photo of a deer killed by Eric Carpenterphoto of a deer killed by Eric Carpenterphoto of a deer killed by Eric Carpenter

Hunter: Eric Carpenter

Points: 7 (3L, 4R)

County: Hart

Season: 2017-2018 (Week 10)

Hunt Story

I was on leave from the Army in my hometown of Hartwell from Grovetown (Fort Gordon) for the week of Thanksgiving. Last year, I had seen a very big 8-point on a trail camera at 3 a.m. midway in the season on my uncle's property, and again saw him chasing does in a field the day after Thanksgiving last season. I took leave specifically so I could hunt this year. I didn't shoot anything last season, so I thought that big 8-point might still be around, he was way bigger than this buck. I hadn't seen anything on Monday or Tuesday, but there was a lot of sign. I got in the stand behind my uncle's house about 6:45 on Wednesday morning and got settled in. My uncle was supposed to be in a stand in the same tract of land that morning, but he had surgery the day prior so I wasn't sure if he was in the woods or not. About 8 o'clock, I heard continuous grunting in quick succession coming from what sounded like my uncle's house. It was so aggressive, I thought it was him either messing with me or trying to let me know he was up at the house and not in the woods. I gave two good grunts back to let him know I heard him. Then the grunting stopped. About 8:30, I heard the exact same tone and style of grunt, only this time it was below me deeper in the woods. That's when I perked up and got suspicious that it was a buck and not my uncle. I let the grunting stop, then I gave three real low grunts from my stand. Got some grunts in return. That cycle lasted about 5 minutes, and I was alert the whole time. With pretty good visibility down in the woods, I didn't see anything. At 9 o'clock I got impatient and figured the deer got spooked, so I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket to check Facebook, lol. About one minute later, I heard a noise right under the stand and looked down and the buck was right there in sneak mode, moving under my stand from my left to my right. I let him get his head behind a tree, pulled my rifle up, and as soon as he moved out from behind it, I shot him. He ran up through the woods about 40 yards, and I could see him at the top of a hill limping bad. He moved out of sight and my phone vibrated almost immediately. It was my uncle calling. I answered it and he whispered, "That buck you just shot is right in front of my stand, he's hit good. I'll call you back when it's safe to come get him." Got the text 20 minutes later and we got him out of the woods. He fell right in front of the rub you see in one of the pictures, so I snapped a pic. Had an awesome time, about 90 seconds worth of heart pounding after 2 hours of waiting and grunting. God blessed me this year to get one, even better that I was able to do it with my uncle.
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