photo of a deer killed by Michael Evansphoto of a deer killed by Michael Evansphoto of a deer killed by Michael Evans

Hunter: Michael Evans

Points: 10 (5L, 5R)

County: Hancock

Season: 2015-2016 (Week 8)

Hunt Story

I first started getting pics of this buck in August, but it was September before I saw he had a drop tine. On Oct. 21st he came by the stand at 8:14 AM that I planned to hunt, if a friend was going to hunt the stand, I told him to hunt. Unfortunately Jerry didn't hunt stand A, so I did and missed the opportunity to get him at stand B. I got several more pics of him, usually around the stand we call the Woodpecker Tree. On the morning of the 8th it was raining and cold, but I had been hunting hard for this deer. I'd already passed on four nice 2 1/2-year-old bucks even though it had been 2 years since I kilt my last buck. So, off to the woods I went. At about 7 AM, I first saw him chasing a doe through the hardwood bottom to the north. It was still kind of dark, but it was obvious this was a huge buck chasing a doe, actually right behind her. I immediately started grunting at him, but after several grunts, it became obvious he was more interested in the doe than me. I put my bow down and grabbed my rifle. I soon found him in the scope, but at that distance in the low light, I could only make out that it was a buck, a big buck, but couldn't tell anything about his rack. Just a couple days before I'd had a huge 6-pointer come right by me in this stand and I certainly didn't want to accidentally shoot a deer with a rifle that I had already passed with a bow. I hung my rifle back up and grabbed my binocs. Unfortunately he disappeared before I could get a better look at him. I soon saw another deer following the same path the buck had taken. Well this 3rd deer was actually a little closer as I quickly found it in my binocs and saw it was a doe, not another buck like I'd hoped. For the next 30 minutes I occasionally grunted between beating my head against the tree for letting such a nice buck get away. What in the heck was I doing out here in the pouring rain? At about 7:30 I had sat back down, but was still kicking myself mentally when I turned and saw movement up in the hollow. I grabbed my binocs and instantly saw it was a buck - a huge buck with horns outside the ears. Unfortunately he was now maybe 200 yards out facing away. I did not feel comfortable making that long of a shot off handed, so I got down out of the stand and went after him. I got to within maybe 100 yards, then saw there were now 4 deer there and they were running around. None had their flags up, so I guessed he was simply chasing and they didn't have a clue I was there. I found a big tree to lean against and tried to gain my composure and wait for an open shot. There where a couple times I got glimpses of him running around, but never a clear, still shot. Then nothing. Had they run off? I eased forward, saw what looked like a deer, raised my binocs and sure enough it was a big doe. I was still in the hunt. Several more minutes passed and once again I saw nothing. I eased over a few steps, thought I saw what looked like a deer, only this time when I looked with my binocs it was the big doe, but she was looking at me. She was still in some thicker cover, so thick I could not really see her without the binocs, but with the binocs I could plainly see her eyes looking at me. Then she blew. NO! Then she ran off, but I didn't see the buck or the other 2 deer run off with her. I forgot to mention I had grunted 10-15 minutes before hoping to get the doe to bring the buck to me, but now I figured instead the buck had pushed the doe further away. Dang! Dang! Dang it! Once again I had blown it. All I knew to do was head on in the direction the doe had run. As soon as I got out of that bottom I enter a stand of mature pines that I had burned 2 years ago, but did not bush hog last year so the sweet gums where about head high. It was still raining, so I eased through there as quietly as I could. About 100 yards in I looked over and 30 yards to my right I saw a deer. I raised my rifle and in the scope saw it was the buck. He started trotting towards me and when he angled a little to the right I pulled the trigger. He disappeared. I jacked another round into my rifle and looked up to see 3 deer run off to my left, but none looked like the buck. I immediately rushed over to where I'd just seen the buck. It wasn't until I was all the way there until I saw my drop tine buck had fallen behind a berm into a hole just big enough to completely hide him. YAHOOOOO! As it turned out I probably could have kilt this buck with a bow, but who in their right mind goes after a buck on foot with a bow. It had been years since I last shot a deer, or anything for that matter, with a rifle. But, I'm glad I did. Once I took a closer look at him I saw where someone had barely grazed him across his back looked like a couple days earlier. If they had been a better shot, my quest to get this buck might never have come true.
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