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2011 - 5 - Foshia, Lonny, October Pa. Mr. Big Up Close and Personal
Foshia Lonny says: 'To understand my current emotions we must travel back in time. If you have been following along with the story so far, back in archery season, October, fall 2010 I finally got a glimpse of the biggest buck I ever seen in my life on my hunting ground thanks to Dave s advice. After seeing him only once for less then 30 seconds and hunting him all year I came up empty, due mostly to interruptions from other hunters. Two other times he was coming in to me at day light and he got spooked off by another hunter. All the sign was there, but he was never seen. This year I was even more bound and determined than ever to get this very elusive and very nice buck. I am a hard worker, especially at what I want. I needed some classes on hunting pressured bucks. Dave said if I came up during the summer while he was working around his little farm, that he would give me classes. I used my own gas money and spent half my days off up there this summer. I helped him out and often he would take an hour or so break and talk buck, and since we were in the woods already, it would get intense and detailed. I wanted information, information he had. Dave s deer knowledge is like a drug to me. After 2 years of working here and there with him and getting so close yet so far from that buck I would do anything legal to get my chance again. I KNEW he could get me there and if that meant blood sweat, and tears, then it would be worth it. Each day we would have mini lesson days. Eager to learn I noted everything I could in my mind till my brain hurt, then I would go back and write as much down of it as I could remember when I got home. My notebook is getting bigger every time I talk to him. I would go over my notes regularly trying to reinforce what I had learned. This was true for all my classes - map reading 101, map reading 201, advanced mapping, plants-bushes- and trees 101, plant-bush-tree 201, reading SPECIFIC deer sign in the woods, general deer knowledge, etc...I could go on and on. I worked hard. For the last year leading up to this season I worked my butt off doing my homework assignments - yeah, you will get them too - and all the sacrifices I needed to make to see Mr. Big again this fall. You do not do all this for someone that you do not have faith in. You do not do this for some one you do not believe in. You work hard like this because you know that they can give you the knowledge that you want, GUARANTEED!
Today Oct 18th 2011 at 530 a.m. EST I was in my tree that Dave told me to be in. The SAME one he told me that he guaranteed I would see Mr. Big in. The same tree that I left off my last story with, where I did not doubt him for once second that I would see him there. The one that he knew I would be in all season but did not tell me that. Mr. Big was there alright, he came in at 17 yards, by far the closest I have ever seen him...But I could not see him clearly. That was part of the problem. It was still dark, dark enough that I could only make out little bits here and there through the speckled light. I knew most certain it was a big buck, I knew for certain he was big, but I was not sure just what I was dealing with. After several minutes of milling around he decided to leave. After I was leaving for the day I viewed the big 2 and three quarters inches wide by 3 inches long tracks where I heard him that morning, that is how I knew it was Mr. BIG himself. I saw nothing all morning after that...until 10:26. As it is that I have many back aliments I can only be in a tree for so long before I need to get out. My usual time if I am in my tree around 5 am is somewhere in the vicinity of 10-11am. By then I am stiff and sore and it is time to come down so I can actually do more hunting later that day or the next. I was unusually stiff this morning so I decided 10:30 was my cutoff. At 10:26 I heard a HECK of a commotion across the way coming through the forest. It sounded like a gosh dang heard of elephants. Next thing I know I literally loose count of the number of bucks chasing the does. I was trying to keep track of all the points and my last count was 7 or 8, maybe even 9. I think mainly due to what happened next..., lots of does being chased, some fawns joining the pack. It was like the national geographic African safari helicopters where you see them circling above and all the animals in the pack are running. I swear that is what it had to look like when they crossed the field. I had a feeling of what was in the back that is where the big ones usually hang out. I waited and waited and then came the deep low grunts. Ever so slowly and gingerly he began to make his way into the tree line grunting and all horned up over the does he was trailing. I was trying to undo my safety harness as my shot at him was behind the tree and over my climber straps. I did not know if I could pull the shot off, but I was going to try. All I heard was branches breaking and saw trees being dozed over....then he stepped into the clearing 40 yards out. My shot was blocked by way to many limbs to even chance it, so I embraced the moment. He was big, and I am not talking big I am talking BIG, as in Mr. Burly Immense Growth himself. The buck I so longed to see again, the buck that has been evading and escaping me for nearly 3 years, there he was, in plain sight, alive and well just like I left him, but he is no longer nocturnal, he is out in broad daylight. He has beautiful light gray/off white tines, G2 s that were at least 12 inches long, good solid bases, 5x5 without flinching or second guessing, spread wide as a mile, deep dark almost black body. It was truly a sight to behold, he was breathtaking magnificent! For nearly 3 minutes I watched BIG walk and strut his stuff to the ladies. He then slowly headed up over the mountain and he was gone. I almost broke down in tears when he walked out from my view. Because I did not get my shot you ask? Heck no. It was because of everything I did paid off, FINALLY. Mr. BIG did not have a clue I was there, nor did it look like he cared. I sacrificed countless hours into this season. Blood, sweat, tears, pain, gas, money, time, effort, reviewing, classes....and it all paid off. Everything that I worked so hard with Dave on paid off 10x fold. Do you honestly think for one second that I thought about the money or my sacrifices made?? Do you think for one second that I thought I did not get my monies worth?? I seen like what 18 BUCKS (more then HALF of them in less that 20 yards I might add) in the first 2 weeks of the season! That is usually par for my entire 6 weeks. Now toss in the fact that BIG was at number 17 AND at 40 yards today, and I got to see him...I would have paid 10x what I already paid him. Guess what? The season is not even over; I have another 3.5 weeks for BIG to be there again. You think I am worried that I will not get another chance? Get real! There is a REASON we call Dave the BUCK WHISPERER at work, and it is not because he talks in a low voice to a $1 bill.
Remember: Lonny has hunted this same ground all his life. He has suspected big bucks were here but seldom seen them. He usually would only see six to ten bucks in an entire season of archery hunting. Twenty Yards is an Eternity, when you are in the wrong area. With his classes and ground truthing, he has seen his Mr. Big, the big ten point up close and personal, and has now had the best season ever with having twenty seven bucks under him in the season and all most every one of them with in bow range and most at or under ten yards. Think about it. This is the same piece of woods where he previously struggled to see a buck, now he gets upset when he has a day with only a couple bucks under him..... Congratulation Lonny, I would like to commend you, for taking your class s serious, performing perfect practice and execution to this point in this season.
David A Poerio Jr.
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