Hunter: Gracie Mogelnicki
Points: 8 (4L, 4R)
On opening day of archery season in Georgia, I slipped into the ground blind on my Grandparent's property in Fulton County at about 4 p.m. It was a hot and humid Georgia afternoon, but I knew it would soon cool down a tiny bit. Just before the sun started to set, two does and their babies came to hang out in front of me, 20 yards away on their main trial. I was thankful I was able to see deer that evening, but not quite satisfied, as I was after a buck. The next morning was an early wake-up call. My boyfriend, Chase, decided to join me on this hunt, and we got settled into the blind at 6:30 a.m. He was sitting to the left of me, so I had the better shooting angle. The birds started to chirp as the sun was rising, and I was prepared for a deer to come around at any time. It was about 7:15 a.m. when Chase was looking through the mesh window on his side as he strongly whispered "Deer! Deer!" My heart started to race, and just as I slowly reached for my crossbow in front of me, he whispered again, "I think it's a buck!" I managed to lean over and catch a glimpse of the tail end of the deer, as the front of his body was behind a tree. As the buck made his way out of the bottomland hardwoods from the left, Chase was able to determine which buck it was before I caught a glimpse of him. As the buck, a 9-pointer, made his way in front of us on the trial, Chase yet again spotted another deer coming from the same direction. Without knowing for sure which buck it was, Chase whispered, "It could be the big 8. They have been traveling together." It in fact was the big 8, and I was able to watch him walk up behind the 9-pointer. The 9-pointer was curious, investigating his surroundings. He turned around, looking in the direction of the blind for what felt like forever! When he decided to turn back around, I held my bow up in preparation to shoot at the big 8. The big 8 walked up a couple steps on the trial in perfect line where I was holding my bow. He was ever so slightly quartering away, but I knew I could get an accurate shot. It was 7:30 a.m. when Chase whispered, "What do you think?" I responded, "Yeah!" He said, "Okay do it!" And I nervously said, "I think..." He quickly answered, "Do it!" And without hesitation, I squeezed the trigger, sending the arrow flying. In a matter of seconds, the arrow went straight through behind the big 8's right shoulder. Both bucks bolted away, back in the direction they came from. We heard a big crash and a few seconds of leaves rustling before Chase quietly exclaimed, "Let's go! Let's go!" Tremendously shaking, but full of excitement, I said, "Is he down?" And Chase grinned, "Yeah!!!" After a few phone calls, enough time passed by to look for the arrow. We got out of the blind and sneaked over to the trail, searching for the arrow. I saw it covered in blood and could not stop smiling! We did not want to recover the buck too soon, so we waited while Chase's mom Spring, tracking dog Athens, and Grandpa Popo (GON Hunt Advisor Tim Danger) were on their way to help. When they arrived, we immediately looked for first blood. The blood trail was easy to follow, but Athens led the way straight to the buck. We made sure it was safe to approach and let Athens know she did a great job! The buck ran about 50 yards, into the bottomland hardwoods. With the help of Chase, Popo and Spring, we were able to safely get the deer loaded into the back of the truck. I am so lucky and blessed to have been able to experience this hunt and have these people (and many more!) help me out! I am thankful for this opportunity to submit this amazing deer to GON and share the story of this successful harvest!