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2011 Sept - Richards, Jason, First One on One Coaching on a Houdini Pa Buck
Richards, Jason says: '2011 - 1 - Richards, Jason, First One on One Coaching on a Houdini Pa Buck
We live in the greatest country in the world. Americans have always taken pride in their history and successful battles that our great men and women have fought. I would have to say that, I am in a battle with the beast of small creek road. Small Creek Road is only approximately 5 miles long and with in that 5 miles you have some of the best whitetail hunting in Indiana County, or even possibly even Pa. I have hunted a particular buck for the last three years and he always seems to outwit my hunting tactics. No one has ever seen him in archery season that I am aware of. He has been seen once or twice at the end of gun season. I have exhausted all of my personal hunting tactics on him. I even tried tactics that I have read in numerous hunting articles and books, on how to kill big bucks, but still to no avail. I knew that I would not be able to harvest this particular buck by myself without a little guidance from someone that truly knows whitetail deer. So I went to my good friend David Poerio for some guidance on how to harvest this monster buck. As David would say, you have to - kill them in their head and get them where they least expect it, by using their greatest strengths, which is also their greatest weakness....He will also tell your right up front that some of the stuff he is going to teach you, you will think he is crazy and nuts. Now, I must admit, that when Dave first started talking to me about some of his tactics, I truly felt that he did way too many drugs in the early stages of his life.
So, a few days prior to the 2011 Pa. archery opening day, I took Dave to this particular piece of woods that this monster lived in. The same woods that this buck makes good hunters look like amateurs in. As we were driving the by the soybean fields below and along side this mountain, Dave told me to pull off the side of the road and stop... now. He wanted to take a look. I thought to my self- this buck is in the woods, not along side the road that over looks the soy bean field at the base of his mountains. We got out of the truck and he had me use my Leopold binoculars to look at tree tops and possible travel routes that a monster buck would travel. Go figure, this guy is a nut. While we were dissecting the hill top of maple trees, yellow poplar trees, hickories, red oaks, white oaks and others, Dave spotted what he was looking for. He pointed out an area where the field went deep, and some spines rolled down, and there were some real dark shadows, where some monarch trees had fallen and created an opening. Dave said - I bet there is where the big Bucky lives. He gave his reasons. Now mind you, this is from along the road a mile a way, on ground that he has never walked or seen, and only the one side of it. I kept quiet because he seemed like he knew what was talking about and also most importantly, I had gone to him for advice. So we decided to start from this side and drive around to the other side to look for big buck sign, not deer sign, because there is a difference between the two, as Dave explained there is sign that a big buck will leave that other bucks will not. We then got on the mountain and we started on the far end at a good area. We were finding old sign that a big buck use to live here on a particular point of the hill, but like Dave says, old sign is as good as new sign in the big picture; examples would be old rub lines and scrape lines. But even though we were finding this sign, it was not good enough for him to say this is where he likes to live. Dave told me, when you find where he lives, you will know it, because you can feel it. We spent a good two hours dissecting this end of the mountain from top to bottom, before he instructed me that we need to keep moving because this in not where he is living at. As we approached a steep draw, with the south west wind at our backs, the air changed, Dave was sniffing like a hound dog, and asked me if I could smell or feel the change. He assessed the cover and announced that we were now where the big buck liked to live, we are in his kitchen, living room and bedroom. We fanned out and searched in earnest, and found six beds that measured 42 inches in length and 24 inches wide with big tracks. Dave advised me to place my tree stand right here near his bed. I said - Are you out of your mind, you can not do that. Because as you know most hunters would never attempt to place a tree stand yards from a big bucks bed-. But he advised me to - just do it and you will get great results-.So we picked a tree and marked it. He gave me a few other crazy instructions, lets just say I had to get up real early and go against conventional wisdom on a number of things. I did not like some of this, but I did what he advised me to do. There were a couple decent rubs just a ways from the beds. Dave told me this is exactly what you are looking for and if you find this you will kill big bucks for the rest of your life. So we started to back track this bucks rub line and found a small sapling snapped in half and a few other rubs yards from the shredded sapling. To show me how powerful this buck is, Dave instructed me to try and break the same sapling in half which ever way I could. I used all my strength and some leveraged angles, and was not successful. We continued to back track his rub line and it led us through a thicket and to a corner of a clover and corn field. Ok, now I had a game plan. Crazy, but a plan that he said would work. Since I had done everything that I could to harvest this buck, I had no other choice but to attempt to sneak in on the opening day of archery season very, very, early in the morning to get to this big bucks bed before him and with out being detected.
Now on opening morning, having prior military experience in the Marines, I knew that I could take my time and use the training that our great military has taught me of the art of being stealthy and that is just what I did. I arrived at the bottom of the field just two hundred yards below the buck s bed, and started my climb through the saddle silently. I was in the twelve ring that Dave always preaches about, with the thermals working for me and with the south west wind going over top of me. Minutes prior to day light I heard a twig snap to my right about eighty yards out, where we figured he would enter from and I kept my attention there for a good half an hour but saw no sign of the buck. The twig snapping kept up for about two hours. So about 8:30 am, I heard something down hill and stood up to investigate the saddle below me nothing, and then I heard a twig snap behind me, and a sound all hunters hate to hear, a buck snort. My movement had been spotted by the big buck. I looked up hill and there he was. He was close and he had twelve large tall points with an approximately 22 inch spread. The buck was there and then he disappeared just like Houdini- like a ghost. Anger, but happiness went through my whole body. I was angry at myself for being undisciplined and not being aware of my surroundings, but on the other hand I was proud that I was actually able to witness this monster twelve point close from my stand in archery season. By using my past history and knowledge it was helpful in pin pointing his patterns. But with out Dave Poerio s expert advice on mature buck hunting, I would never have even come close to this buck on opening day.
So I thought to myself with a big smile on my face, this is going to be a good season.
Now the most remarkable part of all of this is that Dave picked out where we would find this buck at on the mountain from one mile away, and told me so from out on the highway, having never seen nor stepped in the woods before hand. He pin pointed the spot to a T, and the spot he picked from the road, is exactly where we ended up at, and precisely the tree, where I had the Monster Beast of Small Creek Road under me on opening day of archery season. Now how does he do that?
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