Hunter: Paul Fincher
Points: 14 (7L, 7R)
I’d been seeing this deer on camera for several weeks only at night, but he was extremely regular in hitting a couple food plots and feeders. Earlier this week he made a daytime appearance while I wasn’t hunting. The next morning I caught a glimpse of him just at daylight moving into a thick new growth area. He had been on the food plot when I got to the stand before daylight. I didn’t hunt that evening because I was sure I bumped him he probably wouldn’t be back that evening but to my surprise, when my camera uploads came through, he had been there that evening as well during daylight. So the next morning I got in the stand early and like clockwork he worked his way up to the feeding area he’d been visiting, joining a few does. At about 7:50 he gave me a good broadside shot at about 140 yards. He stumbled off into a thicket and I was able to fire another two shots at him. I was hunting with an AR-style rifle in 6.5 Grendel just because I hadn’t sighted in any of my normal deer rifles yet this year. After about 90 minutes I started looking for blood, but to my dismay was unable to find any despite being extremely confident I’d hit the deer at least twice. Since it was warm weather I decided to make a call to Schmavis Big Game recovery and Lyle’s dog was able to find the deer very quickly, about 40 yards into the thicket from where I shot. The first shot was good, a lung shot. The following two, as the deer was running hit liver and high on the deer's back. This was my largest deer; and after hunting for nearly 30 years it was exciting to get those big buck jitters again, it had been a while. 14 scorable points (one is just a small kicker off the brow tine) and some great mass.