When McLeansville’s Jeremy Pickard looked at the trail-camera he had recently mounted, he saw a deer that made his heart pound. It was bigger than any deer he’d ever seen, and he knew  he was going to hunt only that one deer until he killed it. He had enough chances at other decent-sized deer that he was tempted a few times to forego his plan, but he ultimately stuck to it, and it paid off.

Pickard killed his dream buck a few evenings after his trail-camera first spied the deer. Between that first sighting on his trail-camera and the time Pickard arrowed it with his Whisper Creek bow, the deer had broken both his brow tines. The 8-point mainframe had three stickers, and measured a whopping 164 1/2 when green scored. The hunt was not without drama.

“I only saw that deer a few times on camera, and it was always in the morning. That day, I couldn’t go in the morning, but I was itching to get into the woods, so I went that afternoon. I didn’t have a lot of confidence that the big buck would show, but I went anyway,” said Pickard, whose decision to go proved to be a good one.

He almost gave up on the big buck though. “I got in the stand around 2:30, and I had four other bucks come out. I drew back on two of them, but in the back of my mind, I just felt like I needed to give the big buck a chance. Around 5:30, lots of deer walked out. They were all eating and playing around and then they all froze and looked up. The big buck was walking in,” Pickard said.

Pickard watched the big buck saunter in and start eating. “He was there for about 30 minutes and I had all those other deer around me, so I couldn’t draw back for a while. I was getting kind of nervous,” said Pickard, who had even more than all those eyes worrying him.

“My bow had messed up on me the day before while I was doing some target practice, so I borrowed my brother’s bow. I only got to practice with his for about half an hour, so I felt a little bit iffy. That’s one reason I was so tempted to shoot one of the smaller bucks, but I am glad I waited,” Pickard said. 

Finally, he saw a chance to draw back when all the deer were preoccupied. “I let the arrow fly, and it would have hit him perfectly, but the arrow hit a cedar branch about 3-feet away from the deer. It still hit him though, and he dropped to his stomach and crawled off real fast. I got out the stand and found him pretty quick about 75-yards away, but he stood up and tried to run. I let another arrow fly and got him good that time. He ran off, but blood was everywhere. He was running through all kinds of thick stuff,” said Pickard, who found the deer after trailing him another 40-yards.

“I had to belly crawl through all kinds of brush to follow the deer. He definitely took me to places I’ve never been before,” PIckard said.

– Click here to read about another big deer killed by a bowhunter earlier this season