Hunter: Nathan Unger
Points: 10 (6L, 4R)
We had just had our second boy a week prior, and our oldest was headed off to preschool, so my wife said I could go hunt for the morning. I had hunted this deer, among others, all November with no luck. I have at least three years of trail-camera photos of this buck. I was getting ready to walk out the door when my wife asked if I could change the baby’s diaper. I take scent control pretty seriously and this felt like it could mess up my mojo, but obviously I needed to do it. I got to my stand location a little later than I would have liked but still before sun-up. Because the leaves were so crunchy I decided to wait until the sun came up in case deer were bedded nearby. Around 7:15 a.m. I started toward my stand and made it in with no issues. After getting settled I spot a deer way down the hillside about 80 yards, but it was too thick to make out whether it was a doe or buck. After straining my eyes to try see the deer, it finally went out of my field of view and I figured it was just a spike that I had been seeing all season. It was about 40 degrees and at 8:40 I heard something to my right. When I was able to make out deer movement I realized it was a buck I have seen on camera for several years but had never seen in person. I always wondered if age would catch with him before I would see him. He came through the woods at 40 yards hurried. He wasn’t sprinting but he wasn’t walking either. I pulled my gun up and tried to settle my breathing. I “mehhed” at him and he stopped directly behind a tree. He took one step and I shot him. Needless to say I had a flood of emotions after hunting this deer for so many years with little success except clues he left me year in and year out. Upon retrieving him I noticed he had a broken foot which almost definitely is why his antlers look so unique and have for the last three years.