Hunter: Sol Niette
Points: 12 (5L, 7R)
This hunt all started three years ago when this buck showed up on camera. It was a typical 10 and wide then, and we believed that when it was growing its antlers back, it took damage fighting or to a car which caused the double beam. I hunted for it hard these past years, and the buck had outsmarted me time and time again. The only time I had gotten close was in 2022; I had to get out of the blind early to go to class, and the buck showed up 15 minutes after I had left. The buck was on a good feeding schedule; I would have him on camera almost every night eating 4S Protein and Roasted Rax, but I could never catch him on the move. I was starting to lose hope at seeing him until mid-season; my uncle, Scott Niette, was out doing work on the land and had seen this buck crossing a road, aggressively chasing a doe coming out of a creek bottom. My uncle went back that afternoon and set up where he saw the buck and doe go into a thicket. It was around dusk when he noticed movement in the tree line; he looked with his scope and saw the doe; right behind her, he could see the smallest glimpse of that distinct double beam through the pines. He had it in his scope at 100 yards, but he could not get a good shot. After my uncle had this encounter, I regained all lost hope and set out to hopefully see this buck. I changed my stand location, overlooking the same creek bottom my uncle spotted him coming out of, hoping I could catch him on the move. Sure enough on January 14th around 8:15 am, the buck came moving along the creek. I quickly rushed to get set up where he was gonna pop out on the road, giving me a clear shot; I let the 30-06 go to work, and the rest is history. The Lord blessed me with the opportunity to lay down a deer of a lifetime on the final day of the season. It doesn’t get any better than that!