photo of a deer killed by Payton Caldwellphoto of a deer killed by Payton Caldwellphoto of a deer killed by Payton Caldwell

Hunter: Payton Caldwell

Points: 8 (4L, 4R)

County: Heard

Season: 2021-2022

Hunt Story

October 20 started out as any other day, clocked in at work and was lucky enough to get off a little early so I decided I’d go get in the deer stand. On the way in I stopped and checked a few cameras and had some decent bucks showing up, but not the one that I call Captain Hook. The last time I had a picture of him was October 1 at 7:30 p.m. I had very little hope that I would see him but I went to the stand anyway. I got in the stand about 5:30 and had been there about 45 minutes when I decided I would check the focus on my scope, and as soon as a put my gun up to adjust it, out walked Captain Hook at 220 yards. I couldn't believe it was him and I really couldn’t believe he was in full velvet still! The first time I got him to stop he was behind a tree and I could not get a shot. The second time the same thing happened and I couldn’t get a shot. The third time I have a perfect shot I squeezed the trigger and click my gun misfired. I put another bullet in it and I couldn’t see the deer, I thought he was gone. Then I saw his tail move and he stepped back out at 230 yards and I pulled the trigger again and I lost sight of him. I didn’t know where he went. I got out of my stand and was easing up there when I saw a white belly laying on the ground. Captain Hook was down. I was over the moon excited and I called my cousin Brian to tell him what had just happened. He couldn’t believe it either. What a hunt it was. The farthest shot I’ve ever made on a deer and for it to be a once-in-a-lifetime deer makes it that much better!
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