November 6th, 2016: To be honest, the 2016 Rut was not good to my wife and I (with the exception of Nov 6th, of course). Rut activity was almost zero at our best property and I missed a very make-able shot at the only shooter buck I’d seen all season behind my house. That was it. No chasing, no bucks, not even pictures at night. I was frustrated, I was down and my confidence was a little rattled.
I was invited to hunt Aaron Koldyke’s property (Kamp Koldyke) the morning of November 6th after he told me the rut was hot in Paw Paw. My friend took a nice 8 point the morning prior and said everyone at his property was seeing good bucks chasing does. While sitting in my stand before the sun came up I was praying (usually the first thing I do when I sit down in my stand) and I took a few moments to “chill myself out.” I asked God simply help me relax and enjoy the morning, regardless of whether or not I filled a tag. That’s what it’s all about and I needed to remind myself of that. I kid you not, as soon as I finish this prayer a shooting star crossed the sky right in front of me. It was huge and burned bright for a couple of seconds. I looked up, smiled and said “Alright Big Man, let’s do this.” I knew God was going to give me another chance that morning.
Right at first light 2 does cruised by. When they were just about out of sight I heard another deer coming. This buck. This beautiful, tall 8 point. He trotted right in front of me and gave me a perfect 20 yard broadside shot in my biggest shooting lane. I stopped him, squeeze off an arrow and watched my lighted nock disappear into his rib cage. It was quick, it was easy. As I watched him crash into the brush, I looked up and smiled. “Thank you, Lord. That was awesome!” This buck was a gift, no doubt about it.