Mr. Crabclaw

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I will never forget the image of this big guy walking out of the woods, but it all started about a month ago. I set up my trail camera in one of the spots that I planned to hunt and boy was I surprised! I got a perfect shot of this 12 point buck on my family farm. He's the biggest one we have seen in years. I joked around saying that this was the deer I was going to take this season, but to my surprise, I really did.

I wasn't out in my spot for more than ten minutes when he came out. My uncle set me up with the ghost blind and we took our time. He set it up, staked it down, dressed it up really nice to blend in, we talked about how awesome it looked, took some pictures, then he left me. I expected to be out there until sundown since i set up for an afternoon hunt. My uncle hadn't even walked back to his truck yet, when BOOM! first shot. He immediately radio-ed me on the walkie talkie and said "was that really you already?"

This big guy came out of the woods directly in front of me from the far side of the field. When he got to the 36 yard mark he gave turned so I could see his vitals. I gave him a "meh" to stop his walking, but he didnt stop. Another "meh", and he still wasnt stopping. Finally I yelled "HEY!" and he stopped so I took the shot. I radio-ed back to my uncle and told him, "Bob I just shot the biggest deer I've ever seen in my life, but he's not down!"

The deer ran about 50 feet into a creek where the only thing i could see was the top of his antlers. I could see him looking around next to this steep tall hill, and I imagined him to be thinking, " There is no way I'm going up this hill" because My shot Broke his front leg and I later found out that it also clipped his heart. My whole family was out hunting and all heard my 5 minute total play by play on what the deer was doing. I thought he was down, but then I saw him get up and panicked on the walkie-talkie. My uncle said "If you can get another shot, TAKE IT!" I was panicking and said " I can't there are too many trees in the way I'd have to run in the middle of the field!" he again told me to get a shot so calmed myself down, told everyone on the walkie-talkie very calmly "okay hold on I'm taking another shot". Then I kicked down some of the branches, and as I was running to get a shot the deer started climbing the hill. I steadied myself, said out loud "I can do this", he stopped, I took the second shot, and I watched him climb the hill. He got to the top of the hill, fell, rolled, hit a tree, and died right there.

I ran back and grabbed the walkie talkie and with a smile on my face said "DEAD". My uncle was back to the spot he left me not even ten minutes after he set me up. The only difference from the picture on the trail camera is that he lost his crabclaw tine in front to what I think was a fight with another deer. This was the first deer I ever got out in the woods by myself, and I know I couldn't have done it without my Uncle Bob setting me up, and my Grandpa watching over me. Thank you both of you because I know that I won't see another buck like this for a while. 


SGM's picture

Congratulation on a great

Congratulation on a great buck and a great hunt. I would be very pleased at a whitetail that size. I really enjoyed your story and that is a great photo of you with your trophy. I bet it will look great in your home for many years to come.

kellymarie's picture

Thank you!

Thank you! It is going to be a great story to tell my kids one day.

BikerRN's picture


That is a great story and your face shows your pride and happiness.

I am happy for you and wish you continued success in all you do. 


kellymarie's picture

Thank you! I can only hope to

Thank you! I can only hope to see another buck like this again one day. 

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Kelly, that is a wonderful

Kelly, that is a wonderful story, and a magnificent buck!  There is always something special about shooting one by yourself.  The feeling you get is a big rush.  I remember getting my first, and going back to the house, trying to stay calm while telling my Dad.  It was great.

I did have to laugh at you yelling at the deer.  Sometimes they are just that stupid, even if it's a big guy like this.  I was back in Vermont 2 weeks ago, and had a doe and 2 fawns come in 20 minutes before i had to stop hunting.  They sat there the whole time.  The fawns wandered off, but the doe stayed.  Finally, I wanted to get out of my stand, and let out a "meh".  She looked at me, then went back to eating.  So I let out a grunt, same thing.  Finally, I said outloud "Go that way".  She still stodd there, looking in my direction, and finally I took off my orange hat and waved it at her, and she bounded off.  It was too funny.

Congrats on a beautiful buck!  Glad to see you could share it with your uncle, and all the others listening on the radio!  Well done!

kellymarie's picture

Thank you! it's just funny

Thank you! it's just funny that the one time I go out alone is when I get the big guy. I normally hunt with my grandmother or my aunt, but not this day.  I was a little upset after the fact though because they missed it, but no worries, they have all heard this story over and over. It did feel really acomplishing though, even without my cheering section.

Deer are funny in that way, I was so nervous that he wouldn't stop at first, then I got nervous that when he heard me he would just bolt away. I definitely got lucky, and I am so glsd he dropped where I could see him. Like your doe he didn't seem concerned at my "HEY". In my other huntiung spot last season which is a tree stand in the woods, there was this pair of does that hung around a lot. They knew I was there and were very cautious the first few times they came around, and then they stopped seeing me as a threat and bedded down within bow range everyday. I couldn't spook them if I tried. I was afraid to spook other deer in the woods if I got down from my tree, and the one time a buck came my way I think they were more scared of it than me. Deer can be interesting sometimes, but it is encounters like these that I live for. I love being in the woods even if i don't harvest a deer I just love watching everything around me.

jaybe's picture

You know that you are both

You know that you are both hooked for life and spoiled, don't you? That's a great buck - definitely bigger than any I have taken in over 45 years of deer hunting.

Many congratulations to you for your preparation, the shot and the final shot. Way to go!


kellymarie's picture

Thank you! Yes I am

Thank you! Yes I am definitely hooked! I will be passing on my "professional hunter" status on to my little cousin next year and give him a shot hopefully at a bug guy like this. I surely feel spoiled for even seeing this buck, but it is going to be hard to top. Thanks again!