Hunter: JD Sledge
Points: 10 (5L, 5R)
I've been hunting this buck we named last season,"the five by six", for 2 years now, although he was just a main frame 10-point with kickers this year. The last buck I killed with my bow was the last day of 2017. I have passed many bucks since then in search of one that would break that 125-inch Pope and Young net score mark. We recently invested in the Cuddelink camera system which helped set out our target bucks for the season and begin to pattern them. Although I hunted all season last year without an opportunity at killing this buck, I was confident if I put in the time and hunted the wind I may get a shot at him early season. When bow season came around, I never had the right wind to hunt this specific deer, so I continued watching the cameras. We noticed this buck would show up in the last minutes of shooting light nearly every time we put out a fresh bag of feed. Finally on September 1, I got the west wind I had been waiting on. I came up with a plan to carry a bag of fresh feed in with me in hopes of the buck sticking to his pattern. After getting settled in and set up, it was around 7:18. I had not seen any deer and I was on HuntStand checking my wind. It was blowing directly over my shoulder which was the last place I expected the buck to come from. I heard something over my shoulder directly downwind. It was him standing at 23 yards with his head peeking out of the trail. I knew I had to do something quick without spooking him before he caught my wind. He looked back and I eased my way up, grabbing my bow and turning around the backside of the tree. He was walking in closer but I knew I didn't have much time. I drew back as he was walking in around 17 yards, but I ran out of room to keep turning around the tree. I was forced to take a shot with him quartering to me, but I was confident my Slick Trick broadhead could penetrate the shoulder and catch the heart. So I let it fly. The shot felt good and the buck struck out back the way he came. We gave him around 4 hours and started the track. Although the deer was bleeding a lot, he still managed to make it around 250 yards. After cleaning him we noticed that the arrow did punch the top of the heart which shows just how hard it is to kill a big buck. I can not thank my father Shannon Sledge and God enough for the opportunity at this magnitude of a buck with a bow. A true blessing from God!