I have been strictly hunting the Southeast part of Texas for the past 5 years except for management hunting with a friend on his South Texas lease. More specifically I am hunting the Beaumont/Winnie/Sour Lake areas on family property and a couple of small acreage tracts I have access to or lease. It has been a huge learning experience as my original deer hunting upbringing was in the hill country and west Texas and strictly hunting feeders. When I first started hunting here I tried using the same tactics and quickly figured out that I would not see the success I was hoping for sitting over a feeder. In the past few years I have been blessed with a 148" 8 point and a 136" 9 point in this area. I have really been trying to hold myself to letting deer get to 5 years old before I hunt them and so far have succeeded in that. I had a couple good scoring deer but they were on the edge of my age limit so I decided to not even hunt the stands they were to tempt me if one made an appearance.
Instead I decided to focus on two different deer. One was a mainframe 6 with two droptines, one on each side and the other was a basic 8 that had one of the biggest bodies I've seen on a whitetail. Neither of them would break 120" but both were over 6 years old and I believe older with the 8 being possibly 8-9 years old. Opening weekend Sunday evening I had the Big Body 8 come in following a doe and I shot him at 22 yards slightly quartering to. I thought I made a great shot but didn't get the penetration I was hoping for. After hours of searching that night and the next couple days I had convinced myself he was still alive. I have continued hunting, hand Corning and checking cams at 6-7 different spots.
I had a friend in for a wedding this weekend and another who lives here that tags along with me when I feed and we have been trying to get him his first bow kill. Yesterday morning after dropping both of them off I got in the stand a lot later than I was hoping to but settled in and watched the world come alive. It was a beautiful morning and was about 48 degrees as the sun came up. Right at daybreak I had 2 does and a nubbin buck come in and feed for about 10-15 minutes and eventually wandered back into the woods. I sat til 8:40 without seeing anything else other than squirrels. I was texting with some buddies and my brother when I thought I heard something down to my left. I looked at the trail I thought I heard it from and initially didn't notice anything and looked back at my phone but something in me said to look again. I did and through the branches could tell there was a deer there. Then I saw it shake it's head and could tell there was antlers. To me it looked to be just a scrub buck from what I could see. He was scent checking as a few minutes before I had sprayed a few blasts of a buck bomb. He started down the trail and when he cleared the trees he was behind I nearly fell outta the stand. Immediately the first thing I saw was the flyer off his left 2. I knew I had never seen this deer, on camera or in person. I tried to get my release on my loop but didn't snap the trigger down enough and it slipped off. By that point he had cleared that opening and was stopped behind another patch of bushes. I took this time to try to compose myself. What felt like 30 minutes but was probably closer to 1 minute he finally continued on his path and cleared the trees. I came to full draw, heart beating in my ears, settled my pin midway up on his shoulder and decided to aim a bit lower and on the back half of his shoulder because of my shot earlier in the season on the 8 point. As soon as the pin hit where I wanted it to be I tripped the trigger. It happened so fast and he took off and I listened for a crash but didn't hear anything definite. I texted my brother and he went and picked up my two other buddies and they met me at the gate. We have it 50 minutes and took up the track. Blood immediately and 30 yards later we found this guy. I had no idea what he actually was until we got there. All I knew was he was a mainframe 10 with that flyer. I hadn't seen any of the stuff around his bases. He ended up being 14 scoreable points and came out at 157" with me being very conservative with the tape.