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2011 Spring Scouting Shed Hunting Season His genetics are out here still in some of the youngsters running around, but we of course, wish he were still around for us to dream about pursuing.
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2010 Frank Kovash, Dark Hollow Buck Testamonial-4
Frank Kovash says: '2010 Frank Kovash, Dark Hollow Buck Testamonial-4
This is the story after the hunt. I suppose the proof is in the pudding, as they say. I am sure that some who have read my previous three letters, from 3-26-10, 7-13-2010, and 7-21-2010, on Almost Heaven Outfitters web page, have been waiting for this, the after the hunt letter, to see what I have to say, how I feel, and was I successful now that I have actually hunted the lease. To be honest, I really did not get to spend much time hunting the lease. I put far more time in scouting and being schooled by Dave compared to the actual tree hugging time, which consisted of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first day I arrived and five thirty to eleven thirty on the second day, at which time I tagged out on a nice 8 point buck, at five yards from my tree. Sitting 30 feet up in my tree hidden by a perfect canopy offered from a nearby hemlock which allowed me ample shooting lanes, I spotted a buck as he came over the bench and into view 45 yards away. At first I disqualified him as an animal I wanted to take. When we scouted earlier this year, as Dave says, the buck had told us what he would do, and during his approach, he followed the script perfectly. It unfolded like watching a movie. He now stopped at the small creek to take a drink, offering me the most perfect high percentage shot that I could hope for. As he drank he was not alert, head down, front leg forward and held this position for better than twenty seconds. I did not take the shot as I still did not believe he was a deer I wanted. Picking his head up and continuing closer to my stand, he turned his head in my direction. I now had a bird eye view that told me he was nicer than I originally thought. He was easily out over his ears and much heavier that I originally estimated and nice bodied. Reflecting on what Dave had said about not waiting for a monster unless you really wanted too, but taking a nice buck on your first season hunting on the lease, I decided to take him. He offered me no shot until he came with in five yards and realized something might be up. He began looking around mildly concerned, never once looking up at me. He slowly turned, deciding to travel in a different direction I suppose. The trouble for him was, that he was offering a perfect quartering away shot. Holding at full draw for the last two minutes while he made his mind up, I was happy to release my arrow for what I thought was a perfect hit. Ht took one jump then walked back across the creek. I remember my warm fuzzy feeling disappearing as he continued walking up the creek bed until he disappeared from sight. I began to question my hit, as it was too close and fast to be properly viewed. I was sure it should be a good hit because I saw blood coming from high and behind his shoulder. The fact was, he kept on walking though away. I knew to back off and let him be. That is when I went back to the parking area to get help. And I got lots of that. I think back earlier in the year when Dave advised me not to try for the biggest buck on the lease, but to just go for a nice one and get your feet wet your first year, so then you have that to build on. I consider this wise advice. I now feel that in the future I am better armed with patience, knowledge, and trust in what I have learned from Dave. I am now ready to tackle the bigger bucks on the lease with rock solid confidence. It is a very content feeling and I believer Dave knew something about that too, just like he knows big bucks. Thanks Dave.
I said two things in my first letter about the members who have joined the lease. One, I believed that top of the line people belonged to the lease and two, that they would be there for you, so plan to be there for them. My friend Rob Wheary and I shot our buck the same day within two hours of each other. We met up and agreed to go get his buck first and then mine. Believer me when I tell you that it was not long after the lengthy quad ride to Robs hunting stand, that there were no less that six other hunters from the lease who sacrificed their precious hunting time and energy to come help. I hope to generously return the favor as energetic and enthusiastically as they did. Thanks guys. Tracking and retrieval along side of these folks was just as an important part of the experience for me as the approach of my buck and finally the shot. Among those six were some of the most adept archery hunters I know. They have the success to prove their pedigree, their respect for the animals we take and do not take is very apparent as is their cupidity to hunt big buck. The point I am driving at is ...they could have used their time to continue to hunt and obtain success for themselves, but they willfully sacrificed their time and energy in the spirit of ensuring success for me. I am grateful to all of them. Kenny Sanders, Mike Tonkery, Mike Vangilder, Randal Kellerman, Scott Kinley.
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