Interested in joining the HuntX3 team and getting your personal story/photos in front of the eyes of thousands of hunters? We are always on the lookout for fresh and interesting content from our fans and readers, including for the following categories:
- Personal Hunting Stories (with images)
- Product Reviews
- How-to Articles for Bow/Gun
- How-to Videos for Bow/Gun
- Event Coverage
All article submissions must be at least 400 words in length, 12 pt Time New Roman font, and sent as a Microsoft Word document. Video submissions can be uploaded to YouTube first, with a link to the YouTube video sent to us for review. You can send your article submissions and video links to Editor-in-Chief Chris Iaquinta at
Here is a sample article for reference of style and content:
Over the past 18 years I have harvested some great bucks, but this last 2009 season would prove to be one for the books. For years now I have dabbled in archery hunting , getting my first bow at the ripe ole age of 16. The day my dad bought me my bow I thought, “ This can’t possibly be hard to do, sit in a tree stand for a couple of hours and smoke a big buck. NO PROBLEM!” Little did I know at the time, it would take me 16 more years to get my first stick and string kill.
It’s early June in California and the lush green spring foliage is slowly turning to the golden brown we become accustom to during the summer and fall months. Chris and I are out setting up our trail cameras to keep a watchful eye on the budding velvet horns of this years bucks. Two weeks go by, now it’s time to see what mother nature has in store for us this hunting season. We are in luck, the cameras have captured a few monster Blacktail bucks in our hunting areas. Now it is time to set a game plan and bag one, or hopefully two of the monsters.
The summer heat has set in, it is now mid August and time for the opener of archery season. With the day finally here, I head out to my tree stand in hopes of sticking one of the giant bucks we caught on our trail cams. As the sun sets in to the Pacific Ocean my opening day comes to an end. “Buzz,,,Buzz,,,Buzz” I look at my cell phone. It’s a text from Chris. “ I just arrowed the drop tine buck, meet me back at the ranch”. We raced back to the ranch to find Chris and his 167 5/8” drop tine Blacktail. Wow, this buck had everything, width, height, mass, and most important a big drop tine on the right side. I was envious, this is the second year in a row Chris has bagged a trophy record book Blacktail. The season went on with Chris hammering another nice mature buck, and me getting skunked the rest of the bow season. Now I would have to wait a couple of weeks for rifle season to start.
Opening weekend of rifle was hot! The local weather station reported a high pressure system has set in over California for the next week with temperatures in the 100’s. With the mercury at and above 100, our opener went exceptionally well. The deer drives would prove to be the ticket, getting the bucks out of their cool beds and in to the sites of the guys on stand. Luckily, I was one of the chosen few to be on stand and smoke one the six bucks our crew took that weekend. Now this was not one of the bucks we saw on our trail cameras in the early archery season, nor was it a trophy. But now my family and I had meat for the freezer. That day was the day I would put down my trusty old rifle and devote the rest of my season to getting my first archery kill.
This is the part of the story that would change my hunting career forever. It was around the middle of October on a Tuesday, when I received the text. It was Chris, “ Want to know what I have on one of the trail cameras?” The next text was a picture of one of the biggest Blacktail buck I had ever seen in my life. The picture was dark and foggy the buck looked like some kind of ghost. That night Chris called me and told me since he was tagged out, that I was up to bat. We set forth our plan to hunt this buck every night till the season ended, knowing that if we put in the time, I would get my chance at this great buck. Until now we had never seen this buck, he was like a ghost only showing up when he wanted to. Thus we dubbed him 3G (Giant Gray Ghost). By the trail camera pictures we estimated this deer to be 6 to 8 years of age. At this age big mature Blacktail are mostly nocturnal, so Chris and I decided to hunt him in the evening .
The first evening couldn’t come quick enough. I’ll admit I did not get much sleep the nights prior to the hunt. I just kept going over and over in my head, how I thought this hunt would play out. It was now Thursday, the time of truth had arrived for me and my old bow. As Chris and I climbed in to the tree stand, deer were already coming down the trail. All I could think was, would this be the evening? With every deer that came threw my heart was pounding out of my chest. It wasn’t long till Chris whispered to me “ I’m out of camera light” and the first night was over just like that.
The next day we checked the trail camera and wouldn’t you know, 3G made an appearance about an hour after we had gone home. We settled in to our stands for the second evening. The air was crisp, it seemed like every animal and bird in the woods was out except the deer. With the clock ticking down the light was fading fast and just like night before we ran out of camera light. Now out of camera light doesn’t necessarily mean out of shooting light. It did cross my mind to stay a bit longer, but we wanted to get this magnificent buck on video camera. So I went home for another sleepless night.
It is Saturday, the third night of the pursuit. Now in the tree stand I turned to Chris and told him this would be the night. I could feel it in my bones. I knocked my arrow, sat back and let mother nature bring the show to me. Two hours had passed. If it was going to happen it would need to be soon. Snap!! I looked up the trail, could it be? I caught a glimpse of horn. I whispered “Chris, up the trail”. Both of our eyes were as big as saucers. I sat in my stand in total amazement just looking at him. Then the buck stopped in his tracks, put his nose in the air and took in a sample of everything around him. With the wind going in all directions I thought for sure we were busted. After giving the area a full scan he started back down the trail, right to our stands. I could hear my heart beat as my breathing got deeper and deeper and my knees began to tremble. Yep, I had a full case of Buck Fever! But I could not let it get to me, I had to focus. He was now within 16 yards of the stand and I was at full draw. I held the 20 yard pin right on his shoulder and squeezed my release. The Muzzy broadhead sliced through his front shoulder and in to the boiler room. The massive buck hit the ground, bounced off a tree and crashed through the brush. We both sat there in total amazement. I could not stop shaking. The only thing I could say was “That was 3G and I just smoked him.”
As Chris and I hopped out of our tree stands we knew we had a monster. Walking over to where I had shot the buck to retrieve my arrow, I looked down the hill to the area my buck had crashed. There he was, 30 yards down the hill and all I could see was a mass of horns laying on the ground. The closer we got the bigger his horns grew. The word ground shrinkage did not apply to this buck. My buck had more mass than any buck I had ever seen, with 7 ¼” bases. It would later have an official gross score of 174 2/8”. I’ve come to understand that if you want to harvest a giant buck with archery tackle you need to put in the time. Who knows, next time you’re out in the field that buck of a lifetime might just step in front of your pins.
About Me: I was born and raised in California, I’m 32 years old I have been hunting with my family sense I was 5 years of age. I live on our family ranch with my wonderful wife Angela and my beautiful daughter Bailey who is 2. I am the owner of my own production company Gamehog Outdoors and produce DVD’s about hunting in California. After my family I havedevoted all my life to hunting.
Bow: 1994 Pearson Magnum Arrows: Red Head Carbon Fury Broadheads: Muzzy Sight: Trueglo Release: Scott Harness: Hunter Safety System Clothing: Mossy Oak Treestand Treestand: Big Game Treestand
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