photo of a deer killed by Justin Carnesphoto of a deer killed by Justin Carnesphoto of a deer killed by Justin Carnes

Hunter: Justin Carnes

Points: 15 (7L, 8R)

County: Muscogee

Season: 2023-2024

Hunt Story

Got this deer on camera back in July and knew automatically he was something special. I’ve been patterning him for the last 2 months. He would show up for about 3-4 days then disappear for about 2 weeks. Well opening day came and I decided to hunt elsewhere since I didn’t have any pictures of him and knew he wasn’t back in the area yet. On 9/12/23, I was at dinner for my wife’s birthday when I got an alert from my Tactacam… vit was him! It was about 1943 so I knew if I wanted a shot I had to leave right then, so I told my wife, who’s face lit up with excitement when I showed her the picture! So we left dinner and raced to the spot. I was able to sneak in on him and 2 other smaller bucks, almost getting busted. I knew if I wanted a chance at him I would have to get within 50 yards at least. I was able to get in and threw my range finder on him, 47 yards, a little further than I wanted to shoot, but it was my best opportunity. I had a small window of a shot through some branches so that I could stay concealed from sight. I waited for him to put his head down to feed and I drew my bow back, put my site on him, took a deep breath and released. That arrow seemed like it flew forever watching the Iluminock fly through the air. After I saw the arrow pass, I knew I had hit him, a little high, but was confident. I waited for about 20 minutes to let my nerves calm and collect myself over the realization of what had just happened. I walked to the arrow and there was good blood all over the place, so I knew I had for a fact smoked him. I got an alert on my phone that rain was in the area and it was getting dark so I knew I would have to hurry and track. I walked maybe 40 yards and there he lay!! I immediately knelt and thanked the good Lord above for allowing me to harvest this beautiful animal. The best part was seeing my daughter's face light up with excitement when she saw it! This is my archery PB and don’t know if I’ll ever have a chance at such a unique deer again.
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