Hunter: Devin Smith
Points: 8 (4L, 4R)
I forced myself out of bed knowing it was going to be a wet windy day in the ridge top. I parked my truck and geared up, opting to wear all my layers for the 40-minute uphill hike ahead because of the rain - choosing to get my base layers wet from sweat instead of rain. I approached my stand and second-guessed my spot because of limited visibility due to a pine tree to my right but decided to stay put because I was running low on time before first light. My stand only about 10 feet off the ground gave me a great view of a scrape and rub about 50 yards in front of me. Right at sunrise a doe came waltzing in from left to right in front of me - she appeared out of nowhere like a ghost. She stepped right into my wind and threw her nose up, it alarmed her but she didn’t spook completely, it just turned her senses up. Through the pine tree blocking my view to the right I saw a flicker of movement and then I saw a big dark mass that seemed to float through the limited view I had. I readied my rifle knowing it was more than likely a buck. He slowly stepped into my shooting lane and I confirmed that he was a shooter. I looked through my scope and searched for that nook behind his left shoulder, steadied my crosshairs, flipped from safe to fire, gently felt for the trigger and with no hesitation squeezed the trigger. The buck jumped high onto his back legs and dropped over right where he stood, a perfectly placed shot that I later found out went straight through his heart. A quick end for king of the mountain who sported a crown fitting of his title. I made some calls to my wife and close friends who know how much hunting means to me and prepped myself for a long drag out. I’m thankful for this great buck, every encounter with these beautiful animals is a blessing.