photo of a deer killed by Scott Williamsphoto of a deer killed by Scott Williamsphoto of a deer killed by Scott Williams

Hunter: Scott Williams

Points: 9 (5L, 4R)

County: Bleckley

Season: 2022-2023

Hunt Story

The story of this deer starts last Friday September 9th. I was on one of my peanut fields planning to shoot some does with a crop permit. I’d been sitting for about an hour watching a doe that apparently been bred in Feb or March because she had two really small and young fawns. I was telling myself I couldn’t shoot her because of the fawns. If they had been old enough and big enough to have survived on their on I would’ve shot her and never saw the buck. But anyway, I’m watching her and look up in the north corner and I see a good buck walk out. I put my binoculars on him and see that he’s a really good buck. At that point, shooting deer on a crop permit goes out the window and I’m laser focused on how can I kill this deer. Bow season starts the following day and I go look the next morning for a tree to climb. But there isn’t a suitable tree. I’m gonna have to sit on the ground and I figure my odds of killing him while sitting on the ground in Sept is basically zero. I start looking for an Ozonics ozone machine to help cover my scent. I can’t find one and a buddy recommends the Wild Game Innovations version. They just happen to have one at bass pro in Macon. So, here I go Saturday evening hunting this deer. I’ve already found the trail where he’s entered the field so I just need to be about 20-30 yards downwind from that trail. No tree to climb but there’s thick privet along the fence row. I cut me hole small enough that I could squeeze in and be concealed. Wind is dead out of the south the exact opposite of where it needs to be but I got this ozone gadget that’s gonna eliminate my human scent😂 or so I thought. I’m sweating like crazy and It’s about 20 minutes before legal shooting light ends. I’ve broken the number one rule I’ve had for the last 25 years on how to kill a big buck. You can fool is eyes and maybe his ears but you’re not gonna fool his nose. It’s hot, I’m sweating and miserable and just sitting here telling myself what an idiot I am for hunting with a wind that’s blowing my scent straight to where the deer is coming from. And then I see movement and a doe is coming out of the trail I set up on. She gets to with 15 yards of me and she freezes hard. I knew exactly what it was. She threw her head up and turns and trots about 50 yards out and then starts feeding. She’d smelled enough of something that she didn’t know exactly why it was but knew she didn’t like it. That made me think that maybe I haven’t messed up as much as I thought but I would not come back till I had a north or northeast wind. Fast forward to Tuesday. A few days earlier I’m going to shoot deer that are eating my peanuts but now I find myself driving down the road in my tractor going to dig up a few of the very same peanuts that a few days ago I was trying to protect from the deer. I thought to myself that my daddy must think I’ve lost my mind coming to plow up some peanuts that ain’t ready to be plowed so I could hopefully draw the deer to that one spot. He’s following behind me in the truck to actually watch this craziness and I refuse to turn around and look at him. That night I check the wind forecast and to my surprise I see some north and northeast winds forecasted for 9/14. It was setting up perfectly. I get there early but to my surprise that same doe and two little fawns were already in the field. I went ahead and bumped them out so it could settle down for a few hours. I figured he wouldn’t show till right at last light so I’d be ok. Sure enough, It’s starting to get dark and I’m down to my last 10 minutes of legal light. I’m beginning to wonder if he smelled me the other day and now he’s not gonna show in the daylight. I See movement come out of the corner not 20 yards from me and it’s him. He’s in a steady walk to a peanut vine that I’d ranged at 28 yards. I had figured earlier that id have a 25-33 yard shot. So I adjusted my sight to 28 yards and figured I’d hold a little high or a little low if needed. He stopped dead on my 28 yard marker. I drew back and settled the pin right behind his shoulder. In the moment I almost snatched my trigger but I was able to stop myself and settle the pin and started squeezing my shoulders together as I’d had done thousands of times in the past shooting competitively. The bow went off with a surprise and I watched my illumanock bury behind his shoulder and stick in the ground behind him. To my surprise the deer starts running across my peanut field and didn’t turn to go back in the woods like I thought he would have. When I saw that nothing but doubt entered my mind. Why would a lethally shot deer run across the wide open and not go back towards the thicket? So I called my dad and a couple other friends and told em what happened. I decided to wait about a hour and a half before starting to track. Blood was decent but not great and I kept telling myself that he doesn’t have a hole low on him because I shot him from the ground so he’s not gonna bleed a bunch. We trailed the blood to the field edge where the buck jumped a fence. On the other side of the fence was a big spot of blood and blood clots that I thought he had coughed up. We went maybe 10 yards and something caught my eye to my left. It was that what all hunters are happy to see. That big white belly.
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