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"San Juan Trophy Buck Success for Nathan"
Photo provided by: Nathan DeRose

Here's a cool trophy buck and great hunting story shared by Nathan DeRose (aka snoodafruff).

"San Juan Archery Buck - Hey guys I wanted to give an update on my San Juan hunt. It was AWESOME!! In my scouting trips down there I found the north end of the unit held more quality bucks (just my experience) so that's where I focused my time. I hunted from north long point to big notch....& everywhere in between. On Wednesday I was able to catch up to an absolutely gorgeous buck and take him. After my number 1 hit list buck had been taken by another hunter opening morning who just beat me to him (huge congrats to him on an absolute giant....hopefully he posts him up on here) I was happy for the guy who got him, but feeling down on myself for missing out on the opportunity to get a crack at him. Then after 2 close calls on my number 2 hit list buck, he was hit and ultimately lost by another hunter. Luckily I had a handful of shooter bucks to go after because my hitlist was dwindling fast. Honestly I was beginning to feel a little down & that I was always a step behind....that the stars just weren't aligning for me. Luckily on Monday I found some new faces to go after. I must have just lucked into the buck I ended up getting because I had never seen him on my scouting trips.

Anyway the stars eventually did align for me on Wednesday evening and I was lucky enough to catch up to a fantastic, clean 4 point. After trailing him as he fed straight away from me offering no clean shot, I began to angle to the side of him trying to keep up with his pace. When he would walk I would walk. When he would stop I would freeze. This continued for half an hour but by now I was positioning myself for a quartering shot. I was no longer looking at his white butt walking away.???? on!! I determined a good, clear shooting lane he was heading towards so I stopped and got the range....42 yards. Luckily he stayed on his path, vitals now exposed. He entered the lane & I drew. When he stopped I turned the arrow loose. My hunt all culminated in that split second as that arrow traveled 42 yards, hitting its mark, blowing right through the unsuspecting buck. I instantly saw my arrow exit as he reacted to the impact. He jumped and ran away. Just as he was going out of sight I saw him turn.....or so I thought. Turns out that's when/where he tipped over dead. The death run was quick....70-80 yards. I quickly went to the "scene of the crime" to find my arrow. Upon finding my arrow I was relieved to see that it was soaked from tip to nock in dark red, bubbly blood. The shot was a hard quartering and as I replayed how it all went down in my mind, remembering the arrow impact I was concerned of a high & back impact. Inspection of my arrow and my minds replay led me to believe it was a lethal liver & lung shot.

Anxious to begin tracking it was hard to patiently wait there. I had always been taught to wait at least 30 minutes. Light was starting to fade & after what I felt was an eternity, I began to follow. The trauma was almost instant. The blood trail was pretty defined so I followed suit. Slowly I crept along trying not to disturb the ground he had passed over. Slowly I went, taking my time, thoroughly examining the blood red spotted ground. Only after 30-40 yards of tracking I just so happened to look up and saw his left antler towering above the bushes a mere 40 yards ahead.

At that moment, I knew my stars had finally aligned and that he was mine. I felt/feel so blessed and fortunate for that fateful evening of August 23rd, 2017....for that will forever be one my most cherished hunting memories of my life. I pay tribute to my most worthy opponent.....I honor him in his life and all his wonder, glory, majesty, & splendor. I hope every time I look at him (post taxidermy of course) I hope I can relive that evening. SUCH AN AWESOME EXPERIENCE!! As all of you, I live for this.???? Thanks for taking the time to read over this long-winded post....and I wish you all a safe and successful hunting season!!"

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