Hunter: Shawn Lumsden
Points: 8 (4L, 4R)
October 28th yielded a full moon, brighter than any moon I've seen in a while, or maybe it's just because I noticed it more being the beginning of our whitetail rut. Coupled with 80-degree temps, it wasn't the coveted late October hunting weekend I was hoping for. As you can tell, I'm not the biggest fan of hunting during a full moon. However, after this evening's events unfold, I'm beginning to come around... As late afternoon approached, I took my scent-free shower, got dressed and headed out to a stand we call Long View. A heavy 8-point buck I was after daylighted in the area two days prior for the first time this year. In fact, this was the same buck my brother passed up while still hunting the area with his rifle back in November of 2022. He decided then it wasn't quite a shooter and elected to pass. For that I am forever grateful. The first two hours was dead, as expected. No deer movement whatsoever... and remember I was hunting a stand called Long View... I could see for miles. Not until 6:45 p.m. did I see the first glimpse of life that evening. It was a dark, large-bodied deer. Even though I couldn't see the head, I knew it was a buck. I instinctively raised my handheld camcorder and began filming. As big bucks do, he slowly meandered through a major thicket of sweetgum and various shrubs. I realized pretty quickly it was the deer I was after. He had thick, dark chocolate bases with incredible perlation. I could even see the residue from recently rubbed trees caught in between. As he made his way to 35 yards, I decided I better put the camcorder down and pick up my bow… As I begin to stand up and draw, another deer behind me caught the movement and bounded off. I was so in tune with the video that I forgot to check my surroundings. Fortunately, the 8-point started walking again. I was then able to fully stand and draw my bow. As I did, he caught the slight movement and sidestepped a little but only to my pre-ranged 25-yard mark. As he was looking back at me, I settled my pin and released. The arrow found its mark perfectly, spraying blood out the side. He ran into a mature pine stand and fell within sight. I was speechless. I couldn't believe the events that just unfolded in such a short amount of time. Since I knew he was down, I got out of the stand a few minutes later, hoping for a little light when I walked up to him. As I was 60 yards from where he fell, I raised my binoculars looking for his body. I was losing light fast and had to keep adjusting the focus in order to see clearly. As the focus began to sharpen again, his head came into view laying between the large mature pines. It was a sight I’ll never forget. I walked up to him slowly, soaking in the moment. I called my family to tell them the news. Mom and Dad volunteered to come help drag him out and load him into the Ranger. I'm sure glad they did because when we got him back to the deer hoist, he scaled out at a whopping 201.4 pounds. The celebration with friends and family followed which to me is one of the best parts of a successful hunt. Even though my second and final tag has been wrapped around another 6.5-year-old buck, I’m beginning to think about next year and what experiences are just right around the corner.