Garret Richardson, a 14-year old Richmond County bowhunter, almost didn’t go hunting on Sept. 20, but he’s glad his dad encouraged him to give it a try. The teenager killed a big buck he’s been after for over three years.

“It was hot out and I didn’t really feel good about hunting that evening. I told my dad I might just go check the camera card, but he reminded me that it would be the last day I could hunt for a while because baseball practice was starting the next day,” said Richardson.

Once in the woods, Richardson said it didn’t take long for deer to start showing up. From his 15-foot tall ladder stand mounted on a pine tree, he observed a number of deer all around his stand, but didn’t see the one he was hoping would show up. 

“Lots of deer came to the corn pile and they kept looking up at me. I sprayed down real good with scent-blocking spray, and I was starting to think it wasn’t working. Then the big buck showed up. We’ve got a trough there with loose corn in the trough and corn cobs on the ground all around it. He was eating the cobs on the ground. Deer were just all around me and I couldn’t take a chance on drawing back. They all kept looking up at me, then they all just eased away into the woods, including the big buck,” said Richardson.

After thinking he’d lost a chance at his dream buck, which he and four surrounding property-owners have seen on their trail cams over the past three years, Richardson caught a break. All the deer came back to the clearing.

“The big buck went back to eating, and all the other deer around me were looking up. They seemed to calm down and just as I was about to draw, I noticed another deer that was in the woods just on the edge of the clearing. That one was staring straight at me. He just kept looking directly at me. I was shaking just hoping to get a shot at the big buck. It was just 20 yards from me, and I just couldn’t get over how massive he looked,” Richardson said.

Finally, Richardson saw that all the deer had their heads down. “I pulled back and let fly what I felt was too quickly. I didn’t feel good about the shot. I actually saw it hit the deer, but it looked like my arrow just fell to the ground after it hit him. I thought I must have hit him just right on a bone or something and the arrow just fell to the ground,” he said.

After climbing down and finding a piece of his arrow, Richardson realized his arrow didn’t just fall, but actually broke. “But I didn’t see any blood at all. I walked 10 or 20 yards and didn’t see any blood anywhere. I walked where I thought he had gone, and just wasn’t finding any blood, but when I got about 100 yards from where I’d shot him, blood was everywhere,” he said.

The buck, which Richardson shot with a Mathews Mission Craze bow and a G5 Havoc broadhead, was even bigger than the hunter thought. It weight over 210-pounds, and the massive rack had a 22-inch spread. Andy Speer Taxidermy is handling the mounting duties, and green-scored the buck at 157 3/8.

This hunt wasn’t the only encounter between Richardson and the buck. He took a shot at it with a shotgun two years ago, but the deer ran off. When Rick Carnes of Wildlife Processors was skinning the deer, he pulled Richadson’s broadhead out, and also found old remnants of buckshot. 

–For another deer hunt that proves patience pays, click here.