This Kill Zone post is such a unique long and twisted story, I decided to try and condense my history with one buck, and combine two kills into one story!
I will start by saying one of these deer has been so successful at eluding me, that I have known of his presence and captured 1k plus of his pictures since 2016, just to basically, digitally watch him mature!
Lets jump into the 2019 Tennessee Season:
Season began with some high hopes and expectations. I only had pictures of one, of the three main targets I wanted to kill this year.
That one particular buck I followed velvet pictures up to 2 days after he had shed his velvet. Something had happened, and he is now walking around with a broken right main beam!! So I decided when I crossed paths with him this season he would get a pass (THAT is another hunt in itself, and proved to be a very hard pass to do, but I passed him).
Now, that leaves 2 bucks I really wanted to chase this year...simply named the wide 8 and the big 10. Neither showed up on velvet cams.... The big 10 now has me concerned as he typically made it to my cams no later than early Oct. over the last three years. The wide 8 has been here the last two years on Halloween. Well bingo! Halloween the wide 8 returns home and has went back to his original 7pt frame! WOW, and I like him
Since the big 10 has now proven to be a no show, the Wide "7" now has my full attention. My best friend and I have tiptoed around this place taking every step to be as careful as we can to not "slap him on the but" and let him know we are hunting him. (Thanks Dan for the slogan)
We have skipped so many days of hunting here due to bad winds etc, I began to wonder if we were going to get a chance to hunt areas that we had planned out so hard during post season scouting while "becoming very intimate with this parcel"
A link to one of my scouting days there: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=50638&p=768424#p768424
Cameras and tree stand sightings are showing us there are several 2&3 year old bucks running around. One particular 8pt was looking very impressive for his age. We kept capturing his pictures everywhere. To the point, it was like he was "the man" or something... unknowingly to us and him, that is going to catch up to him in a bad way.
I also noticed the Wide 7 was getting a bunch of pictures captured of him posturing up. Maybe he was trying to get the youngsters in line. Hunt with kill #1
Lets bounce forward to the night of Nov the 9th. Three different cameras had captured the Wide 7 running "the man" 8pt off.
The evening of November 10th, my daughter and I were set up on a rut funnel, close to one another. "The man" 8pt had made it through the woods to me. I am staring at him through the binos as he is standing perfectly still facing me. When he finally gets the sense its okay to move on, that's when I see he is hurt, and hurt bad! He is carrying his right front off the ground, to the point his head is bobbing up and down with each step. "Well dang it!" I cannot let him go on like that. So I shot him right there. He never struggled with another step. So, a fast, super quick dispatch is the best a hunter can hope for in these situations and that is what happened. I was happy to have him for several reasons, and have no regrets in punching tag #1 of my two allowed buck tags in TN.
After taking "the man" 8pt out, I pulled the cards that I could get to without, what I felt like would jeopardize killing the Wide 7. Between 20:09 on Nov 9th and 07:31 on Nov 10th, the 7pt had broken his brow off. Knowing I had seen 3 other cameras showing the Wide 7 running "the man" 8pt off, I couldn't help but think, " I know how both of these instances happened now."
I had a few more attempts at sits that were "okay" and not aggressive in hopes of seeing the Wide 7. We have had such a roller coaster of weather this November here. A super nice cold front, followed by some smaller disturbances, lots of rains, and winds that mimicked the blades on a darn wind turbine!! Hunt with a kill #2
November 23. Opening day of firearm season in Tennessee! WOW, what a day for opener
the local weatherman calling for 100% rain precipitation,and a prediction of 1.38"
So I start formulating a plan. Disclaimer:
The following, is 100% credit to listening to Dan, reading and soaking up so much information from members, sharing knowledge here on The Hunting Beast. I wouldn't have thought of or attempted a plan like what I did here, just 7-8 years ago!
Straight south winds blowing where the Wide 7 lives. Started from an hour before daybreak, predicted until late afternoon. I am watching the radar and trying to determine what time the rain will break. Best I can tell, there will be a brief window around 16:00 until dark. Thanks to an app: Dark Sky (also recommended by a Beast member) that I have used this season and rely heavily on now... the wind direction is going to make a 180 degree turn during the last hour of daylight, and blow into the SSE
Making another reference in becoming intimate with my hunting area... I had an idea of a few spots, exactly where I thought the bucks would be in a lock down situation. In these areas, I felt like the bucks would try and herd a doe. ONE of these areas would be PERFECT for a South Wind. This area is nearly impossible for me to reach from a crosswind direction and IMPOSSIBLE from a lower entry. My plan was, to stage myself, just off wind, across the crest from where I suspected him to be.
When the wind shifted during the last hour, I was going to make my way silently to the crest and scan as far as I could see with the binos. I continuously checked the wind all afternoon, inching my way closer and closer to "MY STAGING AREA." I used a half container of milkweed on one hunt
Last hour is approaching and my wind is doing exactly as Dark Sky predicted! Wind has now changed and the milkweed seed is coming straight back to my chest. I have a tree planned out I want to make it to. This tree would allow me a view of the entire north facing slope.
As I am making my way on the saturated ground as silent as a predator could be, I see a small glimpse of white. Binos show the tail of a doe standing up from a bed. She shakes off and flickers her tail. Just 10 yards to her left I watch doe #2 doe the same thing almost at the exact time. I scan just to the East of them not 10 yards away, and I see a huge but facing me, rise up out of its bed. His front legs raise up and I can see a buck shaking off the water. His body looked like it had a huge mist all around him from his wet coat. I cannot tell which buck it is due to a huge red oak between he and I, and a very large root ball from a fallen tree.
When he turns to his right I see the thick right beam and the G2!! I knew this was the Wide 7!!
I didn't have a clean ethical shot at a double lung hit or even an angle to high shoulder him, so I kept my stuff together and waited. It only took a few seconds, maybe 15-20 seconds and he turned and offered me a standing still broadside shot in his bed, at 46 yds!
I settled and squeezed the trigger. The buck took an enormous lunging jump forward, the second his feet hit the ground, he tried to make a 180 degree turn, and dash away from the direction he was facing when I shot him. I only seen his body for a split second and seen his wide rack from behind! This is where I began to lose it!
Safety went on, I ejected the cartridge casing, caught it in my hand and chambered another. Stood right there perfectly still. I laid the gun down beside me and started scanning. I could see something white with the binos but it was really small. So I dialed the scope up a little and the white I seen was Wide 7's chin! Facing straight up to the sky! I calmed down (a very little) and closed my eyes and looked straight up to the sky too. I thanked the Lord for an incredible journey with one of his creatures! Made a few calls to my daughter, best friend and brother in law.
What an epic pursuit for a true mature Tennessee buck. I have so many stories with this buck, that would provide you all with so many opportunities that you could poke fun and tease me for a year.
Aged 5.5, inside spread at 20.50", had a 34" neck and a 46.5" chest and weighed 218. A warrior with another year of battle scars.
Want to also add this little fact...With the 3.5 years of collected pictures and the countless hours on stand chasing him... this Saturday evening's hunt was the very first and only time I have ever laid eyes on him!
In the end, I am so grateful for the opportunities and the abilities to do what I absolutely love... chase big bucks down! Doing it on their home turfs, with their rules! Losing so many battles with them. Learning from all the errors I make and the few times where things worked out. Facing the challenges, having fun, learning and growing as a hunter. Is there really anymore one could hope for in a sport or hobby?
Thank you for taking the time to read my short novel. I hope it was fun, and hope you felt like you were following along on a couple of hunts with me. God Bless! Hope everyone is "Feelin Beasty!"
PS: For those of you that know me.... ALL MY KILL PICTURES has to include a pic of my Pug "PIPER"
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.