144 inch 8 point


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As most of you know I purchased my own slice of heaven back in 2019. My slice consists of 32.49 acres of mostly mature hardwoods with a lot of terrain changes and a creek that runs north to south through most of it. Each year I learn more about how the deer relate to my property at different times of the year.  Most of my hunts are 2-4 hour hunts either in the mornings (before work) or in the evenings (after work). Since my house is only a 40 minute drive, I can hunt a lot.  This year (starting October 1st) it took me 37 hunts to finally bring a mature buck to the ground on the evening of November 12th.  About half of the 37 hunts resulted in deer sightings while about 40% resulted in shot opportunities. However, prior to Nov 12th I had only had one other shot opportunity at a mature buck. That chance came early in the season on October 3rd. I hit the deer and after tracking and searching the deer was simply not to be found and I was sick. A felt a lot better when he showed up on camera a month later doing just fine.

In early November I saw a nice buck at 50-60 yards, but he was in thick cover and did not respond to my grunt. Then after an all day hunt on the 11th and a AM hunt on November 12th I had seen zero deer and was discouraged. I decided to pull my trail cam cards and go home for lunch to take a look. Below is a video of what I saw.  A new buck that had entered my woods and walked under a stand I already had in place. He was there at 7:17pm on the 11th. I sent the video to a friend and we both agreed the 8 point buck was 4.5 or older and in the 140s. I decided to hunt that stand hoping he would make an early appearance on the 12th as it gets dark a little after 5pm this time of year.  At 3pm a nice 10 point walked through, but again slightly out of range. Additionally, I wasn't sure if he was mature and the tips of both main beams were broke.  I grunted, but he was not interested and kept on his way. Then right at 5pm or a little after I stood up and hung my crossbow on the hook to prepare for my climb down. I was attaching my lowering rope when I heard something walking down the trail that runs 10 yards from my stand. The body was large and the antlers had good mass, my initial thought was that it was that big 8 but I did not have time to be 100% sure as he was moving fast. I did know he was a shooter so I quickly acquired the buck in my scope. He must have seen me shoulder the crossbow as he stopped at 20 yards and was looking right at me. He turned to leave and in doing so presented the perfect quartering away shot. A quick squeeze of the trigger and the bolt found both lungs. The buck jumped and took a couple quick bounds before slowing to a walk. He stopped not more than 20 yards from where I shot him and stood still for a few seconds. His tail flickered and down he went. It was so nice seeing him fall from the stand. While I could see his white belly his head was obscured by a large tree. I would have to get down to confirm if it was the big 8. That's when the shaking started. I'm 51 and have killed many deer and still... this sport tears me up (in a good way). I settled down after 10-15 minutes and was able to climb down. It was indeed the big 8.

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