SADDLE GEAR: Tethrd Mantis, Predator Platform, Muddy Pro sticks.
What’s luck have to do with it? This story starts with bad luck, premonition, a cat, and a good buck. Seriously.
Needless to say my 2019 hunting season was hindered by an ACL surgery recovery and no weekends in October to hunt. 7 hunts of wobbling my hobbling self into the Ozark Mountains and fighting thick clear cuts resulted in zero deer sightings and zero life in the woods. As the evening closed on my 7th sit of the year, I gathered up my sticks and gear in the pouring rain and grumbled to myself about my bad luck.
I’m a planner. I like to plan everything and wait for perfect time with perfect conditions. However, bad luck seemed to find me. I thought to myself on that 7th hunt….lucky number 7. I was wrong, and was heading to the truck in the pouring rain empty handed…again. During the long one mile pack back to the truck I murmured and replayed what I could be doing wrong. I’d say to myself, “it’s just bad luck.” Oddly enough, about 50 yards from my vehicle, a strange thought popped into my head and told me I’m going to get a new cat. I dismissed it. The thought came on stronger and it said “I’m GOING to pick up a cat tonight.” Again, dismissed it. “That’s a weird thought,” I said to myself as I unloaded my gear into my truck.
I turned off the forestry road onto a paved highway a couple miles from civilization. In the pouring rain I spotted a set of eyes next to a stump. I pulled over and stopped thinking the eyes would dash away. I rolled down my window and said, “here, kitty kitty.” I heard a meow. I got out in the dark pouring rain walked over and picked up a soaked young BLACK cat.
Weird right? Yeah, try being in my shoes. I couldn’t help, but think of how I envisioned this before it happened. Both of us having some very bad luck and crossing each other’s paths. This is super weird stuff. I could have just kept driving, accepting my bad luck doom. However, that night I acted. I changed my course. Good luck and a black cat was on my side.
Over the next couple hunts I found more deer, and things began to turn around. On the 7th of November I got up at 2:30 am, hiked 1000 yards to a public land spot I’ve never sat in, and found myself in a tree by 4:30. I was set up on the leeward side of a main ridge running west to east with finger ridges running north to south. The finger ridges were buck bedding on the points and doe bedding near the start of the fingers off the main ridge. Almost 13 hours later I caught glimpse of a buck working off the point of the western most finger ridge cutting across the ditch behind me at 34.5 yards. With the rising thermals he wasn’t able to wind me. Long story short, an o-ring issue with a mechanical head send a 620 grain arrow with a pink Nockturnal helicoptering and curving right. The shot resulted in a very lucky quick kill and a very long drag out.
Am I lucky? No. I’m blessed. I’m blessed to know there’s no such thing as bad luck. Bad things happen, however we control our own future. We can always pick up the black cat. I’m not lucky, I’m just a blessed dude with a new black cat and a nice Ozark Mountain buck.