Hunter: Daryl Caldwell
Points: 10 (5L, 5R)
The morning of Sept. 17 I checked my cell cam in an area that I had been noticing good deer sign. To my surprise, a mature buck that I had been getting pictures of on the opposite side of our property all summer was now right in front of my stand in the daylight! I had to work until about 2 p.m. and decided to try and hunt that stand in the evening since it was a favorable west wind. As I made my way to the stand, I noticed some fresh rubs within just a few yards from the stand. At about 7:30 p.m. a spike showed up and fed near the stand. Ten minutes later a nice young 9-point arrived, but I gave him the pass in anticipation of hoping the mature buck would show up. With just a few minutes of shooting light left, the 9-point froze and looked to his right, then bolted off. I looked to where his gaze had been and saw a big-bodied deer walking in. I glassed the deer with my binoculars and confirmed it was the mature buck. I immediately got my crossbow up in position, and as soon as my target buck got broadside at 23 yards I let a bolt fly. I heard a loud smack and the buck fell and stumbled backwards and fell down. I heard him get up and fall again then did not hear anything. I waited 1 hour and went to see if he was down. I found my arrow broke in half but there was no blood that I could find. I called my hunting partner and we decided to back out and give the buck time to die since we both concluded that the shot might have been a bit high. I contacted Ken Parker , who has a tracking dog named Cooper, the next morning. We went back to area I shot the buck the evening before, and Cooper got on my buck's scent immediately. He found my buck just 80 yards or so from where I shot it. The shot had indeed been a little high and back, so it was good that we waited to track him till the next morning.