photo of a deer killed by Austin Colephoto of a deer killed by Austin Colephoto of a deer killed by Austin Cole

Hunter: Austin Cole

Points: 11 (6L, 5R)

County: Cobb

Season: 2019-2020

Hunt Story

I purchased my first bow an Elite Tempo in July 2019 and began my summer scouting not long after. After a month of decent buck pictures, I finally laid eyes on the "ghost buck" that I knew was bound to show up at some point based on the the previous year's sign—a heavy racked 11-point in velvet that I named Stix. These pictures (and many more) set the tone for the next 3 months of hard work, practice, praying, and many sleepless nights. Following Stix's initial arrival he hung around for about 2 weeks and then disappeared. It seemed I was getting pictures of the younger bucks religiously but Stix remained a Ghost for close to two months. To my surprise my Moultrie Cellular camera sent me a picture of Stix's return at 7:30 am on Sept 13th, the day before opening day of bow season. Having planned to hunt somewhere else my full attention shifted to my boy Stix who has been a ghost for the last month and a half. September 14th at 7:30am, opening day, like clockwork he presented a quartering to shot at 17 yards. Unfortunately the night before while preparing for my hunt at 10:30pm I had a meltdown when I realized the archery "Pro Shop" in Douglasville, GA recommended and sold me the wrong size rage hypodermic broadheads for my Easton FMJ arrows in which they made for me. Making the most of the situation I superglued two and made do with what I had to work with. I chose not to take the shot at my #1 hit list buck through his shoulder with broadheads and arrows that could possibly fail. I let him walk. This ate me up, and like any hunter I fixed the situation and returned the following weekend. While at work on Tuesday and Wednesday he came out at 7:30 am & 7:45 pm both days so my blood started pumping getting ready for Friday morning. I hunted Thursday evening and Friday morning and he was a no show. I began to think he was starting to outsmart me or had a bed where he could pick me off when I come and go. I began to get worried Friday evening having seen nothing but one group of does and no antlered bucks all day which was not typical for this spot on an all day occasion. Something caught my eye over my shoulder and it was Stix's running buddy in the open part of the trail. Thats when I saw the orange rack heading to me in the shadows behind his buddy. At 6:30 p.m. I attached my release to my D-loop and they walked into range at 7:15 p.m. He never stays longer than 5 minutes so I knew I had to be quick. After browsing some greenery he turned to continue in the thicket to bed for the night and between two poplar trees I sent my very first arrow to a deer at 7:20 p.m. I feared that I missed low since i could clearly see my green nock where the deer was standing. After the shot he did not Donkey Kick he jumped into the thicket and I saw Stix casually walking away slowly. I knew I had missed him. That was before I went and checked my arrow that was solid red dripping blood from tip to tip. An hour and a half later with a weak blood trail and on the verge of pulling out until morning light we recovered him where he circled around to about 35 yards behind where I was sitting in the tree. A rough gross 136 4/8-inch, 5- to 6-year-old 11-point for my first bow kill was just what I needed to bust my bowhunting cherry. I will tell this story the rest of my life.
Return to List