Hunter: Steve Stone
Points: 10 (5L, 5R)
I live in a small subdivision in Troup County and have a 2-acre wooded lot. Mostly pines with some hardwoods mixed in. The property backs up to approximately 1,200 acres of privately owned land that is managed and hosts a hunting club that practices QDM for its members. I got home from work today about 4:15 p.m. EST, a little earlier than usual and noticed that there was very little wind, so I decided to go sit in the stand and see what showed up. I have been getting some really good pictures on the cams of some mature bucks and one gnarly looking 10-point buck that appeared to be older than the others. I have never seen him other than in the cam pics. I sat down about 4:45 p.m. and had a doe and a fawn feeding infant of me at about 10 yards within 10 minutes. Due to the fact that I am hunting my own 2-acre parcel I have a feeder set up in the back and my stand faces it. The deer routinely cross through my back property on their way to their bedding area on the adjacent 1,200 acres. I have a small window for them to occasionally stop and feed during their travel. At about 6:00 p.m. I caught movement in my peripheral vision to the right and had a main frame 8-point and a smaller 6-point coming to the feeder. The 8-pointer is one I have only seen once but have him on cam regularly and my son "picked him" as the one he wanted to hunt. I sat content to uphold my promise that I would not shoot him, that was his deer if he ever had a chance to harvest him. Would be his first buck and only his second deer ever. I could tell the light was changing and could feel the anticipation building as that magical time just before sunset approaches. Then without warning the two bucks, the doe and the fawn that were feeding pulled back away from the feeder and that's when I saw him, his head was gray and I could tell almost immediately it was him. He stopped at 20 yards slightly quartering away and I got a good shot on him. He went about 60 yards and piled up. He may not win the Truck-Buck Contest, but he is the biggest I have ever harvested in my 5 years of hunting, I just wanted to share this story. I was introduced to hunting by my dear friend Phil who I served with as a firefighter before we both retired from the fire service. He was the first person I called when I saw the deer go down. Took me what felt like an hour to get out the stand I was shaking so bad. Took me almost 50 years to experience it but I now know what "buck fever" does to so many. I am thankful for the harvest and the fact that the good Lord gave me the patience to sit and let the 8-pointer walk for my son.