The last non-cull buck that I shot was in 2007 or 2008, so I've been telling myself that I needed to get it done this year ... and, I made it happen yesterday evening. Here''s the story ...
I moved my setup to a new area over the summer and early fall, after this spot opened up unexpectedly when that guy got kicked off the lease.. The new spot has a history of being a very productive blind, and probably the best spot on the southern half of our 1800 acre ranch. It was a lot of work to move, and a hot time of year to do it, but it payed off yesterday evening.
I got to the lease Thursday night, unpacked, and got to sleep about midnight. Friday morning I didn't see any deer, and last weekend I only saw 3 different deer total. But, at 1:15, in the heat of the afternoon, yesterday I saw a buck chasing a doe. I was driving out of camp when I saw them, and I watched them move through the brush for over 5 minutes before the crested a hill and disappeared. The buck was an average 3.5 year old 8 pointer.
After seeing that, I spread a doe urine scent trail on the way to my stand before the evening hunt. I got settled in the blind at 3:45, and quickly saw a forkhorn. For the next hour I'd watch him off and on. Then he left at about 5 pm, and I wouldn't see anything else until 5:45. I caught movement west of the south feeder, it was a lone doe and she was trotting into the feeder. She stopped and looked over her shoulder once, and I knew there just had to be a buck trailing her. Sure enough, I found a big-bodied 8 pointer moving through the brush behind the doe. They got to the feeder, I got the gun out the window, and I begin trying to calm my nerves before attempting the shot. I had a case of buck fever but got it under control, and I let the crosshairs settle a bit high on his front shoulder. I pulled the trigger and sent the 130 grain, .270 bullet down range, but upon the recoil I never see the buck's reaction. I check my watch and it's 5:49, so the light is fading fast. I take my time getting all my gear together and out of the tower stand. I walk to were the buck was when I shot, and I quickly see the tines sticking up through the grass. He went down right where he stood, the high shoulder shot did its job and prevented having to track him in the dark.
I estimate the age of this deer at 5.5 years old and fully mature, in my opinion. He scored 126 gross, with an 18" spread, 22" beams and G2's of 12.25 and 11.75. I bet he weighed over 165 pounds field dressed, a very stout and thick deer. He's my new personal best, and I'm super stoked to have gotten this buck yesterday evening!!!