photo of a deer killed by Stephen Hollowayphoto of a deer killed by Stephen Hollowayphoto of a deer killed by Stephen Holloway

Hunter: Stephen Holloway

Points: 10 (5L, 5R)

County: Gilmer

Season: 2021-2022

Hunt Story

My son-in-law and I were hunting on Rich Mountain WMA on Thanksgiving morning. Once I got him set up, I moved up the mountain and got sat down right before daylight. The wind on top of the ridge was blowing and cold, so I decided to make a move to unfamiliar land lower down to escape the wind. I was looking for sign along the way down a logging road while trying to stay quiet in the dry leaves. After walking about half a mile without seeing much sign, I decided to sit down for a little while to rest. After about five minutes, I started hearing something walking in the leaves. At first, I thought that someone was walking in on me the sound was so loud. After glassing the area with my binoculars for a while, I finally spotted the source of the sound in the leaves; a 4-point was easing around the side of the ridge. I was too far back in to warrant shooting a 4-point, so he got a pass. The 4-point went on by, and I kept glassing the top on the ridge. I spotted an 8-point up the ridge and it got behind a blown-down tree and I wasn't able to get a shot. I kept looking for him to reappear and during my search for the 8-pointI spotted a doe on up the ridge. I assumed the 8-point would be following the doe, so I looked back down the ridge from her, and that's when I spotted this Mountain Monarch. I knew it was going to be a tough shot with a 30-30 aiming uphill at roughly a 30-degree angle. Luckily, there was a steady, old grapevine in front of me that made for a good rest. He was in some thick stuff and going away from me. I picked an opening that I knew would be my only shot and had my gun cocked back ready to go. The massive 10-point stopped right in my opening and I fired. I knew that I had hit him when I saw him kick hard. As he ran off, he went downhill toward me, and I watched him stop at about 50 yards. Not taking any chances on this buck of a lifetime, I shot him again and he went down. After that, I called my son-in-law to come help with the long drag, mostly uphill. We managed to get him out and checked-out in time for Thanksgiving dinner.
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