photo of a deer killed by Andy Hodgesphoto of a deer killed by Andy Hodgesphoto of a deer killed by Andy Hodges

Hunter: Andy Hodges

Points: 10 (5L, 5R)

County: Oconee

Season: 2015-2016 (Week 4)

Hunt Story

Due to my daughter's travel softball schedule, I went hunting on Friday because we were playing ball on the opening day of gun season. Friday was also the first day I could get to the woods due to work and weather. It was in the mid 50s and crystal clear with a slight northwest wind. I had a hard time deciding where to hunt, because I have been hearing my hunting buddies talk about deer being on the acorns. We have some good acorns dropping and a lot of sign on them, but I really liked the way our planted pines look that were select cut back in the spring due to tons of fresh green browse. I decided that I would enter the pines from the logging deck and stick to a privet edge. I came across a fresh rub in the dark with my flashlight. As I scanned the silhouettes of the pine trees against the clear dark sky, I spotted the perfect pine. Against the sky, I could see a leafy tree that would give me excellent cover. I put my Summit Viper on the pine tree and climbed to about 22 feet where the tree in front of me forked and gave me several good shooting options. At about 7:45 am, a big doe came from my left easing through some briars that surround a cedar tree. I was getting ready to stand up for a shot when I noticed something gray bobbing and weaving amongst the cedar's lower limbs. When I looked over, I saw antlers and the gray face of a buck trying to figure out where I was, since the wind was blowing toward him. I just knew I was busted, but the further away the doe got the less concerned he was with what he was smelling and seeing. He eased out of the briars in what seemed to be the same footsteps as the doe. When his head got behind the next big pine tree and briars, I stood up and turned to be ready for a quartering away shot. We have a one-buck rule, so I was debating the shot thinking about the rest of the season. I have never taken a nice buck with my bow, so I decided that at the next opening I would take the shot. I drew, but a gust of wind stopped him in his tracks with only his head and neck in the opening; the doe was getting further and further ahead. He didn't like that, so he stepped forward and froze offering the perfect shot. I let the arrow fly, but I didn't hear a sound nor did I see my lighted nock. He ran about 80 yards and disappeared into a privet hedge that lines the old road that runs through the pines. In the darkness, I didn't realize that I actually grabbed an arrow without the lighted nock. When I found my arrow, it was covered in blood from end to end, and the Rage broadhead was fully deployed. I walked about 20 yards in the direction that he ran and I found the evidence of a perfect shot. He ran about 120 yards in all and had fallen in the edge of the old road. As I approached the privet hedge, I was about 20 yards from the buck when I realized why he was so intent on the doe. He had the unmistakable aroma of a rutting buck and his hocks and legs we black and drenched. When I put my hands on his antlers, I was excited because he is a great first buck with my bow.
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