photo of a deer killed by Justin Carrphoto of a deer killed by Justin Carrphoto of a deer killed by Justin Carr

Hunter: Justin Carr

Points: 8 (4L, 4R)

County: Talbot

Season: 2021-2022

Hunt Story

I go to Berry College in Rome Ga and November 12, 2021, was the day my dad and I doubled up on 8 points. It first started when I woke up at 9 a.m. and my first class wasn’t till 10. I decided to go to Walmart to see if I could find anything I needed to get before I would go down to the woods that afternoon. I got a few bags of corn, some food blocks, and some deer attractant. I then went to my accounting class and later on to my 1 p.m. class. I was dead set on leaving to go to the woods after this class was over and nothing was going to stop me. My class got out at about 1:30 instead of 2 p.m. which I was very grateful for because it’s a 3-hour drive and the sun was supposed to set at 5:38 p.m. On my way down I noticed that on the map it said if I took a different route it would take 7 minutes less to get there so I took that route. I got to the club right around 4:30 and was in the woods by 4:40. It was a short drive on the four-wheeler and the walk to the stand from where I parked the truck. I road in quiet, trying not to disturb much and not ruin my chances of seeing anything. I got in the stand at around 4:40-4:45. My dad had been here for a few hours and was hunting the gas line that goes through our property. I was hunting below my food plot and had been really excited about this spot for a while. The stand I was hunting in was a brand new one we had put out before the season. I had found the tree last year and it looked like it was begging for a tree stand to be put in it. It’s an American beech tree with smooth, grey bark and not a single tree around it for 20 feet. The area looked well-traveled and a few weeks before I had put a food block down in the bottom of the creek where the deer were moving through that didn’t go up to my food plot. That food block was eaten within a week so I knew the deer were here. I had sat in that stand the weekend before and had seen some deer late in the evening. Before I came down to the woods, I had done some research about the deer movement in our area over the last week from the trail-camera pics we had. The pics we had on camera showed that my food plot got most of its action a little before dark, mostly of 3-4 does almost daily. My dad's food plot down the road about 100 yards from me got action at pretty much any time of the day and from any direction during the week and I told him that it would be a good idea to hunt his food plot. However, most of our bucks on camera were all in the middle of the night. Last weekend, he had hunted the gas line though and saw an 8 pointer walkout, but passed on it because he was hoping it would walk down to my brother in law but it never did. Knowing that my food plot got action in the afternoon, it made me feel confident in seeing something when I got down to the woods, but I was nervous that I would disturb things in the area when I showed up so late. I got in the stand right around 4:40 and it was very quiet. I thought it was too quiet and was thinking I wouldn’t see a deer. I texted my dad that my gun was missing a screw that held the barrel to the stock of the gun. I knew the gun was still accurate because the screw was missing from a separate part of the gun. Right at 5, I heard some leaves crackling from behind me. I turned to my left and to my astonishment I saw an 8 point walking across the middle of the ridge straight toward my stand. At this point, my heart started racing because seeing a buck was the last thing I expected. I had my rifle sitting at my side, but didn’t pick it up cause the buck was walking towards me. He turned slightly up the ridge, but then stopped when he was about 20 yards from me and looked right at me. He looked at me for a few seconds and then looked back to the way he was going and then started trotting. This got my heart racing because I knew it was a shooter buck and I didn’t want to get away. Luckily he stopped his trot and started walking again. I started to pick my gun up but then he looked at me again between some trees and I stopped. He continued walking and then I was able to get my sights on him. There were some trees between me and him and he was walking straight to the shooting lane my dad and I had made, so I waited for him to walk into it. As soon as he did he stopped and I pulled the trigger, he was about 30 yards from me. After I fired he started running and I reloaded because I wasn’t sure if I hit him. He was running fast and crashing through the trees and at that point, I knew I hit him because he ran over some small trees and fell and didn’t move after that. I was shaking so much that I could feel the stand moving. I had never shot a deer on this property for the 5 or more years I had been hunting it. I had passed on so many does last year hoping a buck was following them, but one never did. I texted my dad right after I shot and said it was an 8 point. He obviously texted me back “I hate you” jokingly because I hadn’t been in the stand for even 20 mins. I got down out of the stand at 5:15 to go over to the deer and get a first-hand look at it. When I shot I thought the deer was about 2 years old. When I got up to him close, I realized I was very wrong. His face was really grey and his body was bigger than I thought. The deer was actually 3.5-4.5 years old. The glands and fur on his back legs were black as could be due to it being peak rut. I then went and checked the trail cameras down in the creek below where I was hunting and my food plot. I downloaded the images and then started walking to my dad's food plot. I remembered that I needed to register my deer and as I was doing so, I heard a loud gunshot from the gas line where my dad was. At this point, I knew my dad had shot at something. I was worried he missed it because last weekend, my brother-in-law had used that gun to shoot a small doe and hit it in the guts even though he was aiming for the shoulder. He texted me he had shot a small 7-8 and I couldn’t believe it. I asked if it ran off and he said “Dead Right There” and I laughed. I continued to go check the cameras on his field and then walked back to the 4 wheeler to try and get my deer out since I knew I wasn’t going to have help any time soon. At this point, I realized that I didn’t have any straps to hold the deer and it was getting dark. I tried to turn the 4 wheeler up the hill but the weight on the back of it was causing the front tires to lift off the ground slightly and not get good traction. The deer fell off twice before I found a bungee cord on the 4 wheeler and was able to use that to attempt to hold the deer in place. Thankfully it worked and I was able to make it back to camp. I got back and Brian, another hunter in the club, was already there with the doe he shot and my dad had not gotten back yet. I texted him asking if he needed help and he said yea and to bring some straps. Brian and his son left first because I had to drop my deer off the back and get some straps. I got to my dad who was walking back to his four-wheeler and asked me for a ride to take him there. Before he got on he saw the blood on the four-wheeler from my deer and jokingly complained and said “I really have to sit in blood?” I took him to his four-wheeler and then he brought us to where he dropped his deer. I got to it and noticed that it was smaller than mine which made me happy because it gave me bragging rights. We got it strapped up and headed back to camp. We got there and we took his deer off so we could take pics. Brian made a comment before that and said “it’s not very often that you hear about a dad and son killing deer on the same day let alone two bucks.” At this point it made me think about just how special this moment was and that I may never get this experience again. Right before we took the pictures, my dad tried to get in front of my buck because it was the bigger one, he and I started pushing each other and laughing. It was a great moment. My dad's deer was 13.5 inches from outside to outside and mine was 16.5 inches from outside to outside. The only thing that I wish was different was that we had a better phone so the pictures would’ve come out better. Later that night, I was looking through the pictures from the trail cameras and found that the deer I shot had walked through my dad's food plot at 8:30 am last Sunday morning. We were hunting that weekend and even that morning. I was in my ladder stand nearby, but never saw that deer come from my direction and where was my dad? Out on the gas line instead of hunting his food plot. If he hadn’t been on the gas line last weekend, this day may have never happened. My dad also suspects that the 8 pointer he passed on last week was the same one he shot today. If he had decided to be greedy and to pull the trigger instead of hoping it would walk down to my brother-in-law, this day may have also never happened. If my class hadn't gotten out early, I wouldn't have seen that deer either. Everything lined up perfectly and if anything had gone differently, this day would have never happened. I believe this day was planned for us and was meant to be. Too many things went just right for this day to happen on its own.
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