Hunter: LesPaul Eskew
Points: 11 (5L, 6R)
I was hunting on private land that belongs to a close friend. We were getting ready to head out this morning and he said he was thinking of hunting a double ladder stand in the bottom. Then he asked me where I was going to hunt. I replied, "I was thinking of hunting in the bottom, but I can hunt somewhere else." He then said,"You go ahead." I said, "Stan, I will hunt someplace else you hunt the bottom. It doesn't matter to me." Stan said, "No you go ahead." I said, "OK" and headed toward the woods. We got kind of a late start. It was breaking day as I walked through the field. I could not help but think I would run off everything within two miles. (I generally like to get in the stand and settled about 20 minutes before daylight.) Even still you could not ask for a better morning. It was just under 40 degrees with basically no wind. At about 7:45 I text Stan and asked if he'd seen anything. He replied "one doe, you?" I texted back "Nothing". Within about 10 minutes I was looking at four does. I was watching one of the larger does when I heard something behind me. I turned to look and seen a buck rubbing a tree. I couldn't make out anything about the deer other than it was a buck rubbing a tree. Even so I picked up my rifle because you never know. About the time I got turned around a doe entered the picture. As soon as she popped up, the buck zeroed in on her. The buck leaped up onto a small crest to pursue his would be mate. As he made his way up the hill it became apparent that this was not your average deer. I caught a glimpse of the left side of his rack and in about .10 seconds at the same time a voice in my head said "BIGGEST BUCK YOU'VE EVER SEEN!!" I instantly pulled up my rifle, bleated to stop the deer, lined up the cross hairs behind his shoulder and squeezed the trigger. As I watched to see if and when he would drop I said to myself "I hope you were right" (You see my good friend Stan is gracious enough to let me hunt I do not want to kill a deer that he wouldn't appreciate me taking.) Seeing as the whole ordeal happened so quickly I was doubting my first instinct. Stan texted, "Was that you?" I replied, "Yeah I'm about to get down and look for blood." He called me about 20 minutes later and asked what I had found. I know he could hear the doubt in my voice because at that point all I had found was some hair and turned up leaves. As we were talking I found the first few specks of blood. I was on blood, and Stan came over to give me a hand. When he arrived I told him I had some decent blood. He said he would walk ahead and look. I told him the deer had ran into the bottom around a deadfall and turned back up the hill. Stan walked about 20 yards looked back at me and said here is laying up here. Stan said, "He's a Monster!!" I said, "Stan are you messin' with me?" He said with a chuckle, "No brother" After a couple more exchanges like that we made it up to where the big buck had fallen. There was a lot of hootin and a hollerin'. I absolutely could not believe the size of the deer. I knew he was big but never thought he'd be a once in a lifetime deer. I would like to thank my friend Stan and his wife Karen for their hospitality and for the opportunity to harvest such a magnificent animal. Without that I would not have had the chance at a deer of this caliber. Although he may not ever let me come back. I am truly blessed to know good people like them. I plan to have the deer mounted and enjoy reliving that awesome morning over and over again.