The full-featured HuntStand app. A well-placed cellular trail cam. Together they helped deliver our Week 3 winner.
There’s nothing like an opening-day success story. But this one is a bit different than most, as success was far from certain. That is, until a trio of trophy whitetails met up with Alabama’s Ron Merritt packing two powerful tools: the HuntStand app and a cutting-edge cellular trail camera. For submitting the story and photos of his beautiful Kentucky 10-point buck in full velvet bagged Sept. 7, Merritt, 52, is the Week Three 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 Merritt eligible for our Grand Prize drawing in November (more on that below). We’re still looking for seven more weekly winners so enter today!
Here is the story of Merritt’s incredible HuntStand app success story, in his own words:
“September 7, 2019, was opening day of the Kentucky bow season; the weather was very hot at around 95 degrees,” Merritt wrote. “I had been getting trail cam pics of three very nice bucks morning and evening, almost daily in a patch of open hardwoods surrounded by crop fields.
“I had hung a stand there two weeks before opening day and left the area; I wasn’t going to return until opening morning, and only if the wind was right. I needed a north wind to hunt that stand. I knew where the deer using this area were coming from, and where they were going to bed; as I was getting ready that morning I started getting pics from one of my cellular cams at that location. Some does and small bucks had shown up very early that morning; deer usually don’t start showing up there until about 5:30 a.m.
“The wind was perfect according to my HuntStand app, but I couldn’t risk walking in to my stand and running any deer off,” Merritt continued. “I decided to hunt another stand, and waited on daylight. I started seeing deer shortly after 6 a.m.; they were small bucks and does like I had anticipated at my ‘Plan B’ stand. While I’m sitting there I kept getting pics from my other stand all morning. The three big bucks hanging there came in just like they were supposed to, around 6:30 a.m., and stayed about 15 minutes. Of course, the whole time I was wishing I could have got to that stand.
“Later that day I checked my HuntStand app again, and the wind had changed a little but it was still perfect. I relocated to my “three bucks” stand and prepared myself for the long wait. I had a couple small bucks show up about 5:30 p.m., and from then, there was a steady flow of deer the rest of the evening. At about 6:15 p.m. I had eight different bucks around me including the three big deer. The big 10 came out first, followed by a very large 12-point, and the wide 9-point stayed back at the mineral site.
“After having the 10- and 12-point within 15 yards for over 10 minutes, the 12 suddenly turned to leave and I knew the 10 would follow. I never had a good shot at the 12 even though he was very close; when the 10 picked his head up and turned to watch the other buck walk away I drew my PSE compound and sent a Rage mechanical through his rib cage. He went about 50 yards and fell in an old road. I was very lucky, and technology played a very big part in me being able to harvest this deer. Thank you HuntStand!”
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!