Willie McCutchen made a very difficult choice early in the season; a choice he really didn’t want to make. But the end result was a massive 8-point buck with a raw score in the 135-140 class, taken with a bow. The buck weighed 190 pounds and was in full velvet.
McCutchen said it takes a big 8-point for a score in that size class and that making the right, but difficult, decision was rewarded.
“I had scouted and had trail camera photos of this massive buck on one of my favorite stands,” McCutchen said. “I had good timing in terms of when the buck was showing up, and the stand was in perfect position. Opening day I hunted but didn’t see him. I felt I’d have a little more time to hunt him before that big deer got nervous about human intrusion.”
A dedicated bowhunter, McCutchen said he felt his time was limited in early season to get close enough to take the massive antlered buck.
“Typically the very first few days of the early season offer a reasonable opportunity to have a chance at a big buck, but after that they get scarce until pre-rut,” he said.
“The next time I was able to hunt I discovered that the only stand with photos of this buck was dead wrong in terms of the wind,” he said. “I briefly thought about trying it but I knew it wasn’t a good play. I hoped I’d get another opportunity with the right wind in the next day or two. So I picked another stand about 400 yards away with ideal wind. I had photos of a good buck working that area but none of the big buck.”
McCutchen got set up in the alternative stand, and was hoping for the buck working that area regularly to show up. But he got a very pleasant surprise early that morning.
“It was almost like Christmas come early,” he said. “I saw movement, then antlers and sure enough, my number one buck walked out. Another big antlered buck was with him but not the one I wanted that day. The problem was, the big buck seemed nervous and actually walked away and back into view a few times. I had to wait and watch this beast for 20 minutes before I got the shot I wanted. I had taken my time waiting on the right shot angle and felt the 32-yard shot was perfect. So I gave him some time and was also able to calm down a bit myself.”
McCutchen said he uses a Prime Alloy bow now made by G5. He was shooting the new Swhacker 3-blade broadhead, a Hank Parker company product, with his bow strung at 65 lbs.
“I had a good blood trial and after trailing it for 125 yards I found my Christmas-come-early buck,” he said.
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