Chuck Hiatt of Mt. Airy, a native son who has taught construction at North Surry High School for 20 years, arrowed an impressive 10-point buck on Sept. 18.
He shot the deer at a place most people would expect to hunt antelope in Wyoming or springboks in South Africa.
“It’d been so hot and dry, hadn’t rained in a long time, so I found a spring head,” said Hiatt, who shot the buck with a Bowtech Stryker crossbow.
“I decided the spring head would be a good place to hang a stand. It was the only water source for a big area,” he said.
So Hiatt didn’t bother with bait scattered on the ground. Every deer in the area came to the spring and small stream flowing from it.
“I had really good success hunting there these last three years,” said Hiatt. “I’d been seeing him the last two years, and he was a real solid eight last year, but I wanted to give him a chance to grow bigger.
“You might not believe it, but it was so hot that day I took my shirt off. I had some field wipes to get the sweat off and cool myself down. I took a few mosquito bites, but it was worth it.”
Hiatt reached the woods about 4:30 p.m. and the 5x5-rack whitetail came to the water hole at exactly 6:59 p.m.
“There was plenty of light,” he said. “He was by himself.”
The hunter had ranged “everything around, so it was a pretty simple shot.”
Hiatt said he believes the buck didn’t realize at first it’d been hit.
“He ran about 75 yards, stopped, turned and looked around, then ran another 15 yards,” he said. “Then I heard him fall.”
The crossbow bolt hit the buck quartering away a little high above its left ham but quartered down and through both lungs before it exited the deer’s body behind its right shoulder.
“I haven’t scored the rack, but it’s a clean 5x5 with no deductions,” he said. “I’d guesstimate it will score in the mid- to high-140s.”
Hiatt and his grown son, Toby, go to Ohio nearly every year to chase Midwestern trophy bucks.
“We’ve taken some nice deer, but this one, when I shot it, I had a lump in my throat,” he said. “It was a special deer to me.”