photo of a deer killed by Hunter Bennettphoto of a deer killed by Hunter Bennettphoto of a deer killed by Hunter Bennett

Hunter: Hunter Bennett

Points: 13 (7L, 6R)

County: Laurens

Season: 2016-2017 (Week 10)

Hunt Story

I hung the climber approximately 10 days prior in the creek bottom just up the creek about 100 yards from a new found bedding area that I thought was being used by a big buck. There was a frequently used bed next to a big maple just about 10 yards from the creek bed up the side of the steep ridge over looking the creek. There was also 4 to 5 magnolia trees within a 10-yard perimeter of the bed that had been absolutely demolished as he rubbed them during the pre-rut. I felt like I had found his home. I believed the only way to kill him was to get up or down the creek a little ways from him and try to catch him going to and from his bedding area. Thanksgiving morning I arrived to the stand about 10 minutes till 6 and it was really foggy in the bottom, which made it very dark! I sat quietly until about 7:30 a.m., and once it was good shooting light I decided to rattle for a minute or two. While rattling I also grunted in between sequences a couple of times. When I stopped rattling, I waited a minute or two and did a single doe bleat. Approximately 3 minutes later I had to get down momentarily (if you know what I mean :). Upon climbing back into the stand I felt like I had ruined my hunt and may as well head home, but I decided to stick around. In my head I could hear my dad saying, "You can't kill 'em at home son." Approximately 10 minutes after getting back in the stand and approximately 15 minutes after I had rattled, a doe came prancing into the area looking around as if very curious. I watched her and I heard another deer coming as well, but this one was being very cautious. I knew it had to be a buck. I got my rifle up and started catching glimpses of a huge-bodied deer about 50 yards from me following the same trail the doe arrived from. I managed to find him in the bushes in my scope, and although his rack was obscured from all the brush, what I could make out told me it was for sure a shooter. I could see 3 tall tines on half of his left main beam and figured if nothing else he had brow tines which would make him at least a very nice 8-point. I decided he was a shooter and moved my scope about 5 yards ahead of him where there was a small clearing to shoot through. He took his time getting there, but when he slowly walked into the little opening, I shot him through a hole in the bushes. He dropped like a rock to the high shoulder shot from my 30-30. I waited about 5 minutes and since he didn't even so much as kick, I got down to see just how big he was. That's when I discovered he was the 13-point that we had on camera about 2 weeks prior. I was excited! What a great Thanksgiving morning! My wife and I purchased the land the day before Christmas 2015, and that is the first official deer I have killed on my property.
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