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Whirlwind Buck, 11-1-2010 Art Keefer, United Bowhunters of Pa. Office Mgr.
2010 Bow Season West Virginia Traditional Bow Whirlwind Buck By Art Keefer This story starts about 5 years ago when I first met Dave Poerio of Almost Heaven Outfitters at a weekend archery festival near Pittsburgh. He was there to promote his hunting lease in Wyoming County and I had a membership table set up for the United Bowhunters of PA, the organization I work for. Dave had plenty of pictures and video footage of wild country and trophy bucks. Next to Daves enthusiasm what impressed me the most was that he had a place to go on a quality hunt for trophy bucks at a working mans price. Dave had been advertising his lease in PA Bowhunting for over 4 years and in September I interviewed him for a Member Profile story. As a result of the time together during the interview I asked Dave if he would show me the place on his next days off. This is what set into motion our whirlwind trip to Wyoming County. I immediately fell in love with the beautiful vast property and I was hooked. 5000 acres of limited access timber land where the bucks have had a chance to reach maturity and I wouldnt be bumping into other hunters. I would also be able to camp out on the property. I dont know if he did it on purpose but the last hunting spot he showed me was my favorite. It was 3 miles from camp about three quarters of the way up the mountain at a spot where the logging road was cut through a natural bench. It was still shady at 1 PM and the hollow ran from east to west. My next trip, for scouting purposes, to Wyoming County was the second weekend of the WV hunting season. That first Monday morning it rained until 11 AM so I set up my blind and watched the opposite hillside for deer. When I saw a heavy racked 8 point I was encouraged that I was in a good spot. Later that afternoon I picked a tree on the downhill side of the logging road where a heavily used trail led from the bottom onto the bench. The road builders had made it into a pinch point by the way they pushed the logs over the side of the road. My tree stand would allow me a short (12 yard) almost level shot if everything went as planned. As I sat in the tree that second morning I decided to cut this trip short and that all I had left to do was come back next week and hunt. Dr. Dinsmore reinforced that I had made good decisions from my observations during a short conversation at the camp site while I was packing up to go home. The following Sunday (Halloween) I was back in my stand and just before dark I heard what sounded like someone blowing on a grunt tube too hard. I figured it could only mean big buck. Monday morning found me sitting in the dark with high hopes and confidence waiting for deer. It was very still and the air currents falling slightly down the hillside made me feel chilled. At 8 AM I watched a coyote walk across the hill about 100 yards up. He ignored my best back of the hand rabbit squeal. In the PA farm country I hunt I often leave the woods by 9:30 early in the season but I was determined to stay in this spot all day. Good thing because I noticed a deer working its way along the trail the coyote had been walking on. What I thought was a doe started to look like a 4 point, so I got out my bleat can and made two bleats followed by four short grunts. That deer did a one-eighty and started down the hill. I lost sight of him when he got behind some hemlock trees but was hoping he would come straight down the trail that he was supposed to use. No such luck! He did what every smart buck should be expected to do, he circled behind me to walk into the slight wind that was now coming up the hollow. His only mistake was not coming down the hill further. He stayed high along the edge of the bench with the hemlocks between us and he never had a clue I was there. Along his 30 yard approach I got a glimpse at his rack when he stopped to rub his face in the sunlight on a poplar tree. Now I knew that this deer was a little better than a 4 point but I still didnt realize he was a deer of a lifetime. Of course this made my 57 year old heart beat a little faster and I started to worry that he would see my breath floating by, which could spook him. I also realized that shortly he would be stepping into an opening where I would make my shot with my 45 pound Hoyt Game Master II recurve bow, and he would actually be a little closer than I originally hoped. I had forgotten my Bear Paw glove but knew that I liked the feel of my bare 3 fingers under the nock on the string. I usually took 2 or 3 practice shots in my yard every morning this way so I was pretty confident. Just as his body filled the space I noticed my thumb hit my anchor spot under my cheek and I could see that my 125 grain Muzzy Phantom 4 blade broadhead (which someone gave me 6 years earlier and I had been saving for this moment) was pointed in the right direction. Then I saw one of the most beautiful sights in the world as my yellow and white feathered Easton Legacy Longbow arrow disappeared into what became a red spot next to the deers last rib. As he jogged down the hill and stopped about 40 yards away I could see he was at least an 8 point. He spent the next 20 minutes laying down for a few minutes at a time then moving 15 yards. He finally disappeared into the creek bottom. Upon inspecting my arrow that had stuck into the hillside I noticed it was a little stinky, so considering the hit behind the rib I decided to give him 3 or 4 hours before going after him. I contacted my buddy Tom Walker and we met at 1:30 to track the buck. A half hour later we found my buck near the creek bottom. We found that the exit wound was further forward than the entry wound and that the Muzzy had left a 4 blade slice in the left lung. To say I was thrilled would be an understatement. It was a great sense of accomplishment considering that, other than Dave pointing me in the right direction, I did it on my own and I am the first member in the club to take one with traditional equipment. After talking with Dave we decided that Whirlwind Buck would be a great name for this deer since it all started as a result of a snap decision to take an overnight trip to the lease which got me hooked on going back for my short scouting trip and even shorter hunting trip.
What do our past customers say?<< PREV - NEXT >>
2002 Rick Peace
Rick Peace says: 'If you are willing to put in some time, do your howework and listen to David Poerios advice the bucks are there. The proof is on my wall!!
Thanks David Poerio
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