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October 25th buck.


PMA Member
Story starts last year when we started getting pics of a nice 10 point. He had great tine length, but short brows and a narrow frame. We decided to pass him even though we assumed he was 4.5. He disappeared mid season and we assumed he was killed.

Fast forward to this year and I started getting a nice 10 point on camera. I didn't recognize him at first, but after a while I noticed the long G3 and knew it was the same deer. Every picture I had of him was a side profile or angled picture, so I could never tell how wide he was. He showed up now and then, but mostly at night. I felt I was missing the movement, so I moved my cam and made a mock scrape on the 22nd. On the 23rd he shows up with 8 minutes of daylight left even though it was 80 degrees that day. I asked my wife if she could pick up the kid so I could hunt the next night. She agreed and I came up with a plan. The wind was horrible for that spot and it was in the 70's, but I figured he was still in the area. I had an idea of where I wanted to setup, but when I got there after work it seemed too far away and I doubted he'd make it there before last light. I tried another spot and the wind didn't work, tried another and it didn't work either. Finally I settled on a spot even though I knew it was aggressive to the point that a 1/3 of the deer would not come out of the bedding because they'd probably wind me. It was my only option for the wind though. I setup my .5 stand and tried to cool off after sweating my tail off trying to find a tree. I ran out of milkweed wind indicator, but I could tell the wind wasn't ideal, 17 mph with higher gusts, I doubted deer would move much.

I sat there for several hours doubting my setup, thinking it was too aggressive too early until I saw does doing their thing at 6:00pm. They filtered past and moved to the food source. I had another group of does show up off in the distance and as I was watching them. I heard a branch snap behind me. I turned around and tried to locate the source of the sound. It's super thick behind me so I couldn't make out what made the noise. Just then I heard the sound of a deer rubbing a tree and saw a buck behind some brush. I didn't expect anything to come that way, although there is a thick willow patch close by where deer frequently bed. I couldn't see the deer's rack hardly at all. He was heading my way and he was directly behind brush and leafy foliage the whole time. Finally I see part of one side and I can tell it's a 10 point side. There are several 10's that are young and I can't tell if it's them or the one I'm after. I decided to grab my rangefinder and range the one opening I have, it's a 5 foot opening with a 30 yd shot. The buck is now at 35 yds directly behind a tree facing my way. I still have no idea if it's a shooter, but I have my release clipped on my bow. The deer steps from behind the tree and I see a very narrow frame. I don't recognize him until he turns and the distinct longer G3 looks familiar. Ok, game on. He turns broadside and is heading for the one lane I have. I slide my pin to 30 yds and come to full draw, he hits the front of the lane and I give him a meh, no response, give him another Meh, still no response, finally I yelled MEH and he stopped on a dime. I settle the pin for a heart shot and squeeze it off. Arrow zips towards the deer and as I'm following through on my shot I see the buck lurch forward and my arrow hits much further back than I aimed. The buck takes off and I lose him after 30 yds because it's so thick. I can see my arrow in the ground and all I think is liver. I don't know what I could have done differently, he was moving at a decent pace, so shooting on the move was a bad idea. I get down, grab my arrow and back out. The arrow looks like light colored blood and not that dark red you get from a liver shot; I know I have to wait till morning. I get home and it starts lightly raining, my heart sinks because I know the difficulties of my track the next day.

Following day arrives and I text some buddies. They all say dead deer, just gotta find him. The night before I saw no blood at the site of the shot and when I shined my light down the trail I didn't see any either. I knew the track would probably turn into a grid search, so I might as well glass the river first. I walk to the rivers edge and glass the bank and check the sandbars. Nothing. I glass further down the river and see a rock on the sandbar, wait, that rock looks like a deer... Holy smokes I see antlers. Thank you Lord, it's him!

I made my way to the deer and he's a wet, soggy mess. To my surprise the shot wasn't as bad as I initially thought and it looks like he died the night before. Deerhunter93 was hunting nearby and offered to help out, so he snapped some pictures and helped me drag him out of there.

When I field dressed the deer the liver looked untouched, the lungs had a broadhead hole in the very corner of the lobe and his diaphragm was busted. In spite of that, somehow he made it 250 yds as the crow flies.

He was way narrower than I thought, inside spread was 15 3/8. From the trail cam pics I thought he was a 160" deer and he looks like one from the side, but he grossed 154" on the dot. Regardless, he's a mature buck and I'm happy to harvest those all day. Big thanks to Deerhunter93, that river bank would have been a nightmare without his help!


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Awesome story. I felt like I was there. Great buck and congrats for getting done early this year! Too bad we're not on the same team this year ;)
That’s awesome story & buck. The level of reward is hard to grasp when u pass a bomber & do connect the following. Those are deer I feel give extra “points” if u will on EARNING that buck. That’s awesome!!! Congrats on a great ending to the hunt & story!!!
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