photo of a deer killed by Clae Mathisphoto of a deer killed by Clae Mathisphoto of a deer killed by Clae Mathis

Hunter: Clae Mathis

Points: 10 (5L, 5R)

County: Taylor

Season: 2019-2020

Hunt Story

The hunt for this buck started a couple of years ago after getting pictures of him. This year, I got all my cameras out in June, and he was one of the first pictures that we got. We could tell he was mature, and we were excited about the opportunity to hunt him. I honestly thought the only way we would get a shot at him would be with a rifle later on because there isn’t a place close enough to where these deer move to hang a stand. This year I decided I would try to camouflage a blind in the middle of the field. I cut some trees down and used a tractor with an auger on it to dig holes in the ground. I fit the blind in them and had it sitting there since June. My first hunt in it I got skunked, so I figured with all the heat and the fact that these deer don’t really move in daylight until later in the year that I wouldn’t be getting a shot at this buck until then. Saturday was my second hunt of the year. I got there right at 6, and I sweated through the first hour and a half. A doe and yearling showed up at about 7:30, and I was contemplating shooting the big doe just so I could go home and get out of the heat. I picked my bow up, but decided to just sit it out. They were there for about 10 minutes before they started looking behind them. Finally at 7:45 I saw three deer walking towards us. The first of the three came in to feed and he was a small buck. About 30 seconds later the second deer came in, and I could tell immediately that it was the buck I was after. He was about 22 yards quartering hard to me when I shot. I heard the shot hit him and he trotted off like he was hurt. I got up to check the arrow, and there was reddish brown blood on it. I left the arrow there and went home to eat and call some buddies to see what we might need to do about tracking him. A buddy and I came back out at about 9:30 and walked in about 50 yards without finding any blood, so I decided I would come back in the morning. I texted a couple of other buddies, and they said get a dog out there tonight and maybe the meat won’t spoil. So, after calling around we got a dog to come. He got there about 2:30. The dog didn’t take very long to find him. He was laying down but he wasn’t dead yet, and after she walked up and bumped him he jumped and ran. He wound up running about 200 more yards, but he couldn’t take anymore as he laid down and died before I could get to him. He’s my biggest bow buck ever, and I killed him on my favorite property on the planet.
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