photo of a deer killed by Tommy Phillipsphoto of a deer killed by Tommy Phillipsphoto of a deer killed by Tommy Phillips

Hunter: Tommy Phillips

Points: 13 (7L, 6R)

County: Talbot

Season: 2019-2020

Hunt Story

Our lease is in the process of being select cut, so there has been a lot of activity on the property. Even with all the activity we have seen plenty of deer. My son Michael killed a doe and a good 9-point, and my 10-year-old granddaughter Parker got her first bow-kill during archery season. Our food plots are basically nonexistent due to the lack of rain, so we have been hunting feeders pretty heavy. I decided with all the uncertainty that I would go ahead and take a doe, so I hunted a feeder during the evening hunt on Sunday 10/20/2019 that we had been getting good doe activity in the evenings. I saw five does early during the hunt, but they were acting very strange. They would come to the feeder then leave and kept looking into a nearby grown up clear cut. They did this several times and then finally left at about 6:15. Everything got pretty quiet and the feeder went off at 6:45 p.m. I was expecting the does to come back, but they never did. I then caught movement to my right and saw that a buck was heading to the feeder. I checked him with my binoculars and saw that he was a good buck, so I decided to shoot him. I pulled up my rifle, and he heard me when I clicked off my safety and froze where I could not get a shot. He stood there for over a minute and finally I saw his tail flicker and he continued walking to the feeder. I raised my rifle and shot as soon as he was in the clear. He dropped in his tracks. Now the nerves kicked in as we have a 120-inch minimum for taking bucks. Because I had not taken my time and studied him, I had some doubt but was fairly confident as I got a good enough look to see he was a ‘Shooter’. Once I got down and walked over to him there was no doubt whatsoever. Seeing the 13 points and long 22-inch main beams it was just a matter of how much over 120 is he. By far my best buck ever. We had never seen this buck on any trail cameras prior to this hunt. I pulled the chip from the camera at this feeder and looked at the pictures late that evening. He showed up just a couple of days earlier. If I had seen the pictures prior to the hunt and knew how big he was, I am not sure I could have kept it together.
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