Joshua Miller of Mitchell County saw the biggest deer of his life the week of Thanksgiving, and he saw it on his grandpa’s old farm. He killed that buck, and said it’s extra special to him because of it being on his family’s land that has been passed down to him. The 9-point buck weighed about 200-pounds, and its rack featured a split main beam and measured 5 1/2-inches at each base.
Miller couldn’t help feeling nostalgic as he hunted that day.
“I killed my first deer with a bow perched in a chestnut tree here when I was 13-years-old. The old mowing machine still sits rusting away in the field where my pawpaw unhooked horses from it many years ago and I have fond memories and hunts from this piece of property,” he said.
A few weeks earlier, he saw two large bucks sparing several ridges away from his property, but he was able to get a good look at them with his binoculars. This was his first sighting of the big-bodied buck. He didn’t see that buck again until Nov. 27, which is the day he killed it. The opportunity almost slipped by him.
“There was a certain area I wanted to hunt that day, and it was around 3 o’clock when I started up a steep climb to where I was going to set up on top of the hill overlooking some pastureland. Several does were already on the hillside about 300-yards away, so I had to take my time to not be detected,” he said.
“It was later than I liked when I finally got set up, but I knew it was where I wanted to be because that area had always held a lot of does and it was nearing the peak of the rut,” said Miller.
After seeing several does and some small bucks, Miller realized his time was short as nightfall approached.
“It was getting close to dark, so I got up to go and glass a part of the field that was just out of view. I slowly walked the edge of the wood line, and I saw a deer walking through the field. When I put my binoculars on the deer, I could tell it was a large-racked buck. I got set up to shoot. The deer was 315-yards away and about to disappear over the ridge. He stopped broadside and I shot. I missed!” said Miller.
Miller watched the buck begin trotting, then change direction. Bracing himself as best he could for another shot, Miller finally saw the buck stop completely. This time, Miller’s shot hit its mark, and the big buck fell on the spot.
“When I got to the buck, I realized he was the big-bodied deer I had seen several weeks earlier during bow season. I was so excited, I could hardly put it into words as I called my dad and wife to tell them that God had just blessed me with the largest buck I had ever seen in Mitchell County,” he said.
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