This incredible story is from Carly Bunch of East TX. Thanks Carly for sharing!
This is my story on chasing my target buck on East Texas public hunting land.. with the help of listening to this podcast the beginning of season 2022-current, I was able tune into things I never did before. From watching weather patterns, to having confidence in where my buck was bedding, where he was traveling, and where he was eating. Carly Bunch Vs. Jammer This story begins on a cool brisk October morning in 2021 on Texas public hunting land. The day I laid eyes on Jammer “The Buck”. I was sitting in a low creek bottom with oaks lining the banks. The sound of leaves being smashed and branches breaking filled my ears, my heart stopped, & my breath was taken away. The biggest deer that I’ve ever seen. His tall brown tines. His swole up neck. Light tan colored fur. I had no time to react, he was on the tail of a doe. At that moment I knew that I was going to do things I’ve never done or even thought about doing to bag this deer. The next morning Skyler & I headed to my stand before sunrise. Skyler is leading the way, we get 20 yards from my stand and he stops dead in his tracks. We begin to hear snorting, Snarling, foot stomps, & sneezes from jammer. The hair stands straight up on the back of our necks. We do not move a single muscle & keep our headlamps low in fear of spooking him even more. Neither of us have ever experienced anything like this so we chose to wait him out. The noises don’t stop for the longest 2 minutes of my life. Slowly the footsteps started easing off in the opposite direction. So we begin to walk quickly but quietly to my stand. This was only the beginning of a long list of encounters with this deer. Jammer knew I was onto him. I’d move stand locations, he’d be there the next morning stomping and sneezing. He had me patterned and figured out for the rest of the 2021 hunting season. This year, 2022 I made a game plan. During bow season I made moves, I arranged my hunts daily, and in some instances I would move my stand from my morning hunt to a different position for my evening hunt depending on wind direction. Seeing fresh signs I was able to verify that Jammer is most likely alive and bedding in the same area he was last year. Now it’s a waiting game to catch him slipping from his bed during the day time. We made our trip to camp as usual on Friday the day before opening gun season, there was a real nasty thunderstorm that blew through that night, and following would be a 20 degrees temperature drop. I had a great feeling that morning that it could be the day. As the sun came up I started to think about my dad(as I do most hunts), he always loved hearing my hunting stories, and would tell me that he lived through me when I would describe them to him. I thought about what his reaction would be if I were to shoot Jammer, how proud he would be of me, his facial expressions, his words, just his excitement all around. I started to tear up, my eyes got foggy, and I couldn’t see well. I snapped to, started to blink to clear my vision, because I needed to see to hunt, then let out a little giggle cause I know dad would have thought I was silly. About 10 minutes later, 20 yards in front of me I hear 2 solid unmistakeable steps through the brush. Immediately I put my gun in the direction of the noise. I see legs, I see antlers, I don’t even give it a second thought and I found the sweet spot and shot. The feeling that overtook my body after knowing he was going down, was a feeling I’ve never felt. I could finally let those tears out that I had held back earlier for better vision. I believe my dad and God had a plan that morning, and they were both there with me, and they sent me my buck. To a lot of people looking from the outside in, they might not ever understand the rewarding feeling and accomplishment this brought to me. The effort put in to hunting on public land for target bucks is unlike no other. Not knocking lease, or corn fed hunting, but I was born and raised doing just this and I will take this challenge every year I am capable to do so. Adding my appreciation for my soon to be husband for all of the help and support. He walked many extra miles and took time out of his own hunts to make sure I was all set up in my spot (mostly so I didn’t have to walk in the woods at dark alone ) Looking forward to 2023 season! Strictly bow hunting this year to add to my challenge!
- Carley Bunch