Hunter: Nick Campisi
Points: 12 (6L, 6R)
Our hunting team (Drew, Chris, John and me) have been hunting this deer for 3 years. Over the 3 years, we have 4 pictures of him on trail cameras. He showed up all 3 years at the same food plot on either Dec. 2 or 3 but was nocturnal. We also believed that he didn’t live on our property but lived on our neighbor’s property, who also has pictures of this deer. We figured he only visited our property during rut searching for does. For the story on the day I harvested him, I need to give a little background….. This was a late-season management hunting trip of our properties with the hope of maybe seeing a shooter (we are very heavily managing the properties we hunt and have strict guidelines on what we shoot). The night before, I was talking with Chris about the next day’s hunt trying to figure out where to hunt and where to sit. We were also discussing strategy about how long to sit based on the major feeding time, which was somewhere around 12:30 to 2:30 — considering we normally get down out of the stand around 10:30 or 11 unless during rut. So, Chris suggested sitting in one stand until 10 or so, and then move to another stand to break up the day, rejuvenate, and then try to sit late in hopes to have luck with late movement/feeding based on the major feeding time on the app we use. Instead of hunting the property we were staying at, I decided to drive the 1 hour 30 minutes to our other property. There is a great morning stand there where we almost always see movement until about 9:30/10:00, and then it becomes quiet. Well, on the day of the hunt, I did exactly what Chris and I talked about the night before. I sat the early morning stand, saw some activity (with no real shooting opportunity) and then moved at 10 to another food plot stand. It just so happens that it was the same food plot where we have seen the trail camera pictures of this deer. I had been sitting there for about an hour, starting to lose focus and getting hungry, when Drew texted our group saying we needed to take two more does off this property for management reasons and was asking if anyone would be able to go this week. He also suggested that maybe I would be able to take a doe that day and they could try to take another during the week. I was very tired after having to wake up extremely early for the drive to the property, and therefore responded to Drew stating that it wasn’t looking good (meaning taking a doe that day) and trying to sit until 12:30 was becoming very challenging. As soon as I hit send on the text, I looked up and saw this deer coming toward me through some small pines that were planted a few years earlier in order to reduce the size of our food plot and reshape it. It only took a few seconds before he offered up a shot, and I took it dropping him immediately. It was amazing and happened so fast!!