Lady Luck Smiles

In the outdoors, sometimes lady luck can knock you to the ground until you find yourself faced with a decision. It's really easy to throw in the towel and say tomorrow will be a better day when things don't go your way. However, if you face adversity head on and have the grit to stick with it, your luck can change in the blink of an eye. Kyle Trambaugh of Indiana ran into a patch of bad luck this past November smack dab in the middle of the rut. The hunt started out with a doe feeding within 10 yards of his stand and Trambaugh decided to put some meat in his freezer. Besides it was a cake shot that he could make in his sleep and that doe tag was burning a hole in his pocket.

At full draw, he settled his first pin on the doe's sweet spot and let an arrow fly. The slick-headed doe immediately jumped into the air as the arrow went screaming into the dirt just below her belly. Trambaugh knew something was wrong and took aim at a brightly colored leaf below his stand. To his amazement the second shot was off by more than a foot. After inspecting the bow, he quickly realized his cable guard was completely loose. At this point, there was no way he was going to leave his stand, especially during the peak of the rut. Trambaugh pushed the rod back into place and shot a third arrow into the same leaf he had just missed. The problem was now corrected and he was back in business.

Around 12:20, two bruiser bucks swelled up and squared off not 40 yards from his stand. A heavy-racked 10-point buck bristled up and completely intimidated the other long-tined 8-pointer who decided it was time to fold his cards and leave. Trambaugh's dream buck caught the scent of the doe he had missed earlier that morning and followed the hot trail right past his stand. It was a tough quartering-away angle, but Trambaugh took his time and connected with the lovesick buck. On impact, the top-heavy giant kicked and frantically ran about 40 yards into the thick underbrush. Refusing to call it quits and patiently staying in the stand paid off with a phenomenal buck. Way to hang in there Kyle and congratulations on laying a monster from the Hoosier State on the ground!--Travis Faulkner