photo of a deer killed by Dawson Branerphoto of a deer killed by Dawson Branerphoto of a deer killed by Dawson Braner

Hunter: Dawson Braner

Points: 8 (4L, 4R)

County: Candler

Season: 2021-2022

Hunt Story

It was opening morning of primitive-weapons season. The weather was warm, humid and foggy. As it began to get daylight I could see several deer in the food plot, but it was that time of day when you couldn't really tell what they were. It began to get lighter and I could tell that one of the deer was much larger than the others and had the shape of a mature buck. I had trail-cam pictures of several bucks that I considered to be shootable but could not tell which one he was. He fed in the plot for a few minutes and then stepped into the road that led straight to my stand. He was about 60 yards at that point and it had gotten light enough for me to tell that he was one of the shooter bucks that I had on camera. He began to walk straight to me and at 40 yards and I decided to take the shot. I was shooting a Traditions Firearms NitroFire .50 caliber muzzleloader. This was my first hunt with this rifle but I was confident that it could get the job done. I put the crosshairs on his lower neck knowing that at the angle I was shooting from it would put the bullet into his chest cavity. I squeezed the trigger and that .50 caliber did its job. He dropped dead in his tracks. The temperature and the humidity that morning made me feel like the odds were against me but that goes to show you that you never know what's going to happen on any given hunt.
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