A WA State Deer and Coyote Recounting by Boomer Hayden

Frank Leonardo and I have been hunting together for over 35 years, hunting dozens of states in the US and many provinces in Canada. We have taken many P&Y animals together but mostly what we have done is create many lifetime memories. Frank is one of the hardest hunters I know and despite his lifetime fight with diabetes it has never slowed him down. The laughter we have shared in the woods will never be forgotten; I consider him a close
friend and a brother bowhunter for a lifetime. Here is a story of a most recent hunt with another brother bowhunter Brian Jennen from Washington
State. If you want one of the best Bowhunts in the United States of America, Archery Outfitters run by Brian is the place to go. He can be reached at 509 675 1069. We thank him for his generous donations to the Massbowhunters and his site can be accessed through massbowhunters.com under “Friends of the M.B.A.”. Here is a story as told by Frank on a hunt with Archery Outfitters last fall:
“For a few years now Dennis Hayden has been trying to get me to bow hunt WA state. Year after year he has been telling me about the bucks he sees and every year it was more and more interesting to me. We had the Massachusetts Bowhunters Banquet and Brian Jennen of Archery Outfitters donated a hunt to our organization and I won the hunt at our auction. I was excited about getting the opportunity to hunt Washington state. WA state was kind of unique. We were there the middle of Sept. and we could hunt Whitetail, Mule Deer, Elk, Bear and Mountain Lion. There is a very small window in their hunting season that you can do that. Dennis hunted the first week and he was hunting a 12 point Whitetail that he had seen the first night on the stand. He had seen other bucks but he had his heart set on that
buck. I started the third week hunting Elk but the season ended on that Wednesday and I did not get any opportunities on Elk. Wednesday we switched to Bear and Deer. WA state has a very good population of bear and they have color phased bear there.

One of the nights that we were coming back from hunting Brian said he wanted to check out some apple trees that were off a side street off the main highway. When we got up to the apple trees two bucks jumped out in front of the truck; we almost hit them. I looked at Brian and said, “This looks like a good spot”. Both deer were shooters. Brian said he would check it out the next day while I was in my tree stand. Brian thought he figured out where they were coming from so he set up a trail camera. The camera showed that Brian was right with a bonus added to it! There was a shooter bear in the area! The camera showed the deer would come in and then the bear would run off the deer. Then the deer would come in and the bear would leave. The best part of the camera was it showed that they would come in before dark. The camera showed that the deer and bear were traveling an old tote road and we set up on it.

Like every bow hunter that sits in a new stand for the first time I was very excited. The reason? I thought maybe I could get a shot at both… wishful thinking. I was up in my tree stand half way up this small mountain. From my stand I had a 20 yd shot to the tote road, also I could see about 100 yds down the tote road, and I could see the main highway from my stand. It was the best of both worlds. The frontier of the mountain and the modern world highway.

I was kind of dreaming about both when I heard a thump. It sounded like a deer jumping over a wall but there was nothing to jump over. I looked over to my right where the sound came from. I am looking out 50 or 60 yards looking for deer and there he was, 15 yds from my tree stand. I look for his buddy but this night he was alone. He walked up to the tote road and took a left. That gave me a 20yd shot with my recurve. I saw the white fletching bury up to almost the nock and he ran like he was hit hard. He ran down the
abandoned tote road but he did not leave a lot of sign so we backed off and we went back to find him in the morning.

At 6:15 am we are driving down the highway and Brian tells me there is a deer 100 yds off of the highway in a plowed field and it has a big rack. The deer was about 70 yd’s from where Brian picked me up the night before. 15 minutes after I shot, the coyotes were screaming at the bottom of the mountain. What I did not realize was they were on my deer. When we found him they had eaten the whole deer. I could not even get the cape off of him; they had eaten all the way up his neck.

I told Brian I probably got a couple of Coyotes because the arrow was sticking up in the air when we found him and maybe I got one when they jumped on him. Wishful thinking. When we found him Brian told me he was the bigger of the two. At least that made me feel good!”

We measured the Rack and it green scored 141 so a fine buck and another memory for Frank’s internal scrapbook. Congratulations Frank, and again thanks Brian, for a great hunt. You can bet one thing Frank and I will be in Washington state this fall creating another great hunting memory we will share forever.

All the best, yours in the bowhunting spirit, and Straight Arrows!
1800 BOWHUNT ■

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