Matt Smith’s Whitetail Deer Hunt in Southern Indiana

November 23, 2004

About going hunting. Got home, got showered (scent control), and headed out to pick up my brother-in-law’s four wheeler. I got to the four wheeler to find that the key was not there. I made a call to ask about the key and it was all for not. Too much time would be spent retrieving the key and returning, so I decided to go to another hunting location.
While on the way to the second location, I decided that I had better try a spot that was even closer to home now that I was so pressed for time, and for the second time I had changed my mind. I was now on the way to my third choice hunting spot. Can you guess what happened next? You got it, I changed my mind a fourth time. My own place would be my final choice and my hunting location for the day, and that is where I ended up at 3:45 on Nov. 23, 2004.

I parked my truck, gathered my gun, strapped my clothes in my climber, put on scent and made haste for the woods. Fifteen minutes later I was set up 25′ above the ground looking around wondering if this was going to be just another wasted hunt.

I rattled, grunted, and bleated (in no particular order) 4 times about 20 mins apart. Now it was 5:20 p.m. and had just stopped calling for the evening when I heard a noise. I turned around and saw nothing. I decided to double-check to be sure and…still nothing. A minute or two passed and I heard it again. I turned once more and this time saw that it was a deer.

From the first time I saw this buck until he went down, I knew he was coming to the rattle bag. He was in a hurry, back and forth, back and forth until I grunted! His head popped up and was pointed in my direction. He put his head down so I grunted again. His head popped up, looked around, and started trotting towards me. He stopped to thrash his rack through an over-hanging branch and then lick it. Once finished with the over-hanging branch, he started to make a scrape.

I knew he was a shooter when I saw tines tangled with branches, although I didn’t know ultimately how nice this buck was. One more grunt was just the medicine he needed at about 60 yards with very little wind. Here he comes so I hurried to pick a shooting lane. The buck took two steps into the lane and I spoke the word Deer. He stopped, I took a quick shot, and the rest is history.

This story goes to show all the young hunters out there that things don’t always go the way you want them to, but things usually work out for the best.

Details of the Hunt
Shot Distance: 30 Yards, No Wind
Measured Score: an estimated 160+
Size Of Animal: 10 Point/Typical/190 lbs. Dressed
Hunting Method: Summit Viper XLS Climber Treestand
Special Equipment: H&S grunt call, rattle bag (wooden sticks), tinks & primos scents
Weapon Used: 12 gauge H&R Ultra Slug Hunter Deluxe
Ammunition Used: Lightfield Hybred EXP 2-3/4″
Length Of Hunt: One Day
Guide Outfitter: Private Land
Camo Preference: Safety Orange