Vandalized blinds. A stolen treestand. When faced with disaster, one New York bowhunter leans on HuntStand…and ends up winning big.
There’s nothing like a little adversity in a hunt to kickstart a bit of good fortune. We here at Team HuntStand have seen it happen enough to know that the phenomenon is real, but sometimes things can get a bit extreme. As a case in point there is the story of New York’s Fred Valkenburgh. After discovering on New York’s Oct. 1 bowhunting opener that vandals had stolen some of his group’s hunt gear including a ladder stand, Valkenburgh, 32, must have been thinking he’d chosen the wrong weekend to hit the woods. Luckily he was undaunted, as Valkenburgh’s decision to rely on HuntStand and roll with the punches not only resulted in a great trophy, but also a Week 4 win in our Big Buck ALERT contest that will net him an ALPS OutdoorZ Bino Harness X with Vital X rangefinder pocket, AND makes him eligible for our Grand Prize Drawing: A choice of either a sweet new binocular, OR a cutting-edge riflescope, from hunting optics specialist Leupold (contest details below). Enter now to join the fun!
Here, in his own words, is Valkenburgh’s amazing opening-day story:
“After a decade of devout deer hunting, this year I was blessed with the opportunity to harvest a beautiful trophy-class buck,” Valkenburgh wrote. “It started with a BBQ two nights before the early bow season opener. We were at a buddy’s house that backs up to our hunting land in Ontario County, NY, for an upstate surf n’ turf feast (grilled trout and venison steaks).
“Since we hadn’t gotten any game cameras out to that point in the year we didn’t have a good idea of the bucks using the property in 2018. However, that evening, we would see a bruiser buck emerge across a freshly cut cornfield, feeding with a handful of does and a couple younger bucks. Even better, as the sun began to set, all the deer moved consistently south onto our land (as we see many deer do year after year).“On the morning of opening day I went to my blind on the opposite side of those cut fields, to find that both of the blinds on that edge had been taken down, and all of our blind chairs were gone. Undaunted, I then moved to a 2-man ladder stand about a hundred yards away, to find that stand, too, was missing. So after a very unsuccessful morning hunt I returned to the house for lunch and to make some calls.
“To plan my evening hunt I referred to my HuntStand app as I always do, and found that around 3 p.m., the wind would shift perfectly to allow me to sit on the edge of the field that the large buck had been in only two days prior. So after the wind made its change as forecasted, I quickly made my way to a hole in the brush and tucked in.“As I began to become doubtful that any deer would show that evening I saw a doe enter the field some 400 yards away. Like clockwork she made her way south with a few deer following, including my target buck. Barely 10 minutes before sunset they made their way to within 30 yards of my ambush spot. As the buck turned broadside I drew my Hoyt Rampage compound, bleated to stop him, and sent my Deadringer broadhead directly behind his shoulder. Soon the buck was down within 80 yards! It was the first time I’d ever filled a tag on opening day, October 1st.
“Without HuntStand I would have been completely unaware of the day’s sudden wind change, and would never have sat in the spot I had chosen. Thank you HuntStand , for what I believe was the most-significant component of this successful hunt!”
To enter the HuntSTand 2018 Big Buck ALERT contest, simply send us a few clear, high-res. digital photos (three to five) of your 2018 buck (accepted NOW THROUGH DEC. 15) 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 ScoutLook will choose 12 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 12 weeks, all weekly winners will be placed in a drawing for our Grand Prize. The Winner will GET THEIR CHOICE of a Leupold BX-2 Tioga HD 8X42 binocular (shown above, a $389.99 value) OR a Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 CDS riflescope (see below), a $389.99 value. Good luck out there this fall from all of us here at Team HuntStand, and let us know when (and how) you score!