I had sat and watched two small bucks and four does out in the food plot under the power line. One of the does bucked and kicked and playfully ran in circles. A buck chased her back into the swamp. They had emerged from the big swamp side and eventually crossed over into the darkening piney woods. I never lifted my rifle.
The food plot was washed in a soft golden glow, and my attention was now focused on the western sky where a gorgeous sunset was stretching across the horizon. I climbed down from the stand, and behind me to the east, a rifle shot boomed. I knew instantly that it was Troy Sisson. Within minutes he texted "Big Buck Down."
Troy had joined the club in late summer, and I gave him a tour of the property one hot and muggy afternoon. We stopped on the highway, and I pointed out a driveway that led into a clear-cut section. The driveway lined up with a fire break that had been plowed around the cut over. The road shoulder, driveway and the cut over were overgrown with tall grasses and weeds.
Later, Troy called me and said he'd like to put a stand along the edge of the swamp that bordered the clear-cut area. So, I went back one day and tied an orange ribbon on one of the tall weeds to mark the location of the driveway. It would be a good access point for the area that he wanted to hunt.
Troy went back with his four-wheeler and scouted the area for a stand location. He found a tree that overlooked the cut over and gave some views into the swamp. He dropped his stand off there but would need some help to get it up. I offered to help, and we went back on another hot afternoon. The stand went up fairly easily, and Troy climbed up into the seat to look. He pointed to a nearby dead pine that had been left by the loggers and said he would clear a small shooting lane there. Now, that shooting lane had paid off.
I was already headed to the truck to go help Troy with his deer when I got another text. It was a picture of the buck. Other members chimed in on the group text. "OMG, Awesome, Wow!" I hurried on. Troy was standing at his truck in the driveway when I pulled up. He put his hands up over his head to simulate a big rack of horns, and when I got out, he said, "That's the biggest buck I've ever killed."
Another truck pulled up. It was Troy's friend Jason, who had hunted that afternoon as a guest. Troy told us about seeing the buck out in the cut over. All he could see out in the tall weeds were those big antlers as the deer headed his way. His excitement level was almost out of control, and he knew that he needed to settle down some to make the shot. When the buck stopped and racked a bush with his antlers, Troy pulled out his grunt call. The buck had disappeared now, and Troy made a few soft grunts. Then he could see the buck again, his head and antlers heading his way. When the buck stepped into the shooting lane, Troy took the shot and dropped him on the spot.
We waited on Shannon, who was coming with his four-wheeler to help recover the deer. Of course, it was pitch black dark now, and we got our flashlights out and headed down the trail. Shannon drove in, and Troy directed him to the shooting lane. The sight of that buck was almost a shock. He was truly magnificent! A world-class deer that would be a trophy anywhere in the country. When we got the buck loaded, I looked up and pointed my light at the dead pine just yards away. The one Troy had pointed out from his stand that hot afternoon.
This was Troy's second hunt on the club. He had killed a nice seven-point buck on his first hunt. This was his second buck. He was now two for two.
Email Dan Geddings at email@example.com.
More Articles to Read