9 Point - Rifle - 1999
I would like to say something to the effect .... I saw this deer during bow season and hunted him hard to finally outsmart him but .........this deer was a gift from God. I had no idea that a nice buck was in the area. I had devoted almost the entire season to an area that had some big deer sign in it, but had only seen a couple of smaller bucks. Discouraged - I decided to take a break and try another area that I had found some small rubs the size of your wrist in - this guy came walking along right a dark. It was almost like God said, "Jeff - here's a gift for you." I didn't know this deer was there, hunt this deer or deserve this deer. I was just very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.
Details: The place where I work has flex time. During deer season I work from 6:30am until 3:00-3:30 pm. That gives me an hour or two each afternoon to ramble around in the woods. I normally use the time to scout or hunt a place that is easy to get to with minimum disturbance in the woods. I've only missed 4 or 5 days of hunting since since October 15. The afternoon I harvested this deer, I was stalk hunting down this old logging road and heard some commotion up on the ridge above me. My first thought was that I had jumped some deer, but they just stopped. I blew a few bleats and grunts ... the deer started to run down the ridge and was going to cross the old road about 40 yards from me. It was to thick to be able to see or shoot where I was at so I decided to move up the logging road 20 yards or so ... quickly. The doe changed course and was going to cross the road right at me. She saw me and circled up the ridge and crossed the road about 50 yards up. I was on one knee waiting for the buck to cross and he did not. Most of the time if a buck is chasing a doe he'll follow her right off the edge of the earth ... not this time. I had not actually seen another deer, but when the doe crossed the road she looked very much like a doe in heat. She stopped about 50 yards into the woods on the other side and looked back for a minute or two then took off again. I waited for 20 minutes for the buck to follow, but he did not. Occasionally I could hear a little noise up on the ridge. I just had the feeling that the buck knew I was there and would not cross my way. I decided to sneak out and circle him in hopes that right at dark he would cross this old abandoned field to avoid me. The patch of woods where I thought he was hiding separates the field from the logging road. The patch of woods is only about 200 yards wide and thick. It was 10 minutes before dark .... I sneaked out and circled him to wait to see if he would cross the field. Just as I had completely circled him and arrived at the field ... he started across. I shot him at 100 yards. As I was circling the deer, I thought it would take a miracle for it to work ...... that day a miracle happened.
20" Spread - 24" Beams - 220lbs. - @150B&C
Scope: Leupold VXIII 4.5x14 50mm
Bullet: Nosler Partition 130gr.
Range: 100 yards