photo of a deer killed by Christin Burnsphoto of a deer killed by Christin Burnsphoto of a deer killed by Christin Burns

Hunter: Christin Burns

Points: 8 (4L, 4R)

County: Chatham

Season: 2017-2018 (Week 5)

Hunt Story

Christin and I targeted this particular buck during the 2016 season when he was a very nice 9-pointer. We named him "Montana" because he was a "Great Niner"!! Well, season came and went and Montana eluded us even though Christin put in a lot of stand time looking for him. This year Montana disappeared off the radar, and we had zero pictures of him on our lease. I actually put in a special food plot and stand set that we named the Montana Set to try to harvest him this year based on his core area from the previous year. I'd finally kind of given up hope that he would come back to that particular area after obviously spending his summer somewhere else. Opening weekend of youth season came and went, and Christin focused her attention on other places and filling the freezer by taking three deer on opening day. Then in a fateful turn of events, I checked a camera in an oak flat well over a mile away from the "Montana Set" and there was Montana all over the SD card. I had no stand set up suitable for us to try to take this deer, so I had to run to Walmart and quickly improvise a stand set that would work for the wind directions the next couple of days. I came home and made arrangements through my job and Christin's school for her to be able to hunt the next morning right as the first solid cold front of October came through Savannah. We snuck into the stand an hour before daylight the next morning, and he was the first deer we saw as daylight broke. He was cruising the oak flat waiting for does to come through feeding but didn't offer us a shot right away. Then the wind made an unexpected swirl and he caught a whiff of something that he didn't care for. He circled through the woods downwind to try to see what he had smelled, but he didn't circle quite far enough to catch our scent stream. This ended up causing a very tense moment for us as he stood about 30 yards away. Christin and I were frozen to the side of the tree wearing leafy suits, which I fully believe saved us from being seen. After he was convinced the coast was clear, he made his way back out in front of us, and I told Christin to fire the first opportunity she got at him with a clear shot to his vitals. He stepped out fully broadside not long after that at 75 yards, and he dropped instantly as she squeezed off the trigger. We were shaking like it was 20 degrees below zero after the shot, and it's a moment neither of us will ever forget.
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