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Bowhunting Deer Whitetail

VIDEO: Pack of Coyotes Push a 200-inch Buck Into Bow Range

by Melissa Bachman   |  July 21st, 2011 25

There are certain moments in a hunter’s lifetime they will never forget.  The reasons vary from person to person, situation-to-situation but for me it all started with a pack of coyotes and a 202-inch buck in Illinois.

Granted, a 200-inch buck would be a memory most people would never forget, but believe it or not his antler size wasn’t what made this hunt. I had been hunting all fall in search of a big whitetail and had several close encounters and even a miss.  After 47-days of sitting on stand, my dedication and patience was starting to wear thin.  I was literally spending every waking moment that I wasn’t working in a tree begging people to film me during their free time.

Not only is a 202-inch buck memorable, but how many people can say they've had a pack of coyotes chase a buck right to you?

It was mid-December, the snow had arrived and temps had dropped into the teens. In other words, it was a deer hunters paradise!  I can’t think of better conditions to lure a big old buck out of cover than with cold temps and a mouth watering soybean field. Tired, cold, and rundown from the rut, several deer started filtering into the bean field nearly 150-yards out.  1 led to 2, 2 led to 20 and the next thing I knew the entire field was crawling with  deer.  Seems perfect but there was one problem.   All the deer were bunched up  on the other side of the field, way outside of bow range.

I’ll be honest, my initial thought was to get out of the tree stand and attempt to stalk the entire group.  Of course, it seemed like a good idea at first but I knew it was not my best option.  As much as I wanted to get aggressive and make a move, I also knew that my highest chance of success would be to remain in the tree.  Sitting still at this particular moment was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done! Not only did I feel unbelievably nervous but there was also an intense feeling of helplessness.

That helplessness turned to severe anxiety as I spotted a pack of coyotes making their move on my big buck and the entire group! Instead of spooking the deer back into the woods they actually surprised them from behind and the entire field exploded with deer and they all came running right toward me.

If you think my heart was pounding the first time I laid eyes on his giant rack, it was no comparison to the feeling I had when that entire group came running right toward me.  The coyotes pushed the deer to 70-yards and started circling the field.  The big buck acted as if he were going to hold his ground with the coyotes, but at the last minute he decided to go with the safety in numbers idea and joined the others as they migrated toward my stand.

The coyotes had pushed this big buck and the entire group twice, both times to my advantage but I wasn’t sure when my luck would run thin.  I could see another coyote circling around from the other direction and I knew time was not on my side.  These coyotes were determined to bring one of these deer down and they had the numbers to get it done.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever had a chance to be in the middle of a situation like this but  I quickly picked up on one huge advantage.  All the deer in the field had their eyes glued to the circling coyote’s giving me a perfect opportunity to draw without getting busted with all those eyes.

This massive buck was now eating only 52-yards in front of my stand!  I knew this was a shot I had practiced and was confident with but I also knew a closer shot would be better. It become apparent that this was the only shot I would get and the buck started quartering away and slowly heading in the opposite direction.  My instincts took over and within a blink of an eye I was at full draw holding right on his chest. As my arrow the buck he kicked his back legs up in the air and looked as if he might drop right in the field.

When I walked up on him all I could see was points!  15-points to be exact and 202-inches of antler.  This just goes to show how putting your time into a quality location can really pay off.  Hunting the Golden Triangle is one of the best places in the world for giant bucks.  You can be the best hunter out there, but if the big bucks aren’t there, you’re out of luck.

Not only was this an amazing buck, but how people can say they’ve had a pack of coyotes actually help them harvest a deer?  My friendship with the coyotes only lasted a short time and as a thank you present I showed them what could be done with a few predator calls and a gun in my hand.

  • BuzGuy Giordano

    That is obviouly one very happy Dolly! Its so nice to see her joy live on film like that.. thanks for sharing this.


  • Scott Carmody


  • http://windows7 Ben Petrone

    52 yards ?really

  • http://yes Mike

    Tell us about the flowing hair in the tree and the pigtails for the recovery. Something is a little phony.

    • Melissa Bachman


      I decided to wait to do the recovery to make sure we wouldn't push him and be looking in the dark. Also, I am a girl so I guess I change my hair on a pretty constant basis…nothing to get too worried about! Obviously I was pretty excited about what just happened and wasn't thinking about my hair…

  • Brent


    I sure the recovery was done the next morning . At least that was my first thought. I don't know if I would have left it that long with a bunch of hungry yotes hanging around.

  • http://windows7 Ben Petrone

    here where i live you leave a deer or for that matter any dead critter in the woods over nite and it is gone the next morning, gut pile or what ever that buck of yours would be gone in a heart beat nothing is safe where coyotes are concerned here they kill even in the day time ,i have been cutting and splitting wood up in my fields alongside my woods and have seen coyotes take woodchucks, fawns and even young geese that cant fly yet the more you trap and kill it seems the more pups the dominant female has ?

  • Ed Noce

    Those guys that are negative in their comments are really jealous.I find that so funny. Ya know they have never seen a buck that big and probably get skunked most of the time. Good job girl, here's one for you.

  • richard

    beautiful buck, way to go girl

  • Brian Shrives

    She needs to write a guide on how to take out monster white tails. beautful buck for a very good hunter you go girl…

  • http://australia bruce coulthard

    Nice buck, but that story is like my cookin, it doesn't smell right. If that buck was recovered the next morning it would be as stiff as a board, rigamortice, especially with all that snow . that bucks neck is still supple. I would'nt leave a buck like that alone for one hour with hungry coyotes around.

    • Melissa Bachman

      Had I gone after this buck one hour after the shot, I would have pushed him, lost the blood trail and the coyotes would've had a feast. Instead I did the right thing and gave him time to expire and it proved to be the right call.

  • jason barnett

    nice buck but, how can you put the pin on his chest when you say he was quartering away?and as the other guys say if you would of left him there you wouldnt of been able to walk up to him the next day with him laying in the snow and pick his head up like he had only just been shot ,if th ecoyotes were hanging about they would of picked up the scent of blood and devoured him over night ,are you sure you werent hunting coyotes with the rifle and they pushed in the deer and you shot him with the rifle ,,smells a bit fishy

    • Melissa Bachman

      Give me a break…you see me shoot him with my bow on camera. If you're jealous I understand, but let's be realistic. Let me guess I staged the coyote push too??

  • jason barnett

    no we dont see you shoot him on camera ,we see you shoot and we see the buck kick out but we dont see the arrow actually hit him ,im not jealous aas i said great buck ,im being realistic ,but make sure your story lines up with the pictures next time ,read what i said ,i said you were probably hunting the coyotes and luckily they puched in the deer and you bagged one of them instead ,,cheers

    • Ron

      jealous aas

      yes you are!!!—- try to film a hunt and get every angle it's not going happen. she did not put this video online to take crap from a bunch of weekend hunters like yourself. Keep wishing you could shoot a wall mount deer, and if you ever do you will find out that people will always think you did something different to get it, other than the story you told. So quit trashing Melissa. O yea and go get some spelling lessons before you write your next story. Great job Melissa!

    • Melissa Bachman

      Unfortunately the camera zooms in on the shot because I had someone else filming who is not a cameraman, but was nice enough to sit with me and help out. Think of how fast a bullet travels compared to an arrow going 300fps…obviously that wouldn't add up. I was the happiest girl ever taking a beautiful buck like this and felt lucky to get it on camera…it's unfortunate you have to be such a negative person. I was just trying to share my story with others hunters who could appreciate some dedication to the sport.

      • Chris

        Dont worry about these guys there jealous that you have shot a bigger buck than they ever will. Hell of a shot hell of a buck congrats beautiful buck. Everyone should chill out. is this CSI or something thought we were here to share stories not to get interrogated, questioned on your integrity, and criticized.

    • Dale Bennicke

      lighting is different on the shooter than on the buck, plus the other inconsistencies that have been mentioned, and why are there so many edits in the video? It looks fake and I am surprised Peterson's Hunting would put a video like this on their website.

  • Joe

    That's a great deer. I have filmed several hunts. Not a buck of that caliber but I'm working my way up. It is very hard to get every angle and if you think the deer just sit and say "cheese"…very mistaken. Great deer Melissa and great filming for the cameraman as well. Anybody can be an armchair quarterback.

  • jason barnett

    i have hunted deer for years in aus and have the mounts to prove it ,she has avoided most if not all of the main questions or replies thrown at her ,if she cant take a bit of critisism when things dont add up then dont post it on the net for everyone to see and comment on,i can tell you a dozen dvds that show all the angles Ron ,so get your facts right ,next time your in aus ron i will take you and show you how to hunt ,what a bunch of sooks

    • Ron


      aus?, I don't get it but whatever, Melissa did say she had only one camera on this hunt. pay attention when reading and retain the information. With one camera, listen up now you get one angle, the rest is all recreates, you should know this because of all the dvds you watch. I know this because I have did my fair share of filming hunts, this is a fact. Who said I hunted?. Your spelling is getting better,you hang in there sunshine. Great buck Melissa!

  • Harry

    When coyotes are disturbed by man they will usually clear the area for quite some time. I've guided NW Wyoming and seen a lot of deer killed and a dead deer will get stiff but after laying a long time it begins to loosen up as long as it isn't frozen. It's a shame when someone attempts to find fault with a hunter who has been suscessful and has worked so hard to accomplish their goal. I know I wouldn't want to guide or hunt with the individuals who find fault with Melissa's hunt. Great job Melissa!

  • IN Bowman

    great buck, video looks faked as has been pointed out, the shot sequence is in a very different light and appears to have been filmed later, after the real shot took place…very common in today's videos.

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