Holden Poole of Gaffney, SC was already noticing fresh scrapes and rubs near a bumper crop of acorns on his 100-acre lease, despite the balmy, end of September weather. So, when his hit list buck failed to show up at his feeder station, he switched gears to this location, and arrowed the 215-pound Cherokee County 9-pointer on Sept. 26.

After watching this buck mature into a trophy over the last couple of years, Poole was ready to harvest. But, as the youth pastor of North Point Church in Gaffney and an active community member, he is often confined to hunting on Tuesday evenings only, and he hadn’t seen the buck in 3 consecutive hunts on his corn pile.  He knew he needed to make a change, fast.

“I decided I was going to another set that I had hung,” said Poole regarding the lock-on stand that perched above a heavily traveled trail with a view of a nearby field. “I thought it was going to be a good spot. I was already seeing signs of some rut behavior in the area; scrapes, rubs, things like that.”

As daylight dwindled on his hunt, he stood in his stand to prepare for crunch time.

“I saw this doe running through the field and a buck was chasing her,” said Poole. “You could hear him grunting like crazy. It caught me off guard because it's September and 85 degrees and he's running does.

“He turns around and goes back where he came from, both of them. Next thing you know, he comes back by himself. He’s walking down the field next to a tree where I knew there was a fresh scrape. I couldn't see him after that, but I knew where he was going. He comes walking down the trail, nonchalant, and I draw back while he's behind a tree. As he walks past the tree, he's literally going to walk up under my stand if I don't stop him. He's probably 10 yards from me.”  

Poole quickly mimicked a doe bleat to get the bucks attention, and released an Easton arrow with a 100-grain G5 broadhead from his Prime bow as the buck quartered away. The arrow pierced one lung and a piece of the other. The buck sprinted into the woods. After waiting to ensure the buck had died, he called his dad and brothers to help track it. They followed a steady blood trail for 200 yards before walking up on the trophy.

“I try to do it all for the glory of God,” said Poole. “If He gives me the platform where I’m a hunter, it gives me the opportunity to tell people what God has done in my life.”

Poole’s buck features a 20 ⅜-inch inside spread with a kicker off it’s G2. Its longest tine is a 10¾-inch G3 and the brow tines reach 5 ¼ inches. It was given a green score of 144 5/8 inches.