Hunter: Sylvan Anderson
Points: 14 (7L, 7R)
10-9-22, mid-day hunt, arrived in climber stand at 12 pm. Every solunar table pointed to this time to hunt, huge water oak & white oak crop below and around me on an I-285 deer trail however located in Hiram, GA. Hunting with my PSE Crossbow, I climbed my ever trusty TomCat II climbing stand and waited. This buck in particular showed on my cellular camera only once since the beginning of September. I have had 8-10 daylight photos of a massive 11-pointer and have been in hot pursuit of him but today an even wilder buck presented himself. Surveying to my left something caught my peripheral on my right. It was an enormous non-typical buck I had only seen once on my trail cam, mid-day at 1:29 PM. The non-typical was 25 yards hard right and walking away from me into thick cover, I hesitantly reached for my grunt call and let two soft grunts roll. Silence. 2-3 minutes later this nontypical bruiser circled back behind me and quartered away at 12 yards. Enter the shakes & buck fever.. I found the perfect time to take my shot and let it fly. Shaking, nausea & excitement hit me like a freight train. I waited exactly 43 minutes before coming down the tree. I called my boys & wife, Walker & Weston & Michelle and told them daddy just shot the biggest buck of his life. After telling them the great news I slowly stepped to the 12-yard shot zone and the story progresses. Once the shot was taken, 400FPS, 12 yards away the monster buck stumbled like he was intoxicated into 3-4 trees, staggered 30-40 yards then stood on his back legs and crashed. I allow 43 minutes to pass, climb down and slowly walk to the shot zone. Insert paranoia. While looking for blood something caught my eye where he crashed, it was a buck with large antlers slowly pacing the opposite direction. Immediately I thought I placed a bad shot and jumped him up, I backed out immediately. Every buck I’ve taken in my 30 years has been by rifle but three years ago I purchased a crossbow and this year decided to dial in tight. Upset at myself I called my father, Scott Anderson Sr. and asked for advice, he said back out and we’ll go back this evening and find him. I really started to second guess my shot placement and beat myself up greatly for the next 4 hours. While in despair I decided to reach out for a tracking dog owner for help. GON/Google/Facebook and friends pointed me in the right direction. The number one tracking dog owner was out of town, the referral from my taxidermist Brandon Amos, Mild 2 Wild Taxidermy, Dallas, GA. was at a softball tournament with his son. Wondering what in the world I would do an awesome acquaintance named Hunter Galloway gave me the number to Joseph Mullins & his tracking dog, Hank. Hank is an amazing tracking dog in training and meant business. My oldest son, Walker, ”Handler” Joe, “Tracking dog” Hank & myself stepped into the woods and with hopes for the best. After showing where the shot took place, Hank found my blood-soaked arrow embedded in the forest floor and didn’t skip a beat. This little pup has a nose on him and followed the trail, I watched Hank run as if he was on a string. Staying behind the working pup roughly 20 yards, Joe Mullins shouted, there’s your buck! The deer died exactly where I saw him stand on hind leg and crash. The deer I saw walk away was my target eleven pointer. Upon inspection we were all flabbergasted.. my buck was a Nontypical 14-pointer in full velvet on 10-9-2022. Suffering from a crushed testicle is the only reason I could imagine he was still in velvet. Main beams looked like a Texas steer, drop tines, (2) Double brow tines and much more. What a hunt, what an October mid-day, what a day to be in the woods. I have spent 60-80 hours hunting the smaller 11-pointer and the good Lord above sends me this brute. Worried about the Velvet and what would happen I reach out to Mild 2 Wild Taxidermist Brandon Amos and he said bring the buck to the shop and Taxidermist, John Butterworth would help me properly cape & preserve my buck and his late-season velvet antlers. I give thanks to the Lord almighty, and all mentioned above for their help! Get in the woods & hunt hard!