PSE’s Christopher Perkins Tells about His Invisible Buck and How He Took Him
Editor’s Note: Christopher Perkins from Athens, Ontario, Canada, has been shooting for PSE for the last 2 years. In 4 weeks of 2012, this 20 year old earned $18,000 in two professional archery tournaments – not bad for a summer job. But, Perkins never really set out to be a tournament archer winning championships and money and gaining sponsors. Like many tournament pros, Perkins just wanted to shoot better, so he could become a more proficient bowhunter. However, Perkin’s love of bowhunting and the desire to become a better bowhunter lead him to participate in archery competitions and world championships. He discovered like many of us have that the marriage between target archery and bowhunting produces a much better target archer and bowhunter than just choosing one of these two archery sports.
Question: Tell us about another deer you took.
I took a deer in 2010 on December 26 with which I had quite a history. I’d been after this older buck for about 3 years. Once I took him, we aged him at about 6 1/2 years old.
Question: Christopher, how did you find this deer?
In 2008, I found where he was holding. The second year I never had an encounter with him, but I had plenty of trail camera pictures of the buck. I knew he was still on the property and hadn’t been harvested by anyone else. I used Moultrie and Bushnell trail cameras on our 243 acre farm. Only two of us hunt the property. So, I loaded up with trail cameras to locate the bucks I wanted to take during hunting season. I think using trail cameras is important, because, since I didn’t have an encounter with this buck, I easily could have given up hunting him. I could have assumed that someone else had taken him, or that he had left the property, if I hadn’t had his pictures on my trail camera the second year I hunted him. This 8 point buck had 5 3/4 inch bases on his antlers and weighed 225 pounds field dressed. I believe that many times there may be big bucks on the properties we hunt that only move at night or just before daylight. Without using trail cameras, we’ll never see or know that we have a trophy buck on the lands we’re hunting. This particular buck was moving when I wasn’t on the property, or he was coming in to feed after I had left.
This buck was one of those really hard deer to hunt probably the toughest deer I’d ever hunted. He was a very smart buck. He knew where to be when I was in the woods, and he understood where he could be when I left the woods. He would come to feed either late at night or early, early, early in the morning. Therefore I couldn’t go to my stand early in the morning, because I’d spook him off his feed. Then late in the evening, I’d stay in the stand until black dark, and after I left the stand, he would show up. This buck knew what was going on, and he had patterned me to know when and where I would be hunting him. That third year I caught up to him at the end of the rut in really, really cold weather. I sat in my stand for 6 hours on December 26, when the weather was -27 degrees F. I’ve learned that deer will be on their feet when an area has a hard cold snap and looking for food close to their bedding region. To put the odds even more in my favor, I knew the time was the end of the rut in our section of the country, and he would be chasing does. When I spotted him, he was chasing does. Then I saw the buck coming in behind a doe he was so focused on that he wasn’t aware of anything else around him. When the doe stopped, he stopped, and I was already at full draw. Once he took the arrow, he only went 30 yards before he piled up. I took that buck with my PSE Vendetta bow the same bow I’d taken the buck with earlier that year. This buck had come in to the same food source. I’m convinced that when you’re hunting older age class bucks you need to have as many elements in your favor as you possibly can. With this buck, the cold snap got the buck up and moving and looking for food, and the time was at the end of the rut, which meant he would be looking for those last does that were ready to breed before the rut ended.