Success is where preparation meets opportunity. Preparation paid off for me with success in Oregon during archery season this year. Western Oregon blacktail hunting is one of the world’s most challenging archery hunts because blacktail bucks thrive in steep, brushy terrain remaining mostly nocturnal throughout the year. Knowing that during opening weekend of Oregon’s archery season I would be spending my day at the Springfield Oregon Cabela’s, I planned this hunt so that I wasn’t on the bench for opening weekend.
My buddy that lives in the nearby town of Oakland Oregon offered to let me hunt blacktail bucks on his small farm that has an old apple and pear orchard- a place that the blacktail deer love to frequent during the warm fruit bearing months. The trail cameras went out and the scouting began. Granted, there are a lot of deer that frequent the said orchard, however there were only two on camera that were mature enough to hunt. The majority of deer were coming in the last 10 minutes of light and staying out all night long. There was no need to hunt mornings as the deer were not moving about. That schedule worked very well for me allowing me the opportunity to be in Cabela’s during the day and tree stand by evening.
Opening day proved to be a mental battle as the second largest buck on the farm walked by my tree stand 5 minutes past shooting light that I was comfortable with and I bumped him getting out of my stand. I replayed that moment over and over in my head- but bottom line I made an ethical and legal decision to wait and hunt another day with the hopes of having better light. As hunters, we owe the animals we pursue the upmost respect. The reward is in the journey, excitement and anticipation.
Day three the last five minutes of legal light, all of my planning and preparation paid off when one of my buck came by my stand at a mere 12 yards where I placed a perfect shot from my Fortitude L bow. The buck was 3” shy of Pope and Young but he is world class to me. This also happened to be the same buck that I bumped coming off my stand. Planning, ethics and patience paid off for me.