Jenkins County Buck For Ted Turner III
Hunter's Journal: GON readers share their favorite hunt stories.
By Ted Turner III
I had not been free to hunt much over the last several years. I have a few photos of this buck from trail cams, but all of the photos came from after shooting hours.
Even though the buck was nocturnal, at every free opportunity I had, I made my way to my stand to hunt in hopes this buck, or possibly one bigger, would walk by during hunting hours.
After many hours and days of being in the stand, Tuesday morning, Nov. 28 (after skipping class at the university I attend) was finally the morning. Through the last several weeks, I watched nice bucks of all sizes run after does, spar lightly, etc. I could have taken one of the nice bucks, but I knew the big one had to be nearby. From nearly two decades of hunting experience, I knew to have patience if I wanted that trophy buck.
I got into the stand early that morning, and the wait began. Right after legal hours, I caught a glimpse of a few does to my right. Shortly after, they were run off by a small buck. Not long after this, I had a few more does come out to my left and two in front of me. Then the wind, just a very light breeze, shifted. The wind carried directly to the two does in front of me that were not far away. I would guess they were only about 50 yards away. One of them caught wind of me I suppose, as she became very nervous.
Just then, I had another deer come out to my left. I couldn’t tell what it was at the longer distance, so I used my scope to examine the deer. At this movement, the jumpy doe in front of me acted as if she caught my movement. I froze, and the stare down began. After what seemed like forever, she went back to her business.
After examining the deer to my left, I was already able to tell it was not what I was looking for, so I relaxed myself but kept the gun favored to my left so I would not have to move so far next time if the big boy did walk out that way. Of course, this would be the opposite of what was to come next.
Within a few moments, in front of me with the two does, including the already nervous one, I caught a glimpse of a large deer. I expected it to be one of the nice bucks I had seen in the past hunting trips, so I was not too alarmed. However, right before this deer fully showed himself, the same doe looked back up at me again. It was at that moment the buck stepped out.
I could tell this was not one of the nice younger bucks I had been watching. This looked like “Him,” the one I was after. I waited what seemed like many seconds—but was most likely maybe two—for this buck to turn enough to get a shot. I was frozen in movement, with my gun leaning in the wrong direction and a jumpy doe staring at me. I knew I had one swift movement to make this happen. Time had seemed to slow down, but when he turned, I made my move.
I whirled my rifle around to target the deer, gave one quick glance at the antlers to make sure he was what I wanted I settled myself to slow down the shot and make it count and squeezed the trigger. The buck leaped, ran and then I heard a tremendous thump! I felt great about my shot and was confident he was down.
I gave things I would guess 10 to 15 minutes, said a prayer and got down to go see if this hunt was a success. It was! I found a tremendous blood trail and found this nice buck around 20 yards farther. He was down with a perfect shot.
I sat there looking at what appeared to be the biggest buck of my life. It made the feelings of hunting that much more wonderful.
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Hunt stories should be close to 1,200 words and contain at least one photo at least 2 MB in size. To submit Hunter’s Journal stories and photos, e-mail to [email protected] or mail to: GON Hunter’s Journal,4331 Seven Islands Road, Madison, GA 30650.