photo of a deer killed by Nate Saulsberryphoto of a deer killed by Nate Saulsberryphoto of a deer killed by Nate Saulsberry

Hunter: Nate Saulsberry

Points: 10 (5L, 5R)

County: Dooly

Season: 2016-2017 (Week 10)

Hunt Story

I got into the 'Narrows" Box stand around 5:45 a.m. It's a travel corridor between AG fields and hardwoods on the infamous hunting property that's in the story in the GON right now. I had my gun and my bow with me. I finished getting situated and just leaned back and closed my eyes for a few minutes awaiting what only daylight can bring!!! I sat there for probably 50 minutes and started to hear something that sound like antlers rubbing a tree and bristling branches about 75 yards away. It was behind me in the woods, but it was still very early, I could just start to see in the field and could look with my binoculars and scope. I am a spiritual man so I always thank the Good Lord for providing me with the opportunity to hunt in his creation and just the blessing of being in the woods... however I did ask him this morning for a chance at "Swirly" a gorgeous buck we have been getting on camera since this past February. As I opened my eyes they started to re-adjust to the light in the field I saw movement to the right where I had been hearing the rustling sounds of antlers and cedar just minutes earlier. There he was just easing across the field in front of me. Like I said it was very hard to see, so I had to grab for my binoculars, but as I did something told me to grab my gun instead. So I listened and grabbed my ol' trusty "Kimber Mountain Ascent" and looked through the Trijicon and put in on him and was just hoping to see some sort of verification it was him.... Possibly could it be...... however I couldn't see good enough as he was still walking away from me. By this time he was vastly walking out of my life forever and I said God please make him stop if it's him, and without a second of hesitation he just put the brakes on and locked up. I couldn't believe it he was only about 50 yards from the other wood-line and I was freaking out. I know generally when it's that early and something is moving it's generally mature. So as I zoomed all the way in and focused my optic, I could see a rack but I couldn't see exactly what it was.... I said Lord, please let him turn his head so I can see if it's him... I'm telling you without a moment of hesitation he turned his head. It was magnificent. I could see how tall and those infamous Swirls he had, I said thank you Lord!!! I started reaching to flip my safety off, but I was so shaken up I couldn't seem to find it. I shoot an assortment of rifles and most commonly a Remington 700. So I was reaching for the safety and it was not there. I had to take my eye off of the scope and looked down to see and it was on the bolt of the Mauser style action. I flipped it off and got back on the scope to see that he never moved a muscle. I drew my rifle in close and squeezed the trigger. As the gun touched off I could hear the bullet hit its mark with a loud thud and an immediate reaction by Swirly as he shouldered down and back up, only to try to get back where he had come from. He managed to make to about 30 yards before piling up. I thought it was over so I about jumped out of the box stand!! I gathered my composure and headed down the ladder instead. I started heading across the field as fast as I possibly could without breaking into a jog. As I hit the edge of a break in the freshly picked cotton I was greeted with Swirly sticking his head straight up in the air and blowing at me, as if it was his last possible effort of defense and he started moving again toward the field's edge. However, the first shot hit its mark and wasn't going to allow him to go any further so he stopped looked at me with those beautiful swirls held high and proud as to say to me that I had won. I graciously ended it with another shot. What an incredible morning and hunt. I was so overwhelmed by the details in what I had prayed for that rang so true to the second I had to stop and just marvel over Swirly for just a few moments! I got back in the stand as a fellow member was just about 600 yards away not to damage his hunt. Waited till everybody was available for the recovery and came back in and got him.This could possibly be the Phantom's son or tied to his lineage!
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