photo of a deer killed by Austin Hillphoto of a deer killed by Austin Hillphoto of a deer killed by Austin Hill

Hunter: Austin Hill

Points: 11 (6L, 5R)

County: De Kalb

Season: 2023-2024

Hunt Story

The story of this buck started back in the season of 2021 late in November. A mid 140s 10-pointer started showing up pretty consistently in one of my spots. I did not pursue the deer that year because I was already tagged out, but I had high hopes of catching up to him in following year to come. That season came and went and I almost forgot about the buck, but like clockwork the season of 2022 the buck showed back up in late November and grew up to a monster but disappeared after a few weeks again. I hunted him and only him for the rest of that season without ever putting eyes on him until mid January while I was shed hunting I ended up jumping this monster buck out of a fallen tree and watched as this monster jumped a fence and shed both sides of his rack right in front of me. I couldn’t believe my eyes after putting my hands on his sheds. We scored his sheds out at 178 that year and I knew no matter what I was going to do my best to catch up to him in the season of 2023. During the whole summer I door knocked every piece of property I thought he might cross or live on for permission to hunt and was able to get quite a few but never was able to get him on camera. As the 2023 deer season came knocking at the door and I found another shooter which I also had a lot of history with that I decided to go after on opening day. I was lucky enough to harvest him on opening afternoon. This buck was my biggest buck to date that green scored in the high 140s. After this I just couldn’t get that shed buck from the year before out of my mind. I decided to make one last huge effort to locate him. I went out door knocking again on a few spots that I overlooked during the summer. I was able to land a few good permission spots with one that I felt very good about. As I talked to the landowner of this spot and got him to sign me permission he was telling me about a wide buck that he sees from time to time cross through his yard. Finally after finishing up with the landowner, I walked behind his house and I noticed a few deer standing off to my right. As they ran off I saw this monster buck and knew right away who he was. I immediately went to my truck and pulled out a cell cam and a bag of rack-em-up deer feed and got it out to try to get a picture of him. I got everything set as fast as I could so I didn’t blow them out. That night I received my first pictures of the buck and was overcome with excitement. I tried to keep it together and not to get too excited too fast. Unbelievably the buck daylighted the next morning around 8:00. I knew then that I had to hang a set that day. I left my house around lunch to hang a set for him. The wind was wrong for a afternoon set that night but the forecast was looking promising. I planned on hunting the next morning but as I woke up and checked my camera I saw that the bucks were already in there, so I decided to wait until the afternoon because I didn’t want to bump him out. I knew I was only going to have one chance as this deer, and I didn’t want to take any chances. I left for the woods around 2:00 that afternoon trying to slip into the tree right after a thunderstorm. As I climbed into my tree and got set up, I took a second to pray and thank the lord for an opportunity to even have a chance at such a monster buck as this. As the afternoon unraveled, all his running buddies made an early appearance, but the shed buck was not with them. After seeing every other deer I had on camera in there besides the buck I was after, my heart started to drop and my mind went to thinking. Maybe the buck moved off to where he ruts at or maybe another hunter killed him or even a car. As I sat there overthinking of what could have happened to him, a doe worked her way around my tree to the downwind side and busted me. As she blew and took off, she took every other deer I had around me with her. Again my heart went even lower in my stomach. If he was still around I felt like there was no way he was going to come in now, but it was still early and I had plenty of time for something else to happen. As I sat in the tree for the next 45 minutes without even seeing a deer, I thought my hunt was over, but little did I know it was just getting started as I noticed a large body deer working his way to me about 75 yards out. I picked up my binoculars and knew right away it was him. I started turning on all my cameras and was getting ready for my chance at the monster buck. He came in on a string to 23 yards and gave me a perfect broadside shot. All I remember thinking is Lord please help me keep it together as I came to full draw. I settled my pin right behind his shoulder and tapped off and watched as my arrow disappeared right where I was aiming. The buck takes off and only runs about 15 yards and falls over. I went to pieces and couldn’t believe what just happened, but things quickly came back to realization when the buck made one last push and ended up falling down the hill towards me and landing right in front of me in the creek only 30 yards away as I went for another arrow, thinking he might get up, but the buck was done and did not need a second arrow. So I quickly climbed down my tree and went to put my hands on my biggest buck to date again for the second time that year. All I can say is that I was thoroughly blessed and grateful to have such an amazing opportunity at a monster buck. The buck ended up green scoring in the 170s and I couldn’t be my bump about it. I can’t wait to get back after these Georgia Giants next year. I enjoyed videoing all my hunts and posting them on my YouTube channel HillHuntsProduction. Y’all check out this hunt! It truly is something special.
Return to List