photo of a deer killed by Frank Barronphoto of a deer killed by Frank Barronphoto of a deer killed by Frank Barron

Hunter: Frank Barron

Points: 14 (8L, 6R)

County: Coweta

Season: 2019-2020

Hunt Story

When I heard the weather report for 15-20 mile per hour winds with gusts from 30 – 35 miles per hour and temperatures dropping into the mid 20s, I knew I had to be out there because finally the deer I had hunted all season might come out in daylight. Though I had a number of trail camera pictures of this deer, I only had 1 daylight picture. I had planned to hunt a ladder stand but after walking to the stand I decided to hunt a box stand instead to say warm and to control my scent. I was sitting there watching when I saw a glimpse of movement through the trees. I picked up my binoculars and was able to make out a huge rear leg with a large black tarsal gland. I knew it had to be a mature buck. I thought that might be him, so I started picking up bits and pieces of him through the trees and brush but, could not see the whole deer. Finally, I saw the right side of his rack and knew that it definitely was a shooter deer but not necessarily the big one since I could not see anything else. Since I had the windows closed and he was steady walking while circling and scent checking scrapes for does through thick cover, I had to open 3 windows before I could get a shot at him. I looked ahead of the cover and saw one last opening before he would enter the thick pines and be gone forever. I decided it was now or never on that one small opening. I put my rifle through the third window and found my scope was completely fogged. I was breathing so hard that I fogged up the scope. So I reached in my back pack for a paper towel and quickly cleaned the scope and put it back on the deer just as he was passing through the last chance for a shot and pulled the trigger. He lunged forward and I thought for sure I had hit him. I waited about 20 minutes and then looked for him myself but evidently looked in the wrong places. At that time I had decided to back out and call the tracking dog handler and his dogs and my farm manager. He was already trailing another deer and told me he would come as soon as he was finished there. I had badly wanted to go with them to look for the deer but knew I had good friends and expert hunters and felt that everything would be ok. To make matters worse, I had just gotten out of the hospital for a bilateral subdermal hematoma (double brain bleeds) and felt I shouldn’t risk the dropping temperature & increasing winds, so I called my farm manager and asked him to go with the tracker and his dogs to track him. As fate would have it, I did a poor job of explaining where I thought the deer was because they, too, could not find any sign of the deer or a hit. They looked hard but, there was no blood. The farm manager called and said, unfortunately, they thought I missed. At that point, I was convinced that I must have missed, too, and decided to let the area settle down and we stayed out of there with all the rain and severe weather. I felt it best to let it rest in hopes that he would return. Thank goodness, my farm manager texted me the next day and said, “Mr. Frank, you have killed a lot of deer, I don’t think you missed. Would it be alright if I go back and look around?” I said “yes, I think that would be a great idea and since it is going to rain tonight, all scent signs will be gone soon, so the timing is perfect”. About an hour later, he texted and said, “I found him! You didn’t miss! You killed the big one!” We both were elated. It was a totally joint effort, and we both were so relieved that we were able to recover this special trophy deer that we both had worked so hard to manage and harvest.
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