photo of a deer killed by Mike Cliftonphoto of a deer killed by Mike Cliftonphoto of a deer killed by Mike Clifton

Hunter: Mike Clifton

Points: 10 (5L, 5R)

County: Ben Hill

Season: 2016-2017

Hunt Story

The time was 5:15 p.m. I had hunted earlier that day and shot a buck that I didn't recover. I had hunted a blood trail only to be disappointed after 5 hours of searching. I had been skunked. In my disappointment I had decided to go watch my food plots. I saw a small spike come by and ate some corn. I had seen three does and a 6-point earlier in season, but nothing bigger. I really wasn't expecting what would happen next. After 45 minutes of sitting on my chair in my tower stand, my back began to bother me. I started doing some stretches, suddenly out of the corner of my eye from behind on the tower stand, I noticed a big body deer step out on the food plot. The deer was standing quartered to me with his head turn as he might be licking his side. Finally the deer turn his head to his right, I counted 4 points that I could visibly see and noticed his antlers were beyond his ears his tines were very long, and it appeared it might be the deer that had shot earlier that day. At 70 plus yards, the deer is standing in the shadows, but I placed my scope and crosshairs over his right chest area and gently squeeze the trigger. My weapon fired, but to my dismay the recoil had knocked my glasses against my face and my hat fell off. My nose was bleeding, and I had not been able to see the deer after the shot had been fired. I got down, it was 5:30 p.m. I could not find blood or any evidence that the deer had been there. I decided it was getting dark fast and that I would have to come back tomorrow after church to try and find the deer. Sunday afternoon, my friend Robert Caldwell came with me to try and find the deer. We began searching in areas deer might have run in a grid fashion covering 15 yards to 100 yard radius. I noticed there was firebreak to my far left, and I then followed the firebreak 150 yards into some gallberry bushes that were a neck high. Suddenly to my surprise there he was, a big body 240 plus 10-point. I examined his body for bullet wounds only to find a entry wound and no exit placed exactly on his right chest. I was disappointed that he was not the deer I had shot earlier, but he was definitely a nice size trophy buck. The reason my scope had recoiled on my face was because I was turned backwards shooting from behind. I felt truly blessed as by the grace of God I was able to find this deer.
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