A few well-placed trail cameras. An aggressive newcomer buck. When HuntStand is added to the mix, our Week 4 winner is crowned.
Using trail cams to keep tabs on the bucks in your hunting area is a great way to watch bucks grow and mature year over year, but just as exciting (sometimes even more so) is the chance to encounter an impressive newcomer. That was the case this year for Kentucky’s Douglas Scott, who had plenty of reasons to be excited for the 2020 KY archery opener. For sending in photos and the HuntStand success story of a beauty western KY mainframe 8-point taken with his bow on Sept. 20, Scott is the Week 4 winner in the 2020 HuntStand Big Buck ALERT contest that earns him a sweet pack from ALPS OutdoorZ: The Quickdraw 2.0 Sling Pack (see below). The weekly win also makes Scott eligible for our Grand Prize drawing in late November (more on that below). We’re still looking for six more weekly winners so enter today!“We started putting minerals and cameras out in early June in hopes of identifying a target buck to chase in the fall,” Scott wrote. “We hoped to catch back up with a few different bucks that gave us the slip during the 2019 season.
“Soon we’d found one of the shooters from 2019, but there was also a new buck that was a total bully; he would run the other deer off the mineral site. He was a mature, big-bodied 8-point with a kicker off his right g2. Instantly I hoped to be able to put a tag on him come the first of September, the Kentucky opener. “As the weeks and months passed the buck kept growing, but as the season drew closer and closer he became a less-frequent visitor to the mineral stations. Opening weekend went by without any sightings of him, and we hadn’t had a photo in the two weeks leading up to the opener. I figured the buck’s home range had changed, as had been the case with many other bucks I have chased on this particular farm, and figured I wouldn’t see him again. I was wrong.
“Fast-forward to September 20th. My alarm clock went off at 3:30 a.m. and I hit snooze until 3:45; this was my only day off work that week and my bed was sure feeling good. Soon I picked up my phone and pulled up the HuntStand app and it said 47 degrees with a light NE wind. Instantly I jumped up out of bed wide awake; I knew I had to make a move while the weather and wind was right! I got dressed and headed out the door.“I pulled into my parking spot and once again checked the wind on the app to see if anything had changed, but it hadn’t. I headed in to the stand and was settled by 4:45 a.m. The wind wasn’t perfect for me, but it would play just right for the deer that were coming off the nearby bean fields, heading back to bed. The stand was set in-between, to intercept them on their way to bed.
“At first light I was covered up in deer; several does and fawns worked past me and several hung out around me feeding. As the morning progressed I caught a glimpse of two good bucks working the far ridge about 80 yards from my location, which would carry them just out of range. As they worked by I was already contemplating how to set up on those deer on the next hunt. There were still several does around so I didn’t want to bust them, even though some of them where directly down wind, but hunting on top of the ridge my thermals were rising so they didn’t know I was there.
“As I was watching does to my right the does I to my left suddenly spooked and went running toward the deer on my right. As I looked back down the ridge I couldn’t believe my eyes—coming up the ridge was a huge-bodied dark-racked buck! At first glance I could tell he was mature, but when he turned his head I saw the distinctive kicker coming off his g2; I knew it was him. I was shaking as the buck stood 20 yards away feeding; several does were still around me and I had to somehow grab my bow. All I could think about was with all those eyes around, something is bound to see me; to my surprise I was able to grab it without alerting anything. “As I drew back the buck was quartering to me, so I settled the pin on his shoulder and squeezed the release. The arrow hit its mark and to my surprise, the buck dropped in its tracks. As he fell he started rolling down the hill; he got to about 35 yards and was trying to get back up so I nocked and shot another arrow, this time putting him down for good. I was happy and relieved; about 40 yards further down the hill is a cliff that drops all the way to the river, and if he got down there it would have been almost impossible to recover him.
“As I got down my dad and brother and a couple of buddies pulled up to help in the recovery, and I was glad they did because the uphill drag would have been killer for one person. I want to thank the good Lord above for the opportunity to take such a wonderful animal; secondly I want to thank HuntStand for making the best app for deer hunters!”
To enter the HuntStand 2020 Big Buck ALERT contest, simply send us a few clear, high-res. digital photos (three to five) of your 2020 buck bagged after Aug. 20 (Entries accepted NOW THROUGH NOV. 26) 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 began sharing with the extensive HuntStand community Sept. 25; EACH weekly winner will receive the Quickdraw 2.0 Sling Pack (valued at $79.99) from ALPS OutdoorZ (see above). This unique single-sling daypack offers quick and easy swing-around access to gear compartments. Unlike traditional shoulder straps, the single sling allows free range of motion. You’ll also find a drop-down pocket that securely carries a bow or gun, MOLLE webbing with bungee system for toting a quiver or extra gear, and a 2L water reservoir to keep you hydrated.
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 $229.99; image above). Pack specialist ALPS is calling this 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. The Lycra covered molded foam suspension ensures carrying comfort even when fully loaded with hunting necessities.
Good luck out there this fall from all of us here at Team HuntStand and let us know when (and how) you score with HuntStand!