photo of a deer killed by Deidra Moorephoto of a deer killed by Deidra Moorephoto of a deer killed by Deidra Moore

Hunter: Deidra Moore

Points: 10 (5L, 5R)

County: Stephens

Season: 2022-2023

Hunt Story

This hunt story is called, “My Phone Call With Pawpaw Doug & My 10 Point”… “My Phone Call With Pawpaw Doug & My 10 Point” 06:15 am on December 4, 2022 My husband and I enter the woods on our private land we are graciously allowed to solely hunt. We were in pursuit of a big 9 we have been seeing on camera and believe will push 145 class scoring. We are hunting in Stephens County near the Banks County line. The weather is perfect and the woods are peaceful with a wet ground from rain the day before which made for a perfectly, quiet sneak to the stands. The temp was in the high 40s and as day broke there were foggy drifts in the bottoms with calm winds and peaceful, magical beauty. The rut is almost over with reports of coolers freeing back up and some bucks still on the hunt for those late ladies. I could feel it in my bones, it was going to be a good hunt and it was sorely needed following the last couple of rough weeks! From daylight until 08:10 am I kept close eagle eyes to the left and an old loading dock where I expected the big 9-point to come from, my husband had gone to what we call the Grandpa stand on the back of the 80 acres so that we covered the two areas we had him on camera. I had been watching close all morning. He was on camera on and off the day before while we were doing our annual Moore family Christmas dinner. I was pondering a feeling I had and a voice that I heard clearly alert me and I looked back to my right and coming out of the foggy creek bottoms, he emerged. But, it wasn’t the 9. It was the pretty, boxy 10 from earlier in November that we got on camera before the rut! We were sure someone had got him on the neighboring property earlier because we had not had him on camera in some time. His nose was to the ground as he topped the hill from the creek and he raised only briefly to scent check. He was not vocal at all and just silently stalking his quarry, just as I was. I immediately forgot about a kidney stone I had been secretly battling with all week, along with all the other everyday stressors of life, and he never knew I was there as he immediately was back with nose to ground and on the hunt for another lady. We both had entered a world of just us and what was before us at that precise moment. 08:11 am He stepped squarely broadside in front of me at 50 yards, maybe 50 yards. I let my crosshair rest on his shoulder, I followed him a couple more steps, eased off my safety and breathed deep and gently squeezed. I did not feel the kick of my 308, nor did I look away as I watched this majestic creature turn to go back down the hill in front of me with his tail twisting. He went about 25 yards and laid down and rested in his final place. It was peaceful, quick and I could hear him as he expired even though I could not see him as he dropped slightly off a hill and behind a giant root ball. My eyes filled immediately with tears and I tried to shake it, but I was so excited and surprised and blessed! And, I knew what would happen next and it was a matter of seconds before my best friend and soul mate text me. 08:12 am ”You?” Matt Moore, my husband, text to me as we always do out of excitement for the other and as a safety check when we believe the other has shot. I replied, as I shook and continued to cry, “Tagged out buddyyy”. He text back and asked if he was down. I told him yes, I was sure of it as I could hear him and that it wasn’t the 9 but I thought it was the 10 we had seen in November before rut. I assured him I had made a solid shot and felt very good that he was down. He offered to get down and come immediately. I told him to wait as I was going to let my buck finish in peace and I wanted so for him to get the 9! I didn’t tell him I was a big old blubbering girly girl that was squalling in her treestand at the moment. Why was I blubbering? I was wanting my next call to be to Pawpaw Doug. Pawpaw Doug was my father-in-law who had passed away a couple years ago. I heard Pawpaw Doug so clearly before I saw the buck. He would always call me Rock Head, it was his pet name for me. (Ok, sometimes deserved but He was the only one allowed to use it and still is lol) And, moments before I looked back to my right I heard, “Rockhead, get ready, look!” Clearly, plainly, I heard him. I promise you, I heard him! And I looked and there the buck emerged! It all happened so quickly. It was only after the shot that I had a wave of emotion roll over me because I knew Pawpaw had been with me. You see, it has ALWAYS been tradition to call him first (after Matt) to tell him I got one and he was always so, so excited. We did this every single year for 24 years before he passed away!! No matter if it was a doe, a hog, a small buck or a giant, Pawpaw Doug Moore was my biggest cheerleader (outside my husband)!! He would tell me when I had a tough week to go to my happy place and to go get in my stand, pray and forget it all and inevitably, that would be when I got blessed with a deer and even when I didn’t, it helped - he helped. This past couple of weeks have been incredibly tough with some sickness and many normal life stressors, so I was so ready to let it and all my stress leave and I would have been perfectly ok to sit and watch God’s nature gift and just take pictures but God not only blessed me with a deer, a good buck, but He gave me an even more special gift, He blessed me with my phone call with Pawpaw Doug that I had so missed since he’d been gone! I was convinced He let Pawpaw Doug call me and then be there alongside me for this special hunt! He didn’t miss a thing and he wanted me to know! And, I could feel him with my husband and I as we recovered the beautiful buck at about 9 am! So, this 10-point, while not a giant to many or in scoring, as records go - is a giant to me! He makes my heart beam with happiness and I think he is the best of the best! This is a special blessing and a harvest that will rank up there with the best of the best and that I will simply never forget!
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