Hunter: Greg Faircloth
Points: 10 (5L, 5R)
A Hunt to Remember. On Sunday, September 8, 2018, I hunted private property in Monroe County, Georgia with my good friend, Bill Pace. Weather conditions were sunny and hot with an occasional slight breeze . The temperature on my truck had 90 on it as I placed my gear into Bill’s truck. Once I walked to the spot I was going to hunt, I placed my spring out doghouse ground blind at the edge of a large hay field. I was watching a trail coming from the thick bottom to the field. I was about 20 yards from a spot beside the field which had deer cane attractant and whole corn. I also hung a tinks 69 buck bomb from an oak limb overhanging the field near the deer cane. All of the corn was gone as it was placed several days prior. At approximately 19:30 hours as I scanned the field I saw antlers coming toward me over the hill to my left. As the deer approached the spot I had time to calm myself down, not focus on the rack and slowly move my Excalibur Micro 355 to the left side window. The buck stopped at about forty yards and looked toward my blind momentarily. He then began walking straight to the buck bomb and deer cane. He stopped at a slight left quartering from my position at about 28 - 30 yards. I had placed my crosshairs just behind the right front shoulder area. I released my bolt and was able to watch the lighted nick as the bolt hit the deer and immediately heard a loud contact noise. The buck quickly spun around to his left and ran almost the same direction from where he came. His head was lowered and tail down. I was confident I had a good shot. As it was getting dark I decided to check for blood where he stood. I found no blood. I decided to get my equipment and walk to the truck about a quarter mile away and give the buck time to expire. Other than thinking he had a really good rack I did not know anything about it, because upon seeing the buck walk over the hill I convinced myself not to look at the antlers and focus on the deers body and movements. Upon Bill meeting me at his truck and telling him the experience we decided to go to my truck for another flashlight and give the buck more time. Shortly after getting water and Gatorade, we returned to the blind and I replayed the scenario to determine a starting point to search. After what seemed to be an eternity, probably 30 to 45 minutes of small circles in the field we found no blood. I felt confident in my shot placement, and Bill was encouraging me that it was not over. We decided to start circling the “hot zone” we considered the buck most probably excited the field. It dropped off sharply about 20 yards inside the very thick woods. I approached a beaver pond about 75 yards down the hill. My partner continued searching up and down the hill. After 2 1/2 hours as our flashlight batteries were dying we decided to come back early Monday morning and resume searching. We left the area at 23:30 hours. At around 06:50 Monday morning while en route to meet my partner, I called my good friend Timmy Oller, Outer Banks tracking, for his advise. He was reassuring that I made a good shot and would probably find my buck. Upon returning to my blind and again replaying the event of the previous evening, we decided on our strategy to locate my buck. We entered the thicket on the edge of the field where we determined he may have entered. Bill and I were about 20 yards apart searching. After about 20 minutes I went down the hill toward the beaver pond and found a large deer trail running parallel to the beaver pond. I hollered to Bill and told him I was going to work myself down the trail and circle back down the edge of the pond to check if the buck entered the water. After about 10 minutes I stopped at a huge hollow tree and took several pictures of this unique tree. I then went around the big tree, took five or six steps and saw my buck 20 yards from the edge of the water. The buck was found at 08:30 hours. The deer appeared to be a younger buck but had an almost perfect ten point rack which was still in complete velvet. After taking pictures of the buck, we field dressed and started up the hill dragging the buck. We had to drag approximately 75 yards to the edge of the field. Exhausted we loaded the buck and left for my truck. We then transferred the buck to my truck. After loading the buck, I got my gear loaded and headed to my taxidermist to process the buck for mounting.