Hunter: Lewis Wilkinson
Points: 15 (8L, 7R)
After watching this buck and two other shooter bucks roaming in a bachelor group for the last three months, I was anxious to get out in my stand for a chance to hunt them, not just gaze at the trail-cam photos. My level of anxiety continued to rise as I realized that I would be vacationing on the NC coast with my wife for our 32nd anniversary for the opening weekend of bow season. While this was a great problem to have, it was a wonderful trip with a very understanding spouse, I still might have pushed the limits slightly in my haste to make it back to Atlanta in time for a late Sunday afternoon hunt. As the urban deer in Fulton County are unpredictable in their responses to traffic, noise from pool parties, or lawn maintenance equipment, when I climbed into my stand after my seven-hour drive I was happy to hear things settle down unto peaceful early fall afternoon. A slight breeze and the shade from the big white oaks kept the temperatures tolerable and my nerves in check. Just before 6 p.m. a large doe with a spotted yearling eased into the clearing to calmly browse. I was enjoying the scene thinking that even if I don't see any shootable bucks today, it has been a great weekend. That's when the buck stepped into the open and my blood pressure spiked again. I struggled to calm my breathing as I raised my bow and tried to steady my aim. I was partially successful as my 25-yard shot struck home, just slightly farther back than I would have preferred. The importance of a very short blood trail can't be over-emphasized when hunting urban deer. The Rage broadhead worked its magic, and I found the buck within 50 yards of my stand. This buck was the icing on the cake of a wonderful weekend. It is a joy to know that my bride of 32 years and the magic of buck fever can still make my old heart race like they have for so many incredible years.