photo of a deer killed by Smisson Rigdonphoto of a deer killed by Smisson Rigdonphoto of a deer killed by Smisson Rigdon

Hunter: Smisson Rigdon

Points: 13 (6L, 7R)

County: Houston

Season: 2023-2024

Hunt Story

We had pics of this deer and originally thought he would gross in the low to mid 150s. Luckily, he was on a pretty good pattern just before the bow opener, and we had a good wind for that afternoon. My dad and I set up a few trees apart in climbers around 530 p.m. six or more deer were already in front of me when he came out. I drew back early as he made his way in and while he was still behind a limb. This turned out to be a big mistake as he turned and faced away once he got in range. After over 1 minute and 30 seconds of holding the bow back, he finally turned broadside. I was shaking so bad I missed a chip shot. Fifteen minutes later, an old 130+ inch 8-point, still in full velvet, that we’d been after for years came out and gave me a 15-yard shot. I knew the bigger buck was probably not coming back so I decided to shoot the 8 pt. I made what looked like a great shot on video, but couldn’t find him that evening, even after calling a dog. I had to go to an Atlanta Braves game with my family and little sister the next morning, so I couldn’t go look for him myself. A friend went out to meet another dog around lunch, but actually found the deer about 250 yards from the shot before the dog arrived. Since it was so hot that Sunday, we wanted to quickly cape it and cool it off to try to save the velvet. I was going to be in Atlanta until late that afternoon, so I couldn’t get a picture with me and the whole deer before getting it caped and frozen. I was bummed about not being able to enter it in the truck buck contest, and then got sick on top of that, and was unable to hunt for the next 5 days. The next Sunday, my dad and I put out a mix of Roasted Raxx, Draw, Corn, and Corn Spike around lunchtime. I got in the climber around 5:45 p.m. Around 7:30 p.m., the same buck I had missed opening day came out with a smaller buck. After 5 long minutes, he finally turned broadside at just under 20 yards, but was acting really nervous and wouldn’t stay still. I finally stopped him, and made what I thought was a really good shot. After reviewing the video, he was a bit quartering to me, and I didn’t get great penetration. We called a dog to be safe and found him later that night. When we put our hands on him, we had a huge celebration and realized he was even bigger than we thought, by far my best buck. My deer season, or at least buck season was very short, but was one I will never forget.
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