March/April 2014 EBJ (Issue 82) - My 2013 archery season got off to a weird start. In May I found out that I was going to miss the first few days of the season because of a work trip in Asia. Three months later, I was sitting in the Hard Rock Café in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam at 8 p.m. Saturday night when I realized it was 6 a.m. back in the States and my friends were on our favorite glassing point waiting for sunrise. At that point I was really mopey and my lower lip became my most prominent feature.
I could have clocked the next few days with a sundial as I finished my trip in China. The good news is I had done a lot of scouting and knew what was in the area. The bad news is I just knew someone else was going to shoot "my” buck!
The moment the plane landed Tuesday afternoon, I had an email from my hunting partner, Tim Laing, with pictures of his opening weekend bull. I was really disappointed that I had not been able to be there to share in the joy and the meat hauling duties. Now the anticipation was killing me!
Tim and I met very early Thursday morning. Normally this would be a problem but the jet lag and 14-hour time difference had me wide awake at 2:30 in the morning and ready to rock.
As I sat nestled in the rocks of our glassing point waiting for first light, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace as this moment had finally arrived. Shortly after first light we spotted "A-Rod,” a buck with a six-inch cheater and "Rosie,” a big typical that had outsmarted us for three years. We spent the next few hours watching them feed along a ridge with no stalk opportunities.
We went back to camp to regroup, grab some lunch and shoot a few arrows. Past experience has taught us that the deer get up to feed and stretch between 1-3 p.m. so we always make a point of being back in the field right after lunch. We headed toward some rocks where the bucks like to spend their days in the shade. About a half-mile into our hike, we stopped to see if anything was moving around. I thought I saw a deer leg sticking out from behind a rock so I peeled my pack off and grabbed my spotting scope. The more I looked the less certain I was, until I saw an antler or a shadow of an antler move behind the rock. Tim had his pack off and his scope out in record time.
As soon as he found the rock in the scope, the buck stood up and changed his bed to the shady side of the rock. Tim’s reaction when he saw the buck told me this wasn’t your average buck. I changed my position to get a better look and he nearly took my breath away! Deep forks and a rack so tall that I thought it could affect weather patterns.
We mapped out what seemed to be an easy stalk. I covered the first 400 yards of the stalk so quickly that I thought it was almost too easy. Well, as I approached the predetermined bush, I peeked through and saw the bedded buck and realized why it had seemed so easy – I was still 150 yards away.
For a full account of Henry's adventure, go to page 42 in the March/April 2014 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.