Ariel McCracken Druschel ~ Her “Monster” Buck ~ Featured Huntress August 2015

I never had the opportunity to hunt until I met Dan, who really got me started and real big into hunting, which I was always interested in. I come from a family who was always big into hunting, but unfortunately I never had the opportunity to go out with my Dad or Pap because my Dad got outta it and my Pap passed away.

However, I’ve been with Dan for almost 6 1/2 years now and ever since then, we have been hunting and fishing together any chance we get!! He always jokes that ever since I started hunting, he hasn’t been able to shoot anything anymore.

Well here’s my story about my 8-point which I got this last rifle season  as always, Dan and I were headed out for the first day together, but his buddy was coming along with us this year.  They were gonna set up on the hill away from me on the flat, whereas I was gonna sit in my “lucky spot” in my tree stand in the thicket of the woods, where a lot of deer tend to pass through. So they dropped me off on the quad, as I walked into my stand before day break and they went up on the hill. All morning I barely saw anything but then a herd of deer came through and there were 2 bucks with the bunch of doe, but I couldn’t count the points or get a shot off because it was too thick. Frustrated, I didn’t give up hope. Lunch time rolled around and Dan and his friend called saying they were gonna go check things out at Dan’s Uncle’s place to see if anyone got anything and asked if I wanted to come. I told them no, that I was not coming down, I didn’t wanna give up. They left, and about an hour later came back and asked if I wanted to join them up

Ariel's monster buck taken with her then boyfriend Dan, now her husband! Photo: Ariel Druschel

Ariel’s monster buck taken with her then boyfriend Dan, now her husband!
Photo: Ariel Druschel

on the hill. Still being persistent, I said no thank you, I’m gonna stay in my stand. It wasn’t much longer after that, when I started getting tired but refused to leave my stand. About an hour or two later I started hearing rustling through the woods and looked up to see this “monster buck” barreling down the hill right towards me. Luck was on my side, and it kept heading towards my stand where I could safely shoot! It leapt over this log beneath me and turned broadside towards me. I quickly jumped up and put him into my scope, saw he was legal and pulled the trigger. One shot, and I knew I hit him just right as he buckled below me and fell into the thicket beneath me! Once I called Dan to tell him of the news him and his friend came rushing down to me to see what I shot! Which, may I add that they were sleeping in their blind as this was all going down  . But once they met me at my stand we crawled through the thorn bush and my friend hollered to me that there he was and he was a monster! And he was in my eyes. From the moment I saw him, I knew this was my time to shoot because I did not give up hope and stuck it out, all by myself all morning and afternoon long without stepping foot on ground until after i shot! I’ve never felt more proud of myself and so relieved that all of my dedication to staying put and sticking it out just a little bit longer, had finally paid off! It was a great first day of the rifle season, that was for sure!

Here is me and my buck on that happy and memorable day! Needless to say, I had to get him mounted so I can show everyone the buck I called “monster” and tell about my hunting story to go along with it! I hope you enjoy my story!


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