This year we all have been dealing with the covid pandemic within our own beliefs. The upcoming deer hunting season would provide each of us with a brief respite from the perceived new norm. For me however, that would not be the case.
In mid August an EHD outbreak in south east Miami County was verified. The outbreak seemed to be most lethal in my immediate area. Personally, I found 35 dead deer. A group of bucks I was watching develop through the summer were all found dead except one. I was sickened. All I could do was place my cameras and hope for the best.
Once season started, deer sightings were minimal. Even driving to work was void of deer sighting. My season was going to be a waiting game to see when a shooter buck would show before I would hunt. I did scout old familiar hunting grounds as a backup strategy.
Mid October I did replace one PLB. Results were immediate as I posted previously in this thread. 7-8 smaller bucks were hitting it hard as was a 20'' 8 pointer. The 8 was killed next door on election day.
Primetime November found me on stand. I was hopeful that an nonresident cruiser would pass by that was in my maturity and size range. Stand duration was difficult. Knowing of no camera or visual big buck sighting made it tough to stay on stand. Early November also was when my wife tested detected for covid which meant I had to quarantine from work. More hunting opportunity!! Normally I would have been excited, but not with the scenario that I had been dealt.
Veterans Day morning found me on stand and post #283. By 10:00 I was out and changing clothes when I received this text,
"I've got a lot of big bucks running around right now. Let me know if you want to give my XXXX farm a shot today or tomorrow. A giant showed up yesterday at noon! Plus 2 or 3 others that are well over BBBC."
"Can you call me?" I say.
Revdillon and I became friends because of this site. I have had him out to my place to hunt and have shared another property for him to turkey hunt. He also has offered to place me for some late season hunts in the past. I have always declined. This time Dillon was more persistent as he had already killed a stud 22'' wide, 154'' buck. I was also more tempted due to my local situation. We agreed to meet at his spot so I could see it and meet the property owners. I was still somewhat apprehensive to accept until he called me back immediately after we hung up. He asked if I got his text. I opened it and WOW! He said it popped up from his cam while we were initially talking. Are you sure Dillon, he is a giant! Dillon's response was, "I'd rather a friend kill him versus someone I don't know or he get hit by a car or poached." My arm still hurts from the twisting!!
While driving to the spot I had determined that I would minimize my intrusion into the cornfield. Dillon offered the east end to me as his father would be hunting the waterway where the PLB is placed. I situated myself between a couple small walnut trees along the fence line. I made sure I was shadowed and had somewhat clear shooting lanes. Shots were going to be close along the edge of the cornfield. The skies were clearing. Temps in the high 40's and a stout NW wind were the conditions.
Ten minutes after sitting a small 6 pointer walked by about 6 rows in. The buck never knew I was there. Half an hour later a 9 pointer and the 6 pointer came running by me from the corner. Then I heard more chasing in the corn 20-30 rows in. Then the grunting began. Loud guttural grunts, one after another as the buck chased the hot doe through the corn. I readied the xbow on my knee in the general vicinity of the chase. For me to get a clear shot the buck will have to be within 10 yards of me while in the corn or in the edge foxtail for a further shot. Suddenly the grunting and chasing are back and intense. As the deer ran through the thinner corn in the corner, I caught a glimpse of three very long left tines. I knew now that it was the buck Dillon had sent me a picture of during our phone conversation They continued the hard chase with the two smaller bucks bringing up the tail. Several times the deer exited the corn into an adjacent plowed field only to return to the corn. The bigger dominant buck continued his aggressive grunting display which was incredible to witness.
Activity was quiet in the corn. I had a couple mature does move in from behind me which never spotted or smelled me. More reassurance I am invisible. However, as 4 o'clock approached, I found myself fully exposed to sunlight. I decided I needed to move back into the shadows. I gather my gear and moved 20 yards back to the corner and tucked into the honey suckle. My logic was to be shadowed and also I figured if the buck lost the doe he may scent track her back through this area giving me a shot. I cleared quick shooting lanes and adjusted my turkey seat to maximum comfort. I practiced my xbow swing and put out my evercalm stick. I also readied my ozonics for the last hour of the day when the wind dies and the temps drop.
Less than one minute of being situated, my ears detect the sound of a deer walking through corn...even with the wind blowing the corn and all its associated noise. Knee up, xbow to knee and head down viewing through the scope. I see a deer walking directly to me. At 20 yards the deer raises its head, GIANT I think. He keeps coming and at 10 yards when he raised his head, he stops dead in his tracks as he sees me. I'm already sighting his vital but have a single corn stalk with a single ear right where I need to shoot. Don't move Rich, I think to myself. The buck makes a head bob and a short side step and the xbow grunts at the buck. The corn erupted in noise as the buck makes a quick exit. I take a breath and can't believe what had just happened. 4:20 PM I just shot the GIANT that Dillon selflessly let me hunt. OMG! I make the call to Dillon.
Dillon was excited for me and I think was as shocked as I was that we pulled it off. He said he would head my way. I told him I would wait 10 min then go check for blood. I also made a couple more calls that I told of Dillon's generous offer.
Ten minutes had passed and I found where the bucks had turned to run. I looked down the corn row and saw a painted trail as pictured in post #284. Bucks is plural because right after I shot the GIANT another buck repeated the GIANTS path. He was shot with a phone camera not the xbow.
Dillon has become an expert in PLB's The quantity of quality bucks in his library of photos is incredible. I am very humbled by his selfless invitation to hunt one of the GIANTS he has some history with.
"Little did I know how an act of selfless devotion would end my day ...started in the post above ...with one of my best bucks ever."
"I am very humbled by his selfless invitation to hunt one of the GIANTS he has some history with."
I think you put it all in perspective JH- In todays world of leasing and hunters strictly looking for the Big Buck at any cost, Revdillon showed what he is truly about. Great sportsman and person is what I see. Great story and congrats to BOTH of you!!!! Very well done!!!
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