photo of a deer killed by Derek Gillespiephoto of a deer killed by Derek Gillespiephoto of a deer killed by Derek Gillespie

Hunter: Derek Gillespie

Points: 10 (5L, 5R)

County: Whitfield

Season: 2016-2017 (Week 10)

Hunt Story

I had my 7-year-old son Connor with me that morning. It was the first chance I'd had to take him with me this season. We got set up in the blind right at dawn. The blind is set up in a hardwood bottom that connects two food plots and a water source. About 8:25 or so the we saw the buck coming across the bottom from the north. Unfortunately he was way to our left and since I shoot left handed I couldn't get positioned to get a shot. We had to watch him disappear down the trail to the food plot, the same trail we used that morning. I told Connor to dig out the doe bleat can while I tried to get turned around in the blind in case we could call him back. Connor was still on the ground digging through the bag when suddenly the buck appeared again nose hard to the ground following a scent trail. That morning on the way to the blind I had used a buck bomb doe estrus can. The last 150 yards or so on the trail I'd squirted some out on the ground and bushes every couple steps and then sprayed more in the area in front of the blind. The buck came down following the scent like a blood hound. I don't know if he saw me, or heard Connor but at about 50 yards he suddenly froze and started staring right at us. I'd gotten turned around enough that I was able to get the gun on him shooting right handed. I got the gun up on the shooting sticks and got the sights on him and waited for him to move enough to give me a clear shot. After what seemed like forever he tuned to his left and I took the shot. At the shot he spun and ran off to the south behind the blind. We went and checked for blood, but initially came up blank, we couldn't find any anywhere. We went back to the blind to calm down and rethink things through. About 9:15 or so I decided we'd go re-check for blood one more time. We still couldn't see any when Connor said, "I think he might have been a little further away, I think he was behind that tree." We checked where he though it had been and found a couple drops of blood. I didn't see any more right away but I could see the tore up leaf litter where he'd ran so I started track him by that. About 20 yards into that I started seeing more blood, first a few drops, or a spot on a bush, but then it became a solid trail. I followed another 100 yards or so into some think stuff behind the blind. I found him laid up by a small tree. I couldn't believe it when I saw it. I knew he was big I could tell that much before I shot him, but had never had the chance to really study the rack. He was a typical 10-point, and the biggest deer I've ever killed. I don't know how it's possible but I think Connor was more excited than I was. I thanked God that he gave me that opportunity and that he allowed me to have my son by my side when I did it.
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