This week's Archers Alley "Catch of the Week" comes to us from 9-year old Ryder Agney, of Collinsville!
From Ryder's dad, Scott: "This hunt was quite the emotional rollercoaster for us. The morning started out slow and we hadn't seen any deer until 830. A buck jumps out of the creek to our right and a doe comes in from our left and we are quickly surrounded. What's ryder doing while this is happening u ask? Well he's sprawled out on the ground playing with a stick, after I've told him twice before to sit up and be ready. We were hunting on the ground, our butts on the cold hard ground, so there's no time for dilly dally when deer are within 30 yards of us. This buck is closing the gap on us fast while I'm trying to get Ryders attention. He finally sits up and sees the buck that is now standing about 12 yards in front of us. That buck sees Ryder sit up and gets leery and starts to back out of there. The buck doesn't blow or freak out, just leaves. At that point Ryder is heartbroken, he just watched what wouldve been his biggest deer walk away, because he wasn't ready. I did scold him a bit, but also showed him how this is a teachable moment. This is how we learn from our mistakes, and sometimes it hurts.
That all went down around 830, let's fast forward to 930 ish. My feet are frozen, Ryders feet are frozen, according to him his toes were actually falling off! So we decide we have had enough of the cold and I text my buddy Jeremy who was hunting the other side of the property and we are getting ready to call it a day. I stand up, put my back pack on, Ryder is full blown crying because he was still upset about the earlier missed opportunity, I take the crossbow off the tripod and lean it against the tree and I'm trying to tell him to basically suck it up. While all of this is happening I catch something in the corner of my eye. All i can see is a brown body coming through the brush straight our way. I drop to my knees and grab the crossbow and stick it in ryders lap and said "Here comes a deer!" In a loud whisper. This deer was on a mission and when it stepped out behind the brush and I finally got a look at its headgear my jaw must've hit the ground. Because that's when he stopped at approximately 27 yards to our left and just looked at us. Ryder could not shoot yet because the way the buck was standing, he had his face in front of the vitals. Instead of running away, the buck turned and faced straight at us and dropped his head and stretched his neck out towards us trying to figure out what we were. Our hearts are pounding, high on adrenaline, I made the decision and told him "30 yards, shoot him in the chest". I've had luck before with that shot, I know it's less than ideal but I decided it was worth it. Ryder pulls the trigger and sends that 20" bolt right into the deers neck, and plunges a rage extreme broadhead down its throat basically. In 30 seconds we went from actual tears about a missed opportunity on a small 8 point, to shooting a bigger buck than I ever have. When this buck showed up I was in the middle of telling him that in these woods its hours of nothing going on, and seconds can change everything, which is why you have to be ready. After about 10 hours, and a track with a dog...we found him! Big shout out to Doug Fink and his dog for finding a buck if a lifetime for a very happy boy and a proud Dad.
There's much more to this hunt, and Ryder & Scott will join us this weekend to share more of the story of Ryder's first wall-hanger!
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