photo of a deer killed by Slade Lailphoto of a deer killed by Slade Lailphoto of a deer killed by Slade Lail

Hunter: Slade Lail

Points: 13 (8L, 5R)

County: Hancock

Season: 2020-2021

Hunt Story

This particular Sunday, I awoke to thunderstorms and was not sure if I would be taking the stand that morning. Just before sunrise, the rain subsided and I decided to hunt a ladder stand not too far from camp in order to provide a quick escape in case it started pouring again. I sat in this ladder stand for about one hour. During that time I saw three does but did not want to mess with anything other than a buck due to the weather. For some reason, I had an overwhelming feeling that I should move to a different spot, so I did. As I climbed into the second ladder stand of the morning, I saw six deer before I even sat down. After sitting for about 45 minutes, it started raining pretty hard yet again. I had a good feeling about this hunt, so I decided to stick it out in the rain even though I was in a single ladder stand with no roof. This soon proved to be the best decision I could have made. A few minutes after the rain started, a single doe came walking from my right up out of the hardwoods. She walked from my right to my left, crossing directly in front of the stand. I watched this doe for a minute or two over my left shoulder. When I turned my head back straight, I laid eyes upon one of the biggest bucks I had ever seen throughout decades of hunting in Hancock County. The buck was directly in front of me coming out of the pine/hardwood mix and walking straight toward my stand. He stopped with about 20 yards between us, looked directly at me, and let out a deep, long grunt. The buck then made a slight turn to the right and continued walking toward the doe that was to my left. I drew my rifle and fired one shot when the buck was about 8 to 10 yards to my left, and he dropped in his tracks.
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