My name is Liz Pope and I took this whopper on November 1st in Paris, Kentucky! My dad, my sisters, and I have been hunting this farm for about 8 years now. I have taken 2 other super nice bucks off of our farm in the past but I had been waiting for my monster for about 4 years. Every year I pass up numerous 130-140 inch bucks saying “He’ll be better next year” or “I know there is a bigger one out there”. This year we set our trail cams up and anxiously waited for the cameras to blink “memory full”. We brought our cards in and loaded them on the computer. We had an abundance of raccoons, squirrels, smaller bucks, and does with their fawns. We scrolled and scrolled through the photos and then there he was! He was exactly what I had been waiting for. (We also got a picture of another nice buck in that same set of pictures, my dad took him on October 29th.) I had been hunting since September but now I had greater motivation. I told dad that I wanted to hunt that weekend for my birthday, which was October 31st.
I woke up bright an early on Saturday ready for a great hunt. We got in before sunrise and waited for hours for something to come by, but they never did. I walked back to the truck feeling slightly discouraged that by “birthday hunt” hadn’t ended the way I wanted.
After church on Sunday, we decided to head to the stand again. We got in the stand, I said my usual prayer, and the hunt began. Hours passed with no deer. It was getting dusky and I was beginning to lose hope. All of the sudden we hear crashing throughout the woods and three does come bounding right past us. I quickly get in position, ready to shoot, but the closest one only came about 40 yards away to the right of my stand, which I didn’t feel comfortable shooting. About 30 seconds after the does passed us we hear more action in front. Its getting darker by the second. A spike runs by about 30 yards in front of us, clearly running from something. Then, about 60 yards in front of us, a huge, thick, yellow-racked buck trots through the woods. I instantly began to shake nervously. Following the yellow-racked buck is a thinner, taller buck. Dad starts grunting and snort wheezing. The buck from behind stops dead in his tracks and snort wheezes right back at us! I have been hunting since I was 7 and had never heard one actually do it back! Dad snort wheezes again and the buck comes running our way, ready to fight off any other bucks in his territory. He is about 18 yards away when he walks behind a bush, I draw, and he stops behind the bush. He says behind the bush for what seems like forever but was probably only a minute and a half in reality. My arms are shaking and I don’t know how much longer I can hold it. He steps out, I put my pin behind his shoulder and release. The arrow goes right over his back and into the dirt. He runs up to the left about 35 yards and is quartered away. I quickly put another arrow on and draw again, one more chance. I release once more and I hear my arrow hit (something) and the bucks slowly runs to the bottom of the hill.
I instantly begin making excuses of why I missed the first shot. At this point you can barely see anything in the woods. We don’t see the buck ever come go up the hill on the other side. I can see a white spot at the bottom of the hill that I could have sworn was not there the rest of the evening. I show it to Dad and he says we’ll check it out after looking for my arrows. After sitting in the pitch black darkness for 20 minutes and replaying the scene in our heads, we decide it is time to get down and look. We can’t find either arrow or a drop of blood. We searched for a while longer and then walk down to check out the white spot. The closer we get, the more excited I get thinking, “What if this is my buck?!”. Walking very slowly, closer and closer, and then we see the antlers sticking up off the ground. It really was him! Every step I take closer he looks bigger. Dad and I are ecstatic! There was absolutely no ground shrinkage with this one. I hold him up and compare to the trail cam picture on my phone and, sure enough, he’s the buck we had on camera the week before.
My first buck with my bow is now at the very top of my list of favorite hunts and biggest bucks. He will be added to the collection in our living room (which my mother is thrilled about) and bragged on endlessly. I thank God every day for opportunity and ability to be able to have such a great place to hunt and thank Him for all the animals He allows me to take. My family and I are truly blessed! Thanks for reading about my awesome hunt!