photo of a deer killed by Katie Dickensphoto of a deer killed by Katie Dickensphoto of a deer killed by Katie Dickens

Hunter: Katie Dickens

Points: 9 (5L, 4R)

County: Laurens

Season: 2020-2021

Hunt Story

What a wild day it was! I shot this buck on my second hunt of the day after harvesting another buck that morning that I thought we be tough to beat. I was sitting in a box stand overlooking a clearcut and a small food plot. I had just watched a wild looking 5-point buck come into the plot and feed for about 15 minutes. The box stand I was in has three windows, one to each side and one in the front. When the 5-pointer walked out of sight I turned to my left to be sure I wasn't missing anything, and when I looked back right this massive 9-pointer was in the food plot.. .he appeared out of no where. At the time and distance he was at, I was worried he wouldn't be bigger than the buck I had harvested that morning, so I continued to watch and debate. As I looked on I also thought he might be an 8-pointer that we had agreed to let walk this year in hopes of him being a bigger stud for next year. As I sat there and watched him feed, two does entered the food plot right in front of my stand about 150 yards from him. I listened to them feed and I watched him intently. When he realized they were there, he forgot about anything else he had going on and started making his way toward the stand. With every step closer I realized he was not a normal buck... and was much larger than the one from the morning. I called my husband, who was hunting with my son nearby, and asked him to text me a photo of the other buck we were letting grow as I certainly didn't want to make a mistake. Turned out he had an 8-pointer in front of him and he told me to make the best decision I could and we hung up. Looking back I can't believe this beast gave me the kind of time he did! As he reached the first doe she darted off, and he started after her. My heart sunk thinking I had lost my opportunity. She had darted into an area that I didn't have a clean shot in, so I knew I had missed my chance. But, like every other part of this crazy story, instead of chasing that doe he turned back and came for the second doe that was still in the food plot. He was moving fast, letting out these deep quick grunts with every step. When he made that turn I knew I was going to have to make a fast judgement call, but at this point he was 25 yards from the stand and I knew if I could get a good shot this buck would be the largest of my life. The reason I told you initially about the stand having three windows is because the one to the far right is pretty much useless except for one angle between two small dead pine trees. And wouldn't you know that's where I had to take my shot! When he turned for the second doe I caught him in my scope between those two trees, held my breath and pulled the trigger. He jumped and I knew I had him. He ran directly in front of my stand, stopped, darted into the clearcut and dropped. He got up one more time, leapt, and then dropped for good. I didn't have to call my husband, he had heard the shot and he and my son arrived about 30 minutes later and we began to follow the trail. It didn't take long before we found him, and neither of us could believe what we saw. I know in my heart my poor husband had assumed I had pulled the trigger on that 8-pointer we agreed to let walk. I saw his face before I saw the buck in all of the brush, and I knew then I had something special. He was shocked as we both realized that I had taken the big 9 we lovingly called King Kong for the last two years. We had only ever seen him on trail camera, never in person until that afternoon. I want to be clear that my husband gets all the credit for our successes in the woods. The man has countless hours in food plots, field work, tree work, building stands. I was simply the lucky one this go round.
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