photo of a deer killed by Thurman Hathaway IIIphoto of a deer killed by Thurman Hathaway IIIphoto of a deer killed by Thurman Hathaway III

Hunter: Thurman Hathaway III

Points: 9 (3L, 6R)

County: Pulaski

Season: 2018-2019

Hunt Story

On December 15, 2018, I arrived at the hunting property shortly before daylight, but it was still raining and the wind was blowing, so I decided to stay in my truck until it stopped. At around 7:20 it was only a fine mist, so I decided to go in. I took my .308 Tinna and my Tomcat Climber I purchased in 1988. I put my stand on a preselected pine, using my safety belt I went up. I was settled at around 7:43. At a 7:47, he just appeared right in front of me at 60 yards. At first I couldn’t get a shot. He was raking his horns on small pines and was bristled up and stiff legged. I knew right away he was big and I wanted to harvest him. I lost sight of him for 20-30 seconds, but then he stepped back into view. I settled the crosshairs on his chest as he was facing me, and I fired! He ran about 50 yards with his left leg flopping, so I fired again and he fell and started kicking. I texted my brother Paul to let him know I just shot my biggest buck ever. All of a sudden my buck gets up and takes off chest on the ground and goes 20 to 30 yards and falls behind several trees. I was unable to get a shot. Finally after 5 or 6 minutes he moved again and I took my third shot. No longer able to see the buck I climbed down and went to where I last saw him. He got up again and moved. I had only I shot left, so I was trying to make it count. I thought I had a clear shot so I fired my last round. He still was alive. I backed out and went 9 miles back home to get another rifle. I got back about 30 minutes later with my Marlin .35 with six rounds in it. It didn’t take long to find him about 50 yards further along from where he was last. I shot him again and started walking toward him and he tried to get up again. I shot him again. He was down but still breathing. As I walked up to him, he raised his head , turned and looked at me. I shot him a 3rd time with my .35 finally he expired. I have never seen a buck so hard to kill. He had a strong will to survive. What a blessing to harvest such a trophy.
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