DeKalb County Pope & Young Puts Brian Mitchell In Shoot-Out
A DeKalb County bow-kill took top honors for the second time in three weeks when Brian Mitchell of Madison connected on a nice 8-point buck.
Brian, who makes his living as a DeKalb County firefighter, has some good hunting land where he lives in Morgan County, but he likes to hunt small tracts in DeKalb, as well. The 7-acre piece of land where Brian scored on his Week 4 winner sits in a bottleneck between two subdivisions. The lay of the land, Brian says, has been very productive for him.
The land as well as the surrounding woods are mostly pines. However, Brian’s honey hole contains four white-oak trees. Typically he sees deer coming there to feed just before dark.
“Sometimes you see a lot of deer there, and sometimes you don’t see many,” Brian said. “Since they built a new neighborhood on one side, it has kind of stopped some of the movement, and I don’t see as many deer there as I used to.”
Still, the area has been very good to Brian over the years.
“I killed a 10-pointer and a nice 8-pointer that went over 144 inches in five minutes there a couple of years ago,” Brian said. “Last year, with no acorns, the bucks I saw were about 125-class, so I let them walk.”
On the evening of October 7, Brian saw a buck he wouldn’t pass on.
Brian likes to climb as high as 30 feet in his portable climbing stand. He believes that getting that high off the ground keeps his scent away from the deer. He doesn’t prefer to wear the new no-scent clothing, but Brian does use rubber boots, and says he tries not to touch anything as he sneaks in to the woods.
“I just try to slip in as quiet as possible. Sometimes the deer are already in there, but I have found that when I spook them, they’ll come back if I’m quiet enough,” Brian commented.
Brian had killed his 144-inch deer with an old bow two seasons before, and he had bought a new one to hunt with before the 2004 season came in. The new bow did what Brian wanted when he got a chance to climb his favorite tree.
Brian says it seems like he always sees two bucks together during bow season from his stand, and on this evening, it was no different. When the pair of deer came into Brian’s field of view from his left, he knew they had antlers. But with the sun setting rapidly, he couldn’t tell how nice the buck he shot was.
“They stopped under the white oak about 15 yards from my stand,” Brian recalled. “It was getting pretty dark, so I looked at the deer through my binoculars to see if it was something I wanted to take.”
What Brian saw was a shooter.
“When I looked through the binoculars, I knew he was a shooter,” Brian said. “I put the binoculars down, picked up my bow, and made a good shot.”
The buck ran through the woods, and Brian was sure he heard the deer crash, but he realized he didn’t have a flashlight with him.
When he climbed out of his tree, Brian went to his fire station just a little way down the road to eat supper with his co-workers, and to retrieve a flashlight. After supper, Brian went back to the woods.
“It’s nice to work so close, because I usually get off at 7 a.m., so I can get in a tree and get a little hunting in before I go home,” Brian said.
The buck had been standing broadside at just over 10 yards when Brian hit the trigger on his release. When he found a blood trail, Brian said it took about 30 minutes to find his buck.
“I was confident I hit him good, but he went about 300 yards before he piled up,” Brian said.
Brian’s buck had a right main beam of 24 5/8 inches and a left main beam that exceeded 23 inches. The buck’s G3s were 10 5/8 inches and 10 inches, and the deer had a 16 5/8-inch inside spread.
Brian has been practicing his pellet-rifle skills, preparing for the Truck-Buck Shoot-Out. And he is ready for deer season to come back in so he can get back in the woods after a buck.
“That was a pretty good buck, but there’s one bigger than him in there,” Brian said. “I’m going to try to get him this year.”
2004-05 Truck-Contest Weekly Winner Hunt Stories
Week 1: Gary King’s Worth County Record-Class Bow Buck
Week 1: Marshall Compton’s Rockdale County Non-typical Earns Shoot-Out Spot
Week 2: Taylor McCann’s DeKalb County Bow-Buck Nets 174 7/8 Inches!
Week 3: Forgotten Lock Key Leads To New Hunting Spot And Coweta Winner For John Lewis
Week 5: Phillip Harper’s 145-Inch Muzzleloader Buck From Meriwether County
Ladies Wildcard: 15-year-old Samantha Linhart’s 150-Inch Worth County Buck
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