Hunter: Wade McArthur
Points: 10 (5L, 5R)
On November 16, 2016, I travelled with some friends from work to Sumerford Farms near Americus for our annual deer hunt. Conditions were not optimal. The groups before us had not reported seeing many deer, and the drought had hit hard. Most of the food plots had not come up. Additionally, it was still hot with the high that day near 80. We arrived at about 2:00 PM. We checked in and went to check the zero on our rifles. We then drew cards to pick stands. I drew one of the top cards and selected stand #5, an elevated box blind located over a food plot. We were driven to our stands and I was dropped off around 3:30 PM, with a short walk to the stand. I immediately realized that I had been dropped off at the wrong stand and was located at stand #4. I initially decided to just hunt it, but then worried that someone else would pick us up in the evening and wouldn’t know where I was, so I walked to #5. I settled in around 3:45PM. I was initially disappointed. The food plot had not come up, and I was essentially hunting over dirt. I sat for about 30 minutes, and decided to use my grunt call. I blew it 3 times, and blew it 3 times every 30 minutes or so for the duration. At about 6:00 PM, I saw a deer step out into a farm road around 200 yards away. I couldn’t tell much about it, but the deer turned toward my stand and walked directly out into the field. I realized immediately that it was a buck, but wanted to see it better so I didn’t shoot. It continued to walk directly toward my stand and I decided that it was a good shooter. I grabbed my rifle and got the buck in the scope and waited, hoping it would turn broadside. It continued to walk slowly directly toward me, but never turning broadside. At about 35-40 yards away, the buck turned slightly away and stopped. I shot him in the right side of his chest, thinking that the angle would allow the bullet to exit behind his front shoulder. The buck went down but immediately came half way back up and crashed into some planted pines to my right. I heard him go down. I walked out into the field where he had been standing and looked for blood and couldn’t find any. I then walked around the edge of the pines looking for blood and couldn’t find any there either. After I walked back and forth several times, it was getting dark and I had my flashlight out, and still couldn’t find any blood. At that point, Bill and two guys from work pulled up to pick me up. I explained what had happened. I showed them where the buck had been, and where it went into the pines at. We all looked for blood and none of us found any. We finally decided to line up and walk through the pines. We found the buck almost immediately, only about 25 yards into the pines. The bullet had never exited, and the buck had bled very little. I knew he would be a good deer, but for the first time ever, he didn’t shrink after the shot and I realized he was easily the biggest buck I ever killed. It took all of us to load him up. We took him back and weighed him at 218 pounds. From there, we took him to the processor/taxidermist.