Abby Cribb of Marion, S.C. has killed her share of deer with a rifle, but this year, she wanted to try something new. Her boyfriend has always been a very encouraging hunting partner, so he bought her a bow, and assured her that she would enjoy killing a big buck with it even more than the ones she’s killed with a rifle. She was skeptical. Until Halloween evening, when she put down a Marion County 142-inch buck after releasing a Muzzy 100 arrow from her Bowtech.
And Cribb almost didn’t hunt at all that day. She's a full-time nurse, and also works part-time at a horse farm. She was tired, and a little discouraged from her most recent hunting ventures which had proven fruitless.
“I took a nap when I got home, and my boyfriend Wes woke me up and told me the deer were moving. I really didn’t feel like going. I’d been hunting with my bow several times and didn’t see any shooters. I was discouraged, and tired, and just felt like staying home. But Wes talked me into going, and thank goodness he did,” said Cribb.
After flipping a coin to see which stand she would sit in, Cribb climbed into the 18-foot tall Loc-on stand at 5 p.m., hoping to see a buck big enough to shoot. She saw some action pretty quick, but nothing worth raising her bow for.
“I saw a doe and a fawn and heard a cow horn grunting. Then a button buck showed up. Then two cow horns came out and started fighting, then one of them started fighting a 4-point that came in, and I recorded them with my phone. The button buck stayed, but the rest of them split up really quick after a little while, and I knew something was coming,” she said.
At this point, Cribb saw nothing but a set of horns coming towards the corn pile. The big buck chased off the button buck, then came back and began eating corn. And it was standing broadside, perfectly within range of Cribb, who decided it was time to draw back on her bow.
But she couldn’t do it.
“I don’t know what was going on. My heart was beating so fast, and I knew this was it. But I couldn’t get my hands to work. So I had to calm myself down, and told myself it was now or never, and that I could do it,” she said.
Finally, she drew back on her bow, but the big buck heard her, and jumped nervously. It didn’t leave though, so after holding her draw for a few seconds — which felt like five minutes to her — she released the arrow. The deer jumped straight up, landed, took a hard left, and ran through the woods. Cribb paid close attention to exactly where it ran.
After a few minutes, she called her boyfriend, who was hunting about an hour away from her. They agreed she would wait on him to show up before looking for the deer, and she told him she would just look for blood and her arrow.
She found neither. She was sure she’d hit the deer, and she called her boyfriend again, urging him to come right away.
“We met at the house and picked up Kojack, our lab who has tracked down several deer in the past. I showed Wes exactly where the deer ran, then I continued looking for my arrow at the corn pile. Less than two minutes later, Wes yelled that Kojack had already found it,” she said.
Once she saw the deer up close, she was stunned by the rack.
“Do you know what you just killed?” her boyfriend asked her.
“A really big buck?” she said.
“Yes, your name is going to be in the South Carolina record book,” he said, smiling from ear to ear.
“Now everybody tells me I might as well quit hunting because I’ll never see another deer that big, and I just tell them you never know. I didn’t know that deer was there. He never showed up on any trail camera photos. So I’m going to keep on hunting,” Cribb said.