photo of a deer killed by Burke Slocumbphoto of a deer killed by Burke Slocumbphoto of a deer killed by Burke Slocumb

Hunter: Burke Slocumb

Points: 9 (4L, 5R)

County: Calhoun

Season: 2023-2024

Hunt Story

The afternoon of the Friday after Thanksgiving was a special hunt. Burke and I sat in a stand overlooking a large green field. The farthest shot opportunity on the field was 325 yards, which is beyond both of our shooting abilities. We were not planning to take a shot much over 100 yards, but the ability to see much farther was hopefully going to give us the opportunity to lay eyes on some of the target deer that we have on camera in the area. My dad took us to the stand in a golf cart. We arrived around 4:00 and there were already about 15 deer in the field. We ran them off with the golf cart and climbed into the stand as quickly as possible. Deer started coming back out almost immediately. By 5:00 there were over 40 deer on the field, and we quit trying to keep count of them after that. The first shooter came out around 5:00, and he was not a deer we had on camera. He never came closer than about 250 yards. He left around 5:20 when he heard bucks fighting down in the woods towards a swamp. About 10 minutes later, a doe came running out of the woods from the direction of the swamp. She was being chased by a 2.5-year-old buck with the buck Burke shot right behind him. This buck was a 5.5-year-old that we had 3 years of history with and had named Nelly. Nelly hung out feeding and posturing up to smaller bucks for the next 20 minutes or so, staying in the 160 to 180 yard range. The biggest challenge, as it was getting darker, was keeping tabs on him in the massive crowd of deer that I estimate was between 50 and 60 at this point. At just before 6:00, Nelly all at once started walking across the field, and as he did, he gradually closed the distance between us. This was also helpful, because as he made his way across the field, he left the crowd a little bit and was easier to keep track of. Burke got on him and said he still had enough light to see through his scope. Nelly stopped broadside, and Burke took a shot....and dry-fired! In the excitement of all the deer we were seeing so early, we had forgotten to put a bullet in the chamber. I told Burke not to move as I reached forward and worked the bolt to chamber a round. Miraculously, Nelly never moved. Burke took his shot with his .243 at about 110 yards. Nelly turned and ran towards the wood line headed towards the swamp. He went down after about 60 or 70 yards and did not make it out of the field. This was an amazing hunt and just the start of an amazing weekend that eventually saw Burke tagging out on bucks in a 24-hour period.
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