Hunter: John Cox
Points: 10 (5L, 5R)
It was a cool, clear morning in southern Worth County. I was excited because it was November 5th, and I knew from prior year’s hunting this property that the rut was getting into gear. I was hunting a 25-year-old planted pine stand that we had thinned the prior year, and the ground cover was mostly broom sedge and gallberry, excellent bedding cover. My son was confident that we needed to hang a climber in this stand of timber, and we had done so only a week before. I arrived 15 minutes before first light, and I spooked deer as I made my way through the pines. After climbing and getting settled in, it soon begin to turn daylight. Soon after daylight I caught movement 100 yards to the south and quickly got into position for a shot. At 70 yards I realized that it was a big 8-point that we had trail-camera pictures of, and I was going to take this deer if given the opportunity. This deer was approaching an old road that would bring him 20 yards from my stand. As the 8-point made it to the old road he began to turn his attention away from me. I grunted to the buck to try and change his mind, and suddenly I hear grunting behind me! As I turn to try and locate the grunting behind me, I notice that a smaller 8-point is 30 yards away and closing in fast. At this point I turn back to the larger buck and grunt even louder. The larger 8-point heads away and suddenly gets into a very intense fight with another buck that is 150 yards away and out of sight. The younger 8 runs to check out the fight that goes on for about 10 minutes. After the fight and the woods begin to settle down, I notice a doe in the direction of the fight. I pick up my binoculars to get a better view of the doe, and I notice that she is starring intently in the opposite direction of the fight. I then started glassing the thick area that the doe was watching and notice a buck slowly moving in my direction. At 150 yards I could see that it was the big 10-point that we had trail-camera pictures of for the past few months. He slowly worked his way through the brush as if to try and see what all the commotion was. The whole time he was coming my way I was picking out openings and trying to calm myself down. At 50 yards out I softly grunted twice, and he begin to stare intently in my direction. At 35 yards out I drew my bow back with the anticipation that he would walk into the opening and give me a 30-yard shot. While I’m at full draw, he decides to turn into the thicket and leave me with the decision of letting my bow down or staying at full draw. After what seemed like an eternity, I saw an opening behind the thicket and let the arrow fly! As I watched him bolt away, all I could think about was did I make a good shot. At 100 yards he stopped as if to say “what just happened.” I suddenly saw him fall and was elated! What a hunt!!