Points: 18 (11L, 7R)
This buck had been on camera every year since 2014. No one had ever seen him and had only night time pictures. They had named him big daddy. I joined the club this season and put out some trail cameras and put up some stands. I got him on camera in some white oaks in September near one of my stands. I hunted that stand a couple of times and never saw him. Saturday evening the rain was supposed to start about 6 p.m., so I opted to go to a box stand I had built on a hay field. I had seen no activity until 6:30. I looked to my right and he was standing in the edge of the field feeding. I looked with my binos and immediately knew it was him. Then I aimed my rifle and checked his horns and quickly verified that it was big daddy. With the sixth sense they have, he looked right at me from 160 yards. I lowered down to behind his shoulder and squeezed. He turned and ran back into the woods. I felt like I had made a good shot, but as I started shaking I started doubting myself. I texted the other members and let them know I had shot big daddy. Two guys came over to help me. I stood at the stand and directed them to approximately where the buck went back in the woods. They found no blood in the field. I went and joined them, darkness was coming on and so was the looming rain storm. We searched for a blood trail and wasn’t finding anything. I got a smell that had to be him, less than a minute later one of my friends yelled that he saw him. He only traveled about 50 yards, but was in some thick stuff right beside the lake. Few more steps and he would have been in the lake. The shot was right where it needed to be behind the shoulder. We pulled him into the open, high fived and hugged. We snapped a few pics and dragged him up to the field. A little more celebration, a few more pictures and we loaded him up to head back to camp. We hung him and weighed him. He was just under 200 pounds live weight. Consensus seemed to be that he was a huge deer, but not very long if that makes sense. The rain started coming down hard. We got over 2 inches of rain that night. I feel so blessed the we were able to recover him. It would not have been a fair ending to this buck’s life. Based on trail-camera pics since 2014 and his jaw, we are estimating he is at least 8 1/2 years old. I probably will never kill a buck this good, but I’m perfectly fine with that.