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Who Bowhunts from the Ground?

Who Bowhunts from the Ground?

By Mike Handley

Minutes before Dillon Boone pushed himself up from the ground in order to get a shot at the monstrous whitetail sauntering into bow range, he’d been stewing over brother Taylor’s suggestion they hunt together, sitting only feet apart.

Dillon had reluctantly agreed. In his opinion, they’d be too vulnerable, too easily seen and smelled. His mind screamed, Who bowhunts from the ground?

That a buck and doe had just busted them gave him the right to an I-told-you-so smirk, though it didn’t last very long.

Taylor now owns the privilege.

The Boone brothers recognized the buck that erased the frown from Dillon’s face that day. They’d been calling it Double D, a nod to its matching drop tines.

Dillon had last seen it an hour before dark 27 days earlier. A coyote had spooked it and some does past him. The closest the antlered deer came to the bowhunter was 67 yards.

Dillon took off a week from work, beginning Halloween, to hunt the deer. The weather was awful, but he spent the afternoon in the woods. He also pulled cards from some cameras, which included daytime photos of Double D.

The next day, the brothers hunted together. Taylor was watching a field from the edge of a woodlot, while Dillon was 150 yards inside it. Taylor saw their Most Wanted, but he didn’t get a shot at it.

Four days later, they joined forces again. At Taylor’s suggestion, they hunted from the ground, within earshot of each other.

“I thought it was a bad idea, but I agreed to give it a try,” Dillon told Dale Weddle, who’s writing the story for Rack magazine. “We set up early, only 5 yards apart. I leaned my back against a big tree.”

Fifteen minutes after daybreak, a small buck chased a doe close to them, but the animals saw one or both of the guys and veered away before disappearing altogether.

It began raining soon afterward, and the brothers’ disappointment turned to excitement. Trail camera photographs showed Double D was often afoot whenever it rained.

The dampness didn’t mute the sound of a limb cracking.

“I looked over to my left and saw the right side of Double D’s rack. He was about 35 yards away,” Dillon said. “He was right on top of us. I got Taylor’s attention and just gave him a big-eyed look.”

The deer was paralleling the nearby creek.

“I slid up the tree to a standing position,” Dillon said. “The buck stopped right in an opening ... If I had shot another 100 times, I could not have put a better shot on him!”

The deer’s BTR score is 203 3/8 inches.

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