However, it was a good start. The buck rubbed on a tree and freshened a scrape while I watched. My buddy Mike was able to arrow a hog on the same hunt.
The next morning, while again hunting with Mike, I tried a new stand location that seemed promising and was tucked within the myrtles. Right after daylight, the biggest hog I have ever seen came walking up to a waddle hole and slid along an old 2-by-12 board. Then it stepped back and rubbed its huge back on a tree for a moment before retreating back into the cover of the myrtles. The hog was in range, but partially obscured by a row of branches. I later cut those branches out of the way.
About an hour later, I heard something walking in the water, and when I figured out the direction, I ducked my head down to see a big deer heading my way. At first glance, it looked like a doe. It cut across behind some cover, and I drew back and waited for it to walk into view.
As it appeared, I saw right away that it was not a doe but had some branched antlers. I quickly let an arrow fly at 30 yards, and the deer jumped like a mule. I knew I had a good hit on him by that reaction.
I waited about 20 minutes, and then got down and found my arrow, covered in blood. I waited awhile longer, and then began searching for blood on the ground in the direction of his exit. I found some, but it was sparse. I trailed very slowly, careful not step ahead too quickly and miss some of the blood trail.
The buck had only gone about 40 yards, and was down with a lung hit. The surprise came when I took a look at his antlers or should I say antler: The reason I thought this buck was a doe, is because his left antler had been broken off earlier this season. He had three points on the right side like a normal 8-point buck, but no brow tine. Other than that he appeared perfectly healthy.
Anyway my first buck of the season was down, and I was very pumped up about the hunt.
The next morning my buddy Randy and I were back where I had seen the buck rubbing up the tree two days earlier. About 7:10 a.m., I saw movement and, sure enough, the same buck was heading toward my climber.
At 15 yards I hit him with a quartering-toward-me shot that put him down before he could make it back to the myrtles. A lung shot with my 100-grain Muzzy was the charm.
This buck was a nice 7-pointer. I only thought I was excited the day before. Back to back bucks on public land, with a bow? Well, it doesn't get much better than that for me.
On subsequent hunts, I saw seven hogs and a very nice doe. Randy had a doe and 6-point at close range inside the myrtles, but he could not get a clear shot on either of them.
By the way, I did see "Hogzilla" again. It is a calico-colored sow that looks the size of a bear. She rooted around my stand for over 20 minutes, but stayed just out of sight. Eventually, she crossed about 70 yards away and I got a good look at her.
Thirty seconds later, a nice boar approached the wallow pit, and my arrow hit him at the base of the neck and shoulder as he quartered toward me. He squealed and spun around, breaking off my arrow.
I found good blood after 30 yards and trailed him quite easily for 200 yards as he headed for the marsh and myrtle area far back on this island. Unfortunately, the cold water of the marsh stopped the blood flow, and I eventually lost the trail. I really hate to lose an animal that I shot.
Some guys' opinions are "It's just a hog; no big deal." But that doesn't work for me. I only shoot an animal I plan to eat, and I love the taste of hogs.
So now I am back at work, but that was a series of extremely exciting hunts for me. This has turned into an exceptional season, and there is still a lot of time left for more adventures.