Hunter: Benton Lance
Points: 8 (4L, 4R)
We had this deer on camera for the past few days in a row but mainly in the afternoon. A few days before another hunter in our club saw him but passed on him because he wanted to let one of the kids shoot him if possible. We were having a Father/Son weekend hunt at Denham Creek Plantation over this past weekend and were hoping for a good deer for one of the kids to shoot. Couple of the dads took their sons hunting on Friday night but my son could not go. Another Father/Son hunted the stand where we had pictures of this buck that sits down a road on the edge of planted pines. We have a wooden box blind with a feeder out in front of the stand about 75 yards away. Unfortunately for them but fortunately for us no bucks showed up on Friday evening for them. So Saturday am my son Benton and I went into that stand even though the wind was not exactly great for it. I let Benton decide on if he wanted to hunt it and he said he did so that’s where we sat. Got in early and had about 30 mins before shooting light. Right at first light we had a doe walk out in the road and then a larger body deer behind her. It was still hard to see exactly what it was but we knew it was a buck. As the light continues to improve we could see that it was indeed an 8 point buck. He was a smaller 3.5 year old deer and he walked to about 10 yards from us. My son really wanted to shoot him but I knew it was not the mature 8 that we had on camera. Reluctantly he agreed to let him walk. The wind was blowing right to left and a little down but very calm. Shortly after the smaller buck left a couple of does walked from our right out of the pines and across the road. Unfortunately as soon as the got passed us one of them began to blow. And blowing she did. She blew probably 20-30 times. At that point we both were disappointed and kind of felt like maybe our hunt was over. For the next 30-45 minutes we sat and saw nothing. My son was disappointed and actually around 8:15 said he thought we should leave and that we were not going to see anything else. Not long after I saw some movement down the road and lifted up my binoculars. I saw the deers head come out and instantly knew it was a shooter buck. I whispered to my son “big deer, big deer!” He sat down his phone which he like all kids these days was playing on in the stand! His gun was resting on a shooting bag in front of him. I told him to ease it up on his shoulder and get ready. The buck walked slowly straight down the road toward us. He would look up and back down but continued to walk straight at us for which seemed like an eternity. My son was looking down the scope and asking to shoot. I told him needed him to turn broadside. The giant stopped at some corn attractant that was in the road and slowly turned to give him a shot. I saw him shaking a little and told him to take a deep breathe and put the crosshairs right behind his shoulder. (This was not his first deer or first buck but was definitely his biggest to see and get a shot at.) He said he was on him so I reached over and flipped the safety off his Savage .243. He said “can I shoot” and I said “yes” squeeze it slowly. He did and the deer gave a little jump and ran back down the road where he came from. I watched as he ran and could tell he was hit. Soon after we heard what we thought was a crash. We sat and waited for a few minutes but we were so excited we couldn’t wait and got out of the blind probably sooner than we should have to look for blood. We walked to the place of the shoot and did not see any blood. I watched exactly where he went back into the pines so I eased down to the spot. I made a couple steps into the pines and saw good drops of blood, but at the exact same time heard a crash and looked up to see a white tail moving off farther into the woods. I told Benton to back up and we walked back out to the road. I left my hat at the spot of the blood. I decided we would go back to Denham Creek where the rest of the Dads and Sons were at because no one else got up to hunt but us because their boys were younger and not as easy to get up as my 11-year-old. They were getting breakfast ready at the hunting lodge. We told them what happened and decided we would give him and hour or two and then go back as a group and track the deer. It was the longest 2 hours ever! Benton was so nervous and worried that he did not make a good shot. He kept pacing around and barely ate breakfast. I kept reassuring him that I knew the deer was hit and we would find him. Was slightly worried myself but wanted to make him feel confident and not stress out. Around 10:30 we went back to the stand and started to track. We only found a few more drops of blood and they were not far apart. Benton, myself and 2 other Dads decided to fan out and just slowly walk through the thick pines and look for any more sign. Fortunately my son Benton whose off to my right said “I got him!” I said “what” he said yeah I see his horns. I quickly ran over to him since I had the gun and eased up on the deer to make sure he was indeed dead. He was! We drug him out and he had made a perfect shot. There was just no blood. The .243 did its job but did. It have an exit wound so there was not much blood coming out. It was an awesome hunt and we were all there to retrieve the deer as a group and with the other kids who are younger but got to see Benton and how excited he was to shoot a great deer. It is something we will all remember forever and the biggest deer to date that had been taking off this property and that can hang in our Denham Creek Lodge with a great story to tell for years to come!