My partner and I have owned 460 acres in Crawford County on the Flint River since 1994. Our largest buck to date has been a 138-inch buck that had 20 inches in deductions for symmetry, so it netted 118 points. So, no real shooters in all that time, and I have always used the deer season in Georgia for practice before I head to Kansas every year during the rut.
Having missed opening day due to Irma and the traffic situation, I came down on Friday the 15th for the weekend hunt. I visited all nine of our cameras and took inventory of possible shooters.
I had one picture that looked promising of the Triple Drop Tine buck I eventually took. The picture was at night, but this was the largest buck I’d ever seen on our property. So, my first hunt of the season was where I had the picture of that buck.
I had already hung a lock-on stand there last year over the field that was now planted with soybeans and sorghum. I figured it would just be an observation stand for the evening. Little did I know that the target buck would step out at 7 p.m. just 55 yards away eating beans. What an impressive deer, as he’s got tines going up and down!
So, he’s right in front of my Covert camera, and my phone is blowing up with real-time photos of my hunt. My brother was in Kentucky hunting at the same time, and I’m sending him these pictures of this big buck I’ve got across the field from me, and now and he’s texting back wondering how I’m getting the real-time photos.
The buck mills around eating beans but stays at 55 yards, and that’s when some does show up. He doesn’t show much interest in them and keeps browsing. I needed him at 45 yards to make it happen. He left the field twice but returned a third time and followed a doe to 43 yards of my stand. It was getting dark, and it was now or never, so I took the shot. I heard a big whack, and the deer ran off the field. It was too dark to follow the track of the arrow as I didn’t have a lighted nock, but I knew I hit him!
“I immediately get out of my stand and head across the field through the sorghum and beans to get to where I shot him. There was good blood and intestine excrement, letting me know the shot was back— darn! I follow the blood trail for about 15 yards to where it goes into thick brush down a steep bank. That’s where I stop trailing him, knowing the hit is back and best to back out and not push him. I called our land manager, Ricky Robinson, and let him know of my luck, and we decide to meet in the early a.m. to look for the buck. Ricky talks to his brother
Randy is the manager of a 4,500-acre plantation, and he uses a tracking guy out of Perry to find all his lost deer. So our plans change, and Mike Lopez and his tracking dog Lucy will be at my place at 2 a.m. to trail the deer. Mike likes to wait six hours after the shot to start trailing. After a few hours sleep, Mike and his dogs, along with Logan and his training dog, show up. Ricky and Randy, with his son Seth, also show up to help with the recovery. It was quite an entourage, and we headed to where the deer was shot.
After getting ready for the briars and prepping the dogs with GPS collars, we head over the steep bank following the blood trail. The trackers found good blood and eventually crossed the road at the bottom of the hill. I wasn’t far on the other side of the road where the dogs found the dead deer. High fives and pictures of this very unique triple drop-tine buck followed! We gutted the buck and pulled him to the road and loaded him into the Polaris and back to camp to finish cleaning the buck and putting him in the cooler. What an evening when I finally hit the rack at 5 a.m., whooped but elated with finally killing a more-than-respectable buck on our property.
The next day Randy forwarded a picture of the same buck from last year taken across the Flint River just up from our property. Luckily he had made the good judgment to come across the river and partake of our fresh beans! We met our neighbor to the north on Sunday and showed him the picture of ‘Triple Drop,’ and he says, ‘Oh, you got him. I’ve got pictures of him from this year on my place. Congrats!’
So, one never knows what might step out, but those trail cameras can give you a promising indication!