Brandon Long, of Cumming, had an afternoon in Forsyth County on Oct. 25 that he’ll never forget. Brandon tagged out on two big bucks with his bow. Brandon arrowed a 9-pointer, and then a few minutes later, he shot a 13-pointer that grosses in the 170s.
“I had no idea this deer was on the property, but I knew the red moon (October full moon) was coming up that week, and I knew that would be a good way to find him,” said Brandon.
He had been hunting a stand in some hardwoods against a thicket. He had heard plenty of deer in the thicket but hadn’t been seeing much of anything come out, so he decided he wanted to hunt in a different location for the full moon. His buddy, Ricky Borum, told him to move to the corner of the thicket and hunt a fresh scrape that they had found.
So on Oct. 23, Brandon was going to move his stand and hunt in a different location. He found a tree he thought he liked and went and got in it. When he got in it, he decided he didn’t like it and was going to move once again.
After resettling, he saw a shooter 8-point but couldn’t get a clean shot on him, so he decided to pass on him. On his way out that evening, he pulled the card on one of his trail cameras over the scrape. When he got home and checked it, he had the 13-pointer bedded down beside the scrape for more than three hours on Oct. 17. That was the first time anyone had seen the giant deer.
On Oct. 24, Brandon went back out and moved his stand to a different location. He only saw two small spikes that hunt.
“Wednesday (Oct. 25) was supposed to be the peak of the red moon, so I went hunting again,” Brandon said.
He got off work early on Oct. 25 and went and got his camera arm off the tree and moved his stand once again. It took him 10 to 15 minutes to find a good tree with plenty of openings to shoot and film through.
About 5 p.m., he had a doe come out of a thicket and feed until she was behind Brandon. Thankfully, with all the wind, she never smelt him, and he never got busted.
“The wind started to die down right at sunset, and once it died down, I picked up my grunt call,” said Brandon, “I did a subordinate buck grunt with some pops and clicks and some tending grunts followed up by a doe bleat.”
He was trying to simulate that there was a subordinate buck trying to breed a dominant doe that wouldn’t let him.
About 10 minutes later, he looked in front of him, and he could see a buck coming straight to him. He could tell the buck had good antlers and went ahead and got the camera rolling on the buck. When he stepped out, Brandon drew his bow back and busted him at 30 yards.
“I called Ricky and told him that I shot a good one, and he told me he was on his way,” said Brandon. “Then I called my wife, Ashley, and I was so excited I couldn’t breathe. As soon as she got on the phone, she knew I got a big one. I told her that I didn’t think it was the big one. She told me I needed to calm down before I had a heart attack and fell out of the tree. I told her I was trying my best, and that I’d be waiting for her to come on.”
As soon as he got off the phone and put it into his hoodie, he turned his head to the left, and all he saw was a big-bodied deer standing 30 yards away. Brandon didn’t know it was the big one until the buck turned and dropped his head and was headed straight to him. His camera arm was over his bow, so he had to move it out of the way and adjust the camera toward the buck.
The buck moved behind a tree and gave Brandon a chance to draw back while sitting down. The buck came from behind some small brush, and that’s when he pulled his bow back on him. The buck had his antlers in the way of the shot.
“I remember thinking, ‘Big boy, if you’ll stop and turn your head to the left…’ And as soon as I thought that, he stopped at 10 yards and turned his head to the left,” said Brandon.
As soon as the deer stopped, Brandon shot and dropped him. He was so excited that he was hooting and hollering. He called Ricky back, and Ricky told him he was on his way. Brandon told him that he had gotten the 13-pointer. As soon as he said that, Brandon heard Ricky’s truck maxed down to the floor board.
They both went to where the 13-pointer was, and when he had picked his head up off the ground, Brandon just lost it. He didn’t realize how big he was until that moment. They were so caught up, they didn’t even worry about the 9-pointer yet. They wanted to get the other buck back to the house where there was 15 to 20 people waiting on this deer to come back. Once they got the buck caped out and quartered up, they went back to get the 9-pointer.
“I’ve never killed a deer like this. I never knew how big he was,” said Brandon. “I never thought that I would be blessed enough to shoot a deer like that. I was speechless. I didn’t know how to think or react. I just got lucky and the good Lord blessed me with something like that.”
The entire hunt was caught on camera, and it will be airing on the next episode of Southern Drawl Outdoors.