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June 2018
Story by Traven Bies
State: South Dakota
Species: Deer - Mule

It was a long, hard season. I hiked my butt off, but in the end, it all paid off. It was November 26th and an unusually warm day. I grabbed the Bowtech and started off to my main glassing point. I did not have very high hopes, but it was the rut and I was hunting mule deer, so there was always a possibility.

I came over a ridge and started glassing. I was watching a coyote, and then I saw tines and a buck came into view. I had never seen him before, but he was a great deer, so I kept an eye on him. He moved into a draw and never came out. After an hour, I knew he was in there, so I started off fast but then stopped and remembered a quote from my good hunting partner, Jim Burnworth. He had told me, “You are only as fast as you are quiet.” I slowed down and kept moving. I took off my boots and crept the last 50 yards. All I saw were tines, so I froze and started belly sliding up until I could get a range. The buck was bedded at 25 yards. I slowly crept back and drew my bow. I went to the edge and smoked him in the 12 ring.

I had been waiting for this moment for the last few years. I did not realize what I had just shot until I walked up to him. He was more than I could have ever asked for.