With hot, clear conditions prevailing, Oct. 1 didn’t seem like a good hunting day to Indiana’s Joe Couch. Luckily, he put his faith in his HuntStand app.
At some point or another, most all of us have been there. For whatever reason, a particular day doesn’t seem like it will offer up a productive hunt, and we look hard for reasons to hold off. And this, of course, is why the HuntStand app is so valuable. With uncanny accuracy, it can offer insights into peak game movement forecasts; Indiana’s Joe Couch found just enough motivation in the app’s information to hit the woods with his son Luke, a very smart move. Couch is now the Week Seven winner of the HuntStand Big Buck ALERT contest.
“I shot this monster with my compound bow on October 1, 2016, the first day of the Indiana archery season,” Couch said. “My son, Luke (pictured above) and I were hunting together when three bucks came out, one almost as big as this one! When this buck came in to 25 yards, I shot him and he ran 50 yards before falling over. We both celebrated—jumping up and down and pumping our fists together in the air.
“I got the HuntStand app last year and I check it constantly during the hunting season,” Couch continued. “I have several stands on the property and I check the wind direction, ScentCones and the Hunt Day Rating forecast to decide when and where to hunt. The HuntStand Hunting app helped me pick the right stand, as it showed perfect wind conditions, and a Day Hunt Rating of “Best.” I continue to use the app every time I go into the woods!
“The buck’s green score is 174 3/8; he also weighed 281 pounds!
“My son is just learning to bowhunt, so he sat in a ladder stand and I sat above him in my climber,” Couch recalled. “We have this particular stand setup located in a great transition area; the deer feed in a nearby cornfield and they travel through the property I hunt to get to their bedding area. We are set up on the edge of a thicket and a field of quail habitat, which is about 5 to 6 feet tall. I had the landowner cut the edge by our stand about 30 yards out, and an additional path all around the edge of the field. The deer love the quail habitat for the cover it gives, but they also love the places that are cut because it allows for easier travel. The bucks love to come out of the corner of the field, right on the edge of the cut quail habitat and the thicket next to it—right where we are set up.
“The day of the hunt it was around 80 degrees and clear, and honestly I wasn’t sure we would see much, but the HuntStand app gave a “Best” forecast for the day, the wind was perfect—out of the southeast—so we decided to go ahead and hunt this stand.
“We had seen a couple of does right at daylight, then at 8:15 a.m. a beautiful 8-point came out in the cut habitat field about 10 yards from us,” Couch recalled. “I whispered to Luke to get ready, but the buck was behind him the way he was set up. As I looked behind the 8-point I saw two giants coming behind him. I didn’t even have an arrow in my bow, as I was planning on Luke shooting, but when I saw the 11-point, I got an arrow ready, and I didn’t look at his antlers again—only the buck’s shoulder (I didn’t want the fever coming on). The three bucks never saw us; I grunted to get him to stop and shot him with a Rage broadhead at 25 yards; he ran about 50 to 60 yards, into the quail habitat field and stood there gasping. He was gone in a matter of seconds and then we celebrated!
“It was one of those moments that my son and I will long remember; Luke was just as excited as I was, and he stayed right with the deer the whole time I hiked back to the truck and got everything ready to haul him out.
“The rut is on now and I am hopeful that he and his brother will both get big bucks too, we have seen several great bucks and are hopeful to connect; I will be watching my HuntStand Hunting app every day to know where the best place to set up will be.”
Congratulations, Joe, on an awesome buck and a memory you and Luke will never forget. Thanks to all who have submitted photos and stories to date; successful hunters: Keep them coming!
For his Week Seven win, Couch will be sent a pair of ThermaCELL ProFLEX Heated Insoles, valued at $185. More good news? There are plenty of opportunities left to win a pair of your own.
To enter the HuntStand 2016 Big Buck ALERT contest, simply send us a clear, high-res. digital photo (or two) of your 2016 buck, along with a few sentences detailing your hunt, and how HuntStand played a part. Include your full name, age, successful hunt date and state, and also be sure to include your mailing address and shoe size. Your e-mail subject line should read: Big Buck Alert! Send your photo(s) and requested info to: [email protected]
Team HuntStand will choose one impressive buck to highlight each week on our website, as well as on Facebook and Instagram. If your buck is a weekly winner you’ll score some sweet hunt gear: a pair of Team HuntStand-approved ThermaCELL ProFLEX Heated Insoles. Their state-of-the-art wireless thermal technology with convenient remote operation delivers at least 2,500 hours (about four winters) of heavy use. Simply adjust the temperature utilizing the wireless remote control to the setting of your choice: no heat (standby), medium (100°F), and high (111°F). The result is warm, comfortable, sweat-free feet.