long after I found my arrow and good blood, a little darker than I like but still good. I would find 20 yards of steady blood then lose it; then maybe 15 yards down the trail I would find another solid 20 yards of blood, but only on the right side of the trail. Each time I lost the blood I would tell myself to back out, but then I would run across more and think that he has to be piled up in the brush around the next turn.

Week5Five 900

“At about 8:20 p.m. I looked at my HuntStand app and realized that I was pushing him, because I was almost 500 yards down the blood trail, based off the pins I had dropped on HuntStand. I then backed out and came back Saturday morning at daylight.

“That morning I got back on blood right away and tracked it for another 200 yards or so, then lost it completely. I was devastated, not only because I had lost a buck of his caliber, but because I knew all of that fine meat was now definitely ruined.  Even so, I began doing grid patterns yet could not find another drop. Around 2 p.m. I pulled out.  That night I could not sleep, and kept checking my HuntStand map in hopes of figuring out his escape path. While checking the area I saw a pond about 1,000 yards away from my stand, and it appeared he was heading that way. So Sunday I again made the drive to my hunt area.

“Once on site I walked straight to the pond and searched around it, then made grid passes on my way back to the last spot I’d found blood. Once again, I found nothing. Monday I went to work and couldn’t get the buck off my mind; I replayed the shot over and over.

Week5Two 900

“After work I once again made the ride to my hunt area and upon arrival, off in the distance, I could see a lone buzzard circling.  At this sight I pretty much ran in that direction; more vultures appeared as I got closer.  And then, there he was. I found him floating 4 yards off the bank of the pond where I had stood the day before. I kicked off my shoes and waded right on in.

Week5Seven 900

“Such a mass amount of meat gone to waste. As you can see in my photo with him [at top], I was nearly in tears. Disgust and disappointment, yes, but also closure—all in one photo. Lesson learned: No matter how great of a shot, give them time.”

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]

2018Bino X+VitalX 900

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).

ALPSContenderX 900

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!



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