Hunter: George LaHood
Points: 10 (5L, 5R)
This deer just appeared on my trail camera at a new stand I hung a little over a week ago. The first time I hunted stand I saw several nice bucks but did not see the big 10 I was after. The second morning I hunted this stand I decided to climb down around 8:45. Although I knew the movement was just now picking up, I had to get to work and I figured I could hunt my way back to the truck. About 200 yards from my stand I hear something rubbing the bark of a pine tree and about 70 yards to my left was a big 8-point. I sat down with my bow, knocked an arrow and grunted. After sitting for a few minutes and not knowing what the buck was doing, I suddenly heard a clash of antlers and could see legs aggressively rustling through to bottom about 80 yards through pines. It was the most intense buck fight I have ever heard and was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had in woods. Shortly after the fighting stopped I heard grunting and running headed my way. It was a doe who saw me when she got to about 15 yards and went other way, then here came a 4-point running grunting behind her then behind him a much deeper mature grunt was the big 10-point I was after. He followed the doe's exact steps and quickly bolted the other way blowing after catching my wind and spotting me. I went to work sick knowing I had scared my target buck out of his spot and had to leave the weekend cold front to go to my sister in laws wedding the following day. That night I met with some friends and talked about my plan to hunt early before I took off for the wedding in hopes of an opportunity at the buck. I was up at 5 and on hunting property by 6:15 after coffee and other morning routines. Daylight quickly approached due to it being the first clear day we have had in about a week. As I eased to my stand down wet clay road with 10 pounds of clay gunked up on my boots, I noticed the top of a small oak moving to my right, it was a buck rubbing a tree. It looked to be the large 8-point I had seen the day before as I was only about 100 yards from where I saw him. The wind was somewhat variable, and I believe he caught the estrous on my boots as he started to walk right toward me. I was holding on him with my rifle that I elected to take as well as my bow in case I saw the big 10 out of range. He quickly picked me out and blew out in the the clearcut on other side of pines. I scared about three more deer before I finally got to my stand. Somewhat discouraged that I had bumped several deer getting in, my hopes were quickly replenished after seeing several deer as soon as I sat down. After sitting for about an hour, I pulled out my grunt and let out 3 tending grunts. Shortly after two nice young bucks came out from my right and proceeded to cruise through a large area around my stand checking to see where the action was coming from. About 15 minutes afterwards I heard a series of loud deep grunts and I grabbed my bow they sounded so close. After looking for several minutes I noticed movement and immediately recognized the tall symmetrical chocolate rack. I put my bow down and picked up rifle because he was almost in my wind about 100 yards away on the inside edge of pines next to clearcut. He was facing me and I was steady on him and shot before he had a chance to make another move. I watched him go down in my scope and immediately knew I had shot my biggest buck yet. I sat for another 15-20 minutes and collected my thoughts, thanked God for the opportunity and the beautiful morning he created, and waited for the other deer out to move off. I texted a couple of my best friends and let them know “I got him “ and proceeded to check him out. I then rushed to get him to processor and taxidermist so my ever so gracious wife could have a wedding date!