Two Years in the Taking

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Back in the Summer of 2009  I was going to be hunting a City wide area hunt that happens every two years. It was Hot Mid summer time, and I set my feeder up early. I Wanted to get the deer coming to the feeder well before season. I set my Bushnell game camera up to watch what was coming in to eat. For weeks I pulled the chips from my camera and watched Doe after Doe feeding. Most of them coming in around 10am, and just before dark.

About three weeks into watching, my Son and I went to fill the feeders and change chips. When we retuned home we looked at the 800 pictures that our game camera had taken. I said, "they don't come in until about 10am". Sure enough about 10:10 there is the first Doe, next picture was the rump of a larger deer. We looked close thought we could see horns in the tree limbs. We popped back and forth between pictures. Yes that's a different deer, and looks to be a buck. I hit the forward Button and there he stood. Both of us at onetime said OH MY GOD! A buck of a lifetime had just stepped into my feeder.

Over the next few weeks I got hundreds pictures of him eating. Day and Night, Morning and evening. I could hardly wait until opening day. I sent the pictures to everyone I knew. They as I tryed to score him alive. I said 150 plus, others scored him as high as 190. Opening day came, wind blowing the wrong way but I had to go. I hunted him over 90 days that season, and found out he was much smarter then me. He was a buck of a lietime so I had to try.
Two years later, the City hunt is on again. I fill the feeder later this summer for the high price of corn. I set up my Bushnell Camera too see what's around. Two years later who knows if he is even still alive. The following week I pull the chip, and fill the feeder. I check the chip and for the first few days Nothing much a doe here and there along with some yearlings. Then I Start to see a few smaller bucks. Late one night around Midnight I catch a group of bucks feeding, and OH MY there he is. He has aged and the rack has changed. He has lost one point, but gained mass and taller eye guards. However what he didn't loose was his 22 inch inside spread. I smile and say YES I still have a chance. It must of been loud for my wife came running, asking what's wrong. All I could say is "he's still alive". So not wanting to be out smarted this year I hung another stand, this way I can hunt the wind.

I Plan and dream about opening day just a couple weeks away. September 5th opening day finely gets here. The wind blowing from the North, so I climb into my new stand. Hours go by and nothing, but as the light starts to fade I see a couple does and another group of smaller bucks, but none of them are him. In the darkness I Leave the woods knowing that he is out there. Night two I see just one yearling, but my dream still buring bright. Night three was going as the last two, it was getting late. I was thinking to myself that I have maybe 15 minutes of light left. 

I catch Movement to my left, I look and it's a smaller 6 point. He walks towards the feeder. I see that there is another, I Look at him and without a moments thought it knew it was him. The big buck walks over to the trail that I walk in on and sniffs the ground, as to see if I or anyone had be there today. Feeling safe he turns and works his way to the feeder. Two more bucks cut behind him and worked their way down wind of me. I knew if those bucks wind me that this hunt would be over quickly. I could hear them walking, they were so close I could hear them breathing. I couldn't stand for fear that they would see me, I was caught in a bad spot. My mind so clear I was in this so real moment. It was like I had been there hundred of times before. I said to myself "you'll need to shoot from setting down. I drew my bow as I did he stepped back behind some trees. I thought should I let down or hold?? He turned back, so I came to full draw. He stood broadside as I found my pins. I started at the ground "more light to see them", and I slowly came up. Right behind his shoulder I found my mark and I let the arrow fly.

For the first time ever I heard the arrow Thump Him Hard. He ran across in front of me and out of sight. I set there shacking I had just shot HIM. My hand carefully reached for my phone, I called My Son who for two years now has been waiting on this call. I told him I just killed the Giant. He asked "did you hit him", yes Son thumped him hard. He came to help retrive my Buck of a lifetime. I have been hunting for over 40 years now, and to kill such a special animal is more then a life long dream come true. His gross score is around 160 4/8.



No it's open to whoever wants to hunt. You have to pay $40 Bucks, and can hunt Private or Corp property. You have to pass a bow hunters course and shoot three arrows into the kill zone to hunt. You have to have permission to hunt someones property. The first deer has to be a Doe, and you have to donate it to hunters feeding the hungery. After that it's open season, and NO LIMIT!

   To add to this story I am a real estate agent in the area. I had this piece of property listed for over a year. Just a week after I killed that Buck someone made an offer and bought that piece, and I am pulling my stands and feeder now! So I Guess it was really my turn!

Ca_Vermonster's picture

That's a great story, and one

That's a great story, and one heck of a buck!!!  I love how you were able to follow him over a couple of seasons, and see how he grew.  While I am not always big on technology, trail cameras sure are fun.  Impressive to get him with the archery equipment too.

And just curious, you mention a "city wide hunt".  Is this one of the urban hunts, archery only, etc.? And, did you have to apply through a lottery for it?  I have seen some tremendous bucks come out of little acre patches of woods in the middle of the city.  Since they are rarely, if ever hunted, they live to be big and old.

Thanks for the story, and congratulations on a heck of a buck! Truly once in a lifetime animal!

Yes it is!

Yes it is an Urban hunt. I have hunted it every other year sence 2005. The first three hunts you had to put in for a draw. This year everyone got to hunt. I guess they were not getting all the hunters they wanted. You still had to apply, but no draw. Yes it is Archery only, and long bow or compound no crossbows. You also have to hunt from at least 10 feet off the ground.

        We see deer running all over town, but you let us hunt for just a week and those Deer know oh too well whats going on. I have pictures of good bucks over the years, I would say up to 130 class. You'll hear of a good buck being killed here and there. However when I seen this guy, he stood out. There were others hunting him as well, they had seen him too. I guess it was just my turn.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Very cool.  Do they let out

Very cool.  Do they let out of staters do that, or is it a resident only hunt?  Seems to me that you would have no problem finding hunters, if there are bucks like that walking around.

Also, is it a one deer limit, or can you take a buck and some does?

numbnutz's picture

Wow!! Congrats on the fine

Wow!! Congrats on the fine Buck. Thank you for sharing with all of us. I could only imagine what emotions ran through you as you first saw him and when you harvested him. That is truely a buck of a lifetime and hopefully I'll get a crack at something like that. Again thanks for sharing and congrats on your sucess.

SGM's picture

Congratulations on a fine

Congratulations on a fine trophy. That will look very nice on the wall for sure. Thanks for the story and the photo. Sure is nice when it all comes together on a hunt.

groovy mike's picture


Great pic ! What a spread.  Thanks for sharing your story.  I had a buck that I chased for two years too.  I called him Tuim and he lived on the ridge right behind my house for two solid years and I could not sneak up on him.  I did finlly bag him but it was a long hunt.  The rack is only hal;f the size of your buck but it was the hunt that makes it a trophy

GooseHunter Jr's picture

That is a great set of

That is a great set of anteler gotta love the spread on him.  Congrats on a great hunt.  Always gotta like them quality times you can spend it with your kids.  My son is still a bit young for big game hunts but he hunts alot with me for waterfowl and we love every minute  of it.  I still big game hunt with my dad and he always has the joy of helping me with the haul out.  I do not thibnk he really wants to shoot another elk just make sure I get one.

ManOfTheFall's picture

That is one great story. If I

That is one great story. If I didn't see the picture before hand for a minute there you had me thinking he was gone. This is what makes hunting so great. You never know when that buck of a lifetime will walk out in front of you and you can send an arrow flying through his chest. I have had a few monsters close to me and have just not been able to get that shot or I just was in the wrong place at the right time. A few feet here or there. A branch here, a tree there. A couple bad shots. Once my sights were off on my bow (to this day I don't know how) and I took the hair off the back of a giant typical 12, probably pushing 200". I know my day will come. I hunt some very nice area's here in Ohio and a giant will fall one day soon by my hand. Congratulations to you on your buck of a lifetime. Thanks for sharing your story. 

Retired2hunt's picture

  Earl - that is one heck of


Earl - that is one heck of a set of antlers!  Way to go!  What a massive spread! 

The excitement of a huge buck in the trail camera only serves to get your hunting enthusiasm boiling... and to have it return two years later is phenominal.

My hats off to you for sticking to it.  Persistence pays off.  Hanging yourself a second stand sounds like it was the absolute right thing to do. 

It was also great to have your son there to assist in the retrieving of the "The Giant".  That kind of father and son thing will last a lifetime.

That is one heck of a story to go with one heck of a nice Buck - thanks for sharing!  And hang "The Giant's" antlers proudly!