photo of a deer killed by Alan Westendorfphoto of a deer killed by Alan Westendorfphoto of a deer killed by Alan Westendorf

Hunter: Alan Westendorf

Points: 12 (7L, 5R)

County: Butts

Season: 2023-2024

Hunt Story

This is a buck that I first got on camera in late November. I named him Popeye because the first pictures and video I got of him, I noticed he was blind/missing his right eye. He came in that first time and actually fought with another smaller 8 pointer for a short time, then they both proceeded to go about feeding for about 30 minutes. In addition to the missing eye, what caught my attention was the splits and unique brow tines he sports. I thought this would be a really nice deer to take if I had the chance. As it turns out, that chance arrived on New Years day, 2024. I had gone in to my blind that morning hope a big 10 pointer who had been on camera the day before would show back up that morning. However, Popeye and a small spick came into my feeder right at 8:00 am. When he first came in, I thought it was the smaller 8 point he fought with back in November and I had decided not to shoot. But as he milled around and got behind a couple of trees, he lifted and turned his head. That's when I noticed the split brows and realized what buck it was. As I maneuvered to get into a shooting position, they must have heard me or caught some movements and both of bucks spooked and ran about 50 yards up a small ridge. I sat back thinking, well, that was a bust, but maybe that 10 will still come in. Popeye had stopped and gathered himself for a couple of minutes, then proceeded to make his way back to the feeder. When I saw him coming back, I got into position and waited for a shot. As he came back, he was still a little wary and kept looking in my direction, trying to make me out. He was walking straight towards me that entire time and didn't present much of a shot around the trees. When he finally stopped, just on the edge of an oak tree, he made a slight turn to his left and offered a little more of his right shoulder. I thought, he's about to bolt again and decided this was going to be my best shot and squeezed the trigger. He wheeled around and ran back up the ridge he had just come down from and around a big blow down and root ball on that ridge. I felt pretty good about that shot, but when I went to where he was standing, I got a sinking feeling....NO BLOOD!? Had I missed? I followed his path of kicked up leaves and to the top of the hill. When I got near that blowdown, I could see where he stumbled, but still no blood. He made a slight right turn down an old trail/logging road and down the back of the ridge. Another 10 yards and I found my first signs of blood. I followed that down the trail for about 30 yards and then lost the trail. I back tracked top the last place I had sign and looked across a small creek and there he was 10 yards on the other side. What a relief! This was a tough buck. When I got him quartered out, I also found a broadhead that was lodged into the upper bone of that same right shoulder. He showed no sign of that injury, so I am assuming it was from last season. I feel truly blessed to have been able to harvest this nice buck.
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