On Dec. 18, Cory Hill of Sunshine checked the weather and noticed conditions would be right for deer hunting. It looked like what might be the last cold front before the end of deer season, and he’d been wanting to help his girlfriend, Ashley King kill one of a handful of decent 8-point bucks they’d been watching on trail-cameras all season. The plan worked out better than he expected. King killed a 120-class 8-pointer they didn’t even know was on their property.

“We had seen several decent 8-point bucks, and the biggest she’d killed at that time was a button buck, so I thought this change in the weather might be our best chance for her to see them moving and get a shot at one,” said Hill.

After walking King to her 18-foot ladder stand at the top of a ridge overlooking the woods, Hill walked to his stand nearby. It wasn’t long before he heard King shoot.

“It had hardly broken daylight when I heard her shoot. I texted her what she shot, and she replied that it was an 8-pointer. I figured it was one of those 8-pointers we’d be observing on the trail-cams,” said Hill. “I definitely underestimated.”

Hill found the deer before King saw it.

“I told her she was going to be surprised to see this deer. When she did, she said she knew it was a good one, but not that good,” he said.

“I just concentrated on the shot and not the horns,” said King, who shot the buck with a Remington .243 and Leupold 3x9x50 scope. 

King said before daybreak, she could hear the buck walking in the woods. Once it was light enough to see, the buck was already there on a trail. King was waiting for the deer to go to their pile of corn, but it never did. Instead, it walked straight toward her, and she shot it at about 75-yards.

“She asked me if it was biggest enough to mount,” said Hill. “I told her you better mount it, because you might not ever see another one this big, especially in this part of the state.”

Joe Mull Taxidermy in Lawndale is handling taxidermy duties, and is making a “looking left, semi-alert” mount of the buck.