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Meriwether County P&Y Buck Result Of Strict Management Plan

Recent bow-kill is a Week 2 Truck-Buck contender.

John N. Felsher | October 5, 2022

Breanne Tinsely with a Week 2 Truck-Buck deer that she shot with her bow in Meriwether County.

The Tinsleys watched a white-tailed buck grow for several years on a 3,000-acre tract punctuated by more than 110 acres of food plots in Meriwether County. Leaseholders manage the property to produce big deer. Each year, the future forest lord’s antlers grew more impressive. Finally, they decided that the big buck had grown large enough.

“We had the deer on camera for the last three years,” said Nick Tinsley, who lives with his wife Breanne in Concord. “We manage the property really well. We waited until he got 5 1/2 years old before we would shoot it. We made it one of our target bucks this year.”

Now, they just needed to figure out where to intercept the wily animal. He didn’t grow a massive rack by being stupid. Breanne wanted to bag that monster with her bow. She also wanted to test her new Garmin bow sight that she recently received as a birthday present.

“We had the deer on camera many times and thought we had this big boy patterned, but he was showing up at different stands during different times of the day,” Breanne said. “He would go to three different spots. I felt that I had a 50/50 chance of him coming to my stand on Sept. 17.”

At about 3 p.m. on that warm, Saturday afternoon, Breanne climbed into her Muddy-brand shooting house perched 14 feet in the air. Alone, she looked out the windows across a food plot dotted by a feeder piled with corn. She watched the surrounding forests of mixed pine and hardwoods for activity. Game cameras indicated that several deer would be coming around the corn at about 5 p.m. The big buck she wanted to arrow wouldn’t normally appear until right before dark.

“Some does and small bucks started coming out about 5:30 p.m.,” Breanne said. “I sat there and watched them for a while. Then, the big one came out at about 6:25 p.m., a little earlier than usual. Several other deer were in the area, but I focused on that big one. When the big buck came out, a doe stood between him and me. She totally covered the big buck’s vitals.”

The giant buck quartered toward Breanne, but she couldn’t release an arrow for fear of hitting the doe and potentially spooking the big buck away from the area. She needed to wait until the doe moved and the buck turned broadside for a clear, killing shot that would bring the animal down quickly and humanely.

Finally, the doe moved. Now, Breanne waited for the right angle to take a killing shot. She opened the window of her stand as she prepared to launch the broadhead-tipped missile. Unfortunately, the window wouldn’t stay open. It kept swinging shut.

“The windows are made of glass, but the stand is not perfectly level,” Nick said. “It leans toward one side. When she opened the window, it would shut itself.”

Eventually, the window stayed open with the buck still standing about 20 yards away. However, he didn’t offer the best shot angle. Breanne pulled back the bowstring and waited for the opportunity to let fly. Finally, the animal presented a shot.

“Everything worked out like planned, besides the window that wouldn’t stay open,” Breanne said. “Having this big boy 20 yards from me definitely caused me to start shaking in my boots. I pulled back and ranged him with my new Garmin sight. I put the pin on target. I even counted to three because sometimes I get buck fever. I was already nervous, but I let the arrow fly and made a good, solid hit.”

The arrow struck the buck a little farther back than she wanted, but the broadhead did its job. The arrow went completely through the deer’s body and stuck out the other side. The buck ran across the field and into some woods, leaving a bright red trail behind.

The couple didn’t know it until reviewing the images the next day, but the game camera caught the arrow striking the deer. Without knowing exactly where the arrow penetrated and not wanting to push the deer farther away, the Tinsleys waited about two hours before they started looking for the beast.

“The trail camera went off the second Breanne shot the arrow and captured it entering the deer,” Nick said. “The arrow went all the way through the deer, but the fletchings caught so the arrow was hanging out of the other side.”

Shot on camera! If you look closely, you can see the broadhead poking through the side of the deer after Breanne shot.

Apparently, the broadhead snagged on something as the deer ran through the woods and pulled out of the buck’s body. The buck ran about 30 more yards from where the arrow fell on the ground and jumped into a creek.

“He jumped up and ran with my arrow still sticking out of his side,” Breanne said. “I watched him run out of the field and around some trees. We looked for blood and found a lot of bright blood. We followed the blood trail until he crossed the creek. My husband probably thought we lost that deer when it got into the creek. He probably thought that I didn’t make a good shot on it. I had a good feeling that the buck was dead. I called my mother-in-law because she’s my prayer warrior and asked her to pray that I find the deer.”

The blood trail disappeared when the savvy wounded buck entered the water. The wise, old-racked giant didn’t cross the creek. It stayed in the creek where the flowing water would wash away his scent and blood stains. By that time, full darkness closed over the forest. They decided to contact a friend with trailing dogs and come back in the morning to find the buck.

The next morning, the Tinsleys joined with Justin Strickland, who put his dog on the trail. The dog tracked the buck to the creek. Then, they found the deer dead in the water about 100 yards downstream from where it entered the creek and about 300 yards from the shooting house.

“Looks like some coyotes ate part of one ham,” Nick said upon finding the dead buck. “Breanne made a great shot!”

The 11-pointer has six points on the left and five on the right and rough scored in the 150s. Breanne killed another 150-class buck on the same property during the 2021-22 season. For that one, she first put an arrow into its shoulder but didn’t kill it. Nearly a month later, she saw the wounded deer again and this time killed him with a rifle.

“This 11-pointer is my biggest deer to date with a bow,” Breanne said. “The deer last year made me sick when he got away, but I eventually got him. This year, getting a big deer like that is so exciting. Getting it so early in the season is like a weight lifting off me. The pressure is off now.”

Meriwether County Best Bucks Of All-Time

Rank Score Name Year County Method Photo
1 173 2/8 John Heard 1973 Meriwether Found
2 170 Charles Johnson 1988 Meriwether Gun View 
3 167 7/8 A.C. “Pete” Heath Jr. 1995 Meriwether Gun View 
4 190 5/8 (NT) Emmett Hill 2008 Meriwether Gun View 
5 162 1/8 Ken Shockley 1987 Meriwether Gun
6 161 4/8 Thomas Fuller 1971 Meriwether Gun
7 159 6/8 Keith Chambers 1991 Meriwether Gun
8 159 5/8 Clinton Wilson 1977 Meriwether Gun
9 158 7/8 Nathan Fincher 2011 Meriwether Gun View 
10 158 6/8 Lance Fuller 2011 Meriwether Gun View 

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