Saturday morning dawned cold, wet and miserable! I was supposed to be on the “Front” hunting mule deer and elk with my buddy Dallas Heymeyer. Instead I was on a lift, screwing down metal roofing in the rain. Great times, right!? The good news was that once I was done, I could head North to hook up with Dallas for a quick hunt. On our way we were going to meet up with South Cox of Stalker Recurves to go over some things and to say hi.
As I was working, mumbling under my frosted breathe some not so nice words, my phone went off with a text. What to my surprise it was a picture. I couldn’t think who would be hunting in my close circle. Tracy was working crappy hours while bruiser bucks ran under his stand. My father was down south visiting my sister; my wife doesn’t hunt, yet. It’s a small circle then it hit me, by good buddy Shane was hunting turkeys!!
I hurried and looked at my phone and there it was turkey down!! The other twin had struck!
Shane had made good on the opportunity given and smacked a nice bird. Well that got me excited and I started pushing the guys to get stuff done. Rain or no rain, I wanted to GO HUNTING!!
So after meeting up with Dallas, we drive through the pouring rain, yes rain at 8000 feet the end on Nov. WEIRD!! But as we approach our selected spot, the rain tapers off, but the wind does not. We hike up the trail for a mile or two to the ridge where just the day before Dallas had seen all sorts of rutting action, as well as a few elk.
As soon as we top the ridge, we spy a couple does feeding out in between the oak brush patches. Being that this is the last time I’ll be able to hunt deer this year, and it being an either sex unit, the decision was easy. Dallas turned on his camera, I flipped my ball cap and we bailed off the ridge. As we made out way down, not 300 yards, we see deer that we didn’t from our previous spot. We all pull up our glasses and all jaws drop. There was a great 4 point about 24-25″ wide and heavy, a very respectable 3 point a forky and a few does. All were 500 yards away. However the 3 was on the move. At first I thought the big 4 had chased him off, but moments later the 4 headed out the same way. These bucks were cruising looking for a hot doe.
Dallas and I beat feet down to where they cross. My hopes are that the 4 comes back. We wait for awhile but soon discover the bucks were checking a different group of does. But we have a few does and a small buck below us. Dallas and I start working our way towards them. I don’t know if was the rut or what, but they were acting weird. They’d let us get with in 30 yards before acting fidgety.
However, if any of you have hunted in oak brush, you understand that it’s near impossible to get an arrow through the stuff. So we play cat and mouse with them for a half hour or so, until they finally decide we’d been there too long. They head up and over a saddle on a fairly well used trail. I took note.
We head back up to where we were glassing to discuss our options. As we were we could see the nice 3 point chasing does a couple ridges over. We were thinking about making a play on them, but another hunter was headed towards them. I was looking for a place to intercept them, when I looked back down to where the 2 bucks crossed before to see another nice 4 crossing head back the other way. Patience!! If we would have just sat tight for another half hour we’d of had a 15 yard shot and on film!!
Dallas says he’s going right after the buck. I tell him, “I know where that buck is headed!” and with a grin I take off in the same direction as the buck but on the top of the ridge. At a fats jog/ walk I cover a quarter mile. The buck is behind and below me in the oak. I can see the trail from the ridge and bail off towards it. Half skiing and half running down the snow covered slope I make it to a clump of oak that’s about 30 yards away from the trail. That’s the edge of my range.
My ball cap is turned, I’ve got a sharp Simmons on the end of my Wilderness arrow, and I am ready!! I feel calm and have a feeling, the one most of us have had, when you just know something is going to happen. I’m not there 5 minutes when movement to my right catches my attention. The buck materializes out of the oak and skylines himself. What an awesome sight! He is oblivious to the predator waiting just a hundred yards away. He looks back and turns right on the trail I was hoping for. At a slow walk of a buck that has no where to go, he meanders toward me. When he gets to 60 yards, I focus on nothing but where I want the arrow to go. At 35 I start my draw and as he steps broadside at 30 the arrow is gone. The buck drops about 2 inches at the shot and a loud crack resonates back! My mind is spinning. I know I saw that arrow hit the shoulder area, but he drops like a spine shot! My mind is racing and not comprehending what I saw. The buck is quickly back up stumbling and I am refocused. He stops at 25 yards and I sent another shark through his ribs and out in front of his shoulder. It is done…
He only went 40 yards after the shot and was down in 30 seconds! No blood trail or anxiety for me tonight. It finally paid off this year!
Earlier in the day Dallas and I were talking about the year we each had so far. After playing with the does, I mentioned to him on film that the King of Almost was in the house. That’s the way this year has been for me. But with a lot of luck and following my gut for once it paid off.
So in the matter of 8 hours the Stalker Twins had put two animals down!! Talk about an epic day!! I have a feeling these two bows are going to account for a few more kills in the next couple months.
Ryan Steadman lives in Spanish Fort, UT with his wife Julie and their 4 children(3 boys and a girl). He has hunted with traditional archery for over 20 years. Ryan is also the owner and operator of HardCore Archery and Design (in fact Ryan worked with me to create the Symply Traditional logo) where he creates and sells one of a kind “Traditional Archery” related apparel and Decals.