Points: 17 (9L, 8R)
The hunt started in the early morning of Oct. 22 at Brock’s Turpentine and Cattle in Camden County where I met up with my son Scott, Seth and Mitch Brock, and Steve Peterson at 6:15 a.m. Mimi, my bride of 41 years, had made a plate of regular and blonde brownies which I brought to share with everyone. Full of coffee and the tasty treats, we set off in different directions. I got to my assigned stand at 6:45. It was a beautiful, cool morning with a calm wind. At 7:15 there he was—110 yards away looking at me head on. About every four to six minutes, he would bend over to feed. We were way beyond the the 3 to 4 second rule for a buck of this size. This goes on for approximately 30 minutes! Out of nowhere, a red-tailed hawk with a crow on his back swoops overhead, and the buck’s tail flies up and he turns. Finally, I fire a shot at the deer, and it ran directly into the thick woods. I just sat there wishing I had shot sooner—oh well! When enough time had passed where I thought it was safe to go check, sure enough, there was no deer, no sign, nothing. I went back to my stand and waited on Scott to pick me up. He gets there about 45 minutes later and asks, “Where’s the deer?” I told him that I thought I had missed. We went over to the spot where the deer had been when I shot him, and Scott found a very small tuft of hair. Seth, Mitch, and Steve showed up and also asked where the deer was. When I told them I missed, Steve said, “No way—I heard the thud!” He goes into the woods and, lo and behold, finds blood! It took 2 1/2 hours for us to find the deer, but we finally located him thanks to Lee Barber and his dog, A.J., whom Mitch had called in to help. Apparently, A.J. is well-known for his ability to find deer, and I am certainly glad he lived up to his reputation and found this beautiful buck!