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"Big Buck for Garett"
Photo provided by: Garett Criddle

Garett Criddle, aka pushin_30, shared in our forum the following about his archery success.........

"My 2015 archery hunt like most hunts had it ups and downs! Opening weekend the heat was a killer with the 100 degree southern Utah temps and the usual opening weekend swarm of people…typical for a general season hunt in Utah though!
I had scouted a couple GREAT bucks however with all the pressure the area was getting it made it next to impossible to get one of the bucks to cooperate and bed in a position that would allow a stalk attempt. However the second Saturday of the hunt I was able to stalk in on one of the bigger bucks, got in tight (to tight) to 15 yards and the wind swirled putting an end to that stalk. Third weekend i ended up hiring my right shoulder at work and thought that my chances for an archery buck were over for 2015, luckily with a week off to rest my shoulder I was finally back in the hunt! 4th Saturday of the hunt which would be the my last opportunity for the hunt, was a very windy day with little deer sightings of the bigger mature bucks. As luck would have it i was able to turn up a bachelor group of 6 bucks ( 2 shooters, one of which was hard horned) making there way to there bedding area around 1130 with the cooler temps and the high winds the bucks were running later than usual making there way to bed. After glassing the bucks for an hour wanting to see which buck would bed where and even there would even be a possible stalk opportunity the bucks finally got settled into their midday beds. After a long stalk I was finally in a position to wait the bucks out to get up and start feeding in the evening or to reposition their bed with the setting shadows . With what seemed like forever an hour later the hard horn buck got up to rebed and in doing so kicked out one of the smaller bucks which started walking directly towards me, i thought that there was no way this was happening again, i was going to get busted again. So I decided to lay down completely flat on ground hoping for the best. I could see out of the corner of my eye the smaller buck feeding at a mere 10 yards for what seemed like an eternity! Finally the smaller buck made his way back with the group and bedded down allowing me to survey the situation once more. Luck was on my side this day as while i was glassing to see what the 2 larger bucks were doing the larger velvet buck moved ever so slightly opening a small window of opportunity (about the size of a paper plate) for a shot. I ranged the window exposing the bucks vitals at 25 yards, knowing the buck was on the other side of the tree and with the down hill angle i had to settled my 20 yard pin. However with the high winds blowing my bow all over making for a tough shot and not wanting to would the buck I let down my draw and removed my quiver full of arrows. Redrawing to see if i was able to hold on my spot i was finally comfortable with the shot. I sent my Easton Light speed arrow tipped with the 100 gr wacem broad head out of the bowtech destroyer 350 on its way. Immediately the 2 larger bucks and one of the smaller bucks closet too me exploded from their beds!! The smaller buck ran directly towards me and stopped at 14 yards surveying what had just happened. The 2 larger bucks bound access the ravine holding up a 75 yards. I could tell right away that the buck i had just shot was not doing well. Unable to move do to the smaller buck being so close i was left waiting for a follow up shot not wanting to spook the other deer. After a couple minutes i could see with my naked eye the large pool of blood underneath my buck. A few seconds later he started to rock and sway back and forth looking like he was going to go down right there, however just as it looked like he was going to go down he was able to catch his feet that were beginning to buckle underneath him and he exploded down the draw out of sight! With the other bucks still unaware for what was going on they did not know what to do. Finally the group got up and backed out of the area away from the direction the 2 larger bucks went. I was able to get slowly get over to the area where the buck was laying and found my arrow and completely passed through the bucks chest cavity and was soaked with good sign! I slowly started to follow the trail to where the buck had stopped and stood for the past couple of minutes finding a huge puddle of good foamy blood!!! Worried with the way the buck took off down the draw i opted to wait a good 45 minutes to an hour just to be safe. Finally able to take of the trail. We were able to follow the sign fairly easily for the first 100 yards then panic begin to settle in not knowing how this animal had made it as far as it did already with the amount to blood loss was mind boggling!! Finally after crawling around on our hands and knees we were able to pick up some more sign and were back on the trail. This would go on for another hour and approximently 800 to a 1000 yards later weaving in and out of the thick oak and I finally came a round the tree and found he had bedded looking back on his track and expired. The sour stomach gut wrenching feeling i had the whole time thinking of the possibly loosing this amazing animal was finally taken over with elation and high fives!!! A feeling that I will always remember!!! After taking care of the meat It was now time for the grueling 5 mile packout! However that part of the hunt is just as rewarding knowing that your freezer will be full of tasty venison and your largest archery buck to boot strapped down on the Blue Widow pack!!! He is 26" wide and mass mass mass!!! Memories to last a lifetime!!!"

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