Tyler Craig, his dad, and his neighbors had all seen a trophy buck on trail cameras, but no one had seen the buck during the day. But when the deer went looking for love in the wrong place at the wrong time, Craig finally saw it and bagged it.
Craig, 19-years-old, first captured a picture of the 205-pound, 9-point buck on a trail camera two years ago on private property in Aiken, S.C. His neighbors’ photos of the same deer showed it was roaming within a two-mile range.
But Craig faced two problems with the deer. First, it was nocturnal. The trail camera pictures showed the deer crossing the property between 2 and 3 a.m. Also, the buck seemed to always disappear in October and only come back in December.
On the warm afternoon of Nov. 6, Craig headed to his ladder stand around 4:15 p.m. With the rut in full swing, he knew his chances for getting the nocturnal buck were good.
Craig had just placed the stand near a food plot and a corn feeder three days earlier, and for all three days he had not seen a single deer.
Around 5 p.m., Craig thought he heard some deer coming up behind him on the right. Turning to see what was approaching, Craig spotted a doe coming his way. It was then that Craig noticed the doe was acting strangely. Something was following the doe.
Looking through his scope, Craig saw that it was a big buck and knew that it was the one that he had been hunting for the last two years. Hot on the doe’s trail, the elusive trophy buck had only one thing on his mind.
The buck came within 15 yards of Craig’s stand. With his 30.06, the hunter shot the deer right behind the shoulder, dropping it in its tracks.
Craig said that the hardest part of the hunt was dragging the big deer 150 yards before he could load it in the truck.
The big buck had an almost 6-inch base, and the rack was 21-inches wide. Craig’s taxidermist green-scored the buck at 138.5 inches gross.