Hunter: Katherine Thomas
Points: 13 (7L, 6R)
Katherine first saw this buck in 2020. She had him in the crosshairs of her crossbow @ 20 yards (approximate). She was about to shoot when a larger buck came in about 60 yards to our right. She decided to pass on him, and she shot the other with my rifle. (It was gun season). This was her 1st buck. She continued to let him walk the rest of the season so she could go after him the next season (2021). We saw him many times in 2021, but he never gave her a clear shot with her crossbow. I offered the rifle several times but she told me, "I'm going to take him with my crossbow. I don't care how long it takes." On to the 2022 season: she saw him several times but was waiting on the right shot. He eventually gave it to her, but she shot and missed. She was heartbroken, but more determined than ever to take this buck. She practiced hard to get ready for this season, worked the property with me, fed the deer all year, and checked trail cam pics. About June we started recognizing him, but now he had a dropped tine and some kickers. (He'd been a 9 pt). Between opening weekend and yesterday, she had him in her crosshairs 3 times, but 70 yards was as close as he'd come. Yesterday afternoon we got in the blind around 6:00. Watched does and young bucks for a bit, then around 6:30 or so, he was coming. This was out of character for him. He usually came in about 20 minutes before legal shooting light was over. She watched him feed for around 20 minutes. (I heard her at one point whisper, "I ain't missin this time;"). She let him come to 45 yards and let it fly. She knew as soon as her bolt hit the deer it was a good shot. It wasn't good, it was a perfect heart shot. He only ran about 60 yds, and expired.... into an 8' deep ditch! We knew his body was big, but not this big! 240lbs according to Chip's scale @ Newborn Taxidermy. There was hugging, fist bumping, tears, it was awesome. For 3 years she had chased this dude, and finally got him! It was literally by God's Grace that we were able (by ourselves) to pull him up out of that ditch onto flat ground. We drug him a little further so I could get my truck to him. This was the best, most special hunt I've ever been on. I'm so proud of our sweet, beautiful, and most importantly; Godly young daughter and how she never gave up. She'll put him on the wall next to the buck she shot in 2020 as a reminder that one day, both bucks were in the same field, and she let the smaller one grow. I'm so proud I could bust!