Hunter: Josh Thompson
Points: 12 (6L, 6R)
Went to one of my favorite stands about 4:30 anticipating deer to move with the shift in the weather. I had been seeing lots of scrapes around the farm and I had noticed a couple yearling deer feeding alone on trail cam so I was thinking that a doe had come into estrous or was about to. My daughter and I had hunted the same stand the afternoon before and we had an encounter with a mature 8 pt but he stayed behind some trees while he fed and we were not comfortable with her taking a marginal shot. Lots of season left, so we waited. She could not go back the following afternoon because of a church Halloween function so I had planned to sit in a different stand on the other end of the farm where I had sat that morning. I told my dad driving down that I had seen 12 deer that morning so I was just going to go back to that spot. When I got to the farm I started getting pictures from my Covert cameras showing a couple does feeding in front of that stand, so I switched gears. I had rattled and grunted a few times early in the sit hoping to get something stirred up before dark. My buddy texted me at 6:45 asking what I saw, and my reply was nothing. As soon as I sat my phone down, I heard movement and looked up to see a doe with a big deer behind her. He was in a shooting lane but I was positioned to shoot a different direction. The doe started towards the bottom and out of the pines and he was following. I pulled my gun around as he followed her and mouth grunted to stop him in the next shooting lane. I took the shot and he bolted forward. I listened close and thought I heard him crash. I got down pretty quickly and went to find the blood trail before it got dark. I found blood about 30 yds from where he was standing and followed a good trail for about 100 yards to some water. I called my dad for help and when he got there we trailed the deer another 50 yds to the edge of the bigger part of the creek bed. I waded across and found blood on the other side but lost the trail about 20 yds down the bank. After a couple phone calls, Matt Nelson was headed to us with his Lab L.B. The dog hit the trail and before long he had located the deer. It was only about 30 yds from where we lost the trail floating in the creek. Very exciting evening with a few ups and downs worried about possibly not finding this deer. He is my best buck to date and green scored around 164 gross.