On September 20th, Daniel Gibson of Ararat rushed to his ladder stand on the family farm to catch the last couple hours of daylight. After laying eyes on a trophy 10-point that he’d been watching on his trail camera for the last 3 years, Gibson shouldered his crossbow and managed an incredible shot that dropped the 150-inch Surry County monster in his tracks.
About 5 years ago, the Gibson family cleared off a patch of land and planted a soybean field in an area surrounded by prime bedding habitat. That’s when they noticed a significant upswing in the quality and quantity of bucks hanging around. As Gibson approached this area, he ignored the fact that mowers had been cutting hay all day in the fields adjacent to his stand and climbed up to his perch.
“I got in the stand late,” said Gibson, “probably around 6:15. About 45 minutes after the mowers stopped, the wind quit blowing, and the woods got real quiet. I saw a smaller buck come out of the thicket and within 30 seconds I had 8 bucks in front of me. He (the 10-pointer) was one of them.”
Positioned in a strip of oaks with trees in front for camouflage, Gibson only had two shots and he chose to take the first, fearing the buck would drop back into the thicket.
“He stopped about 60 yards away,” said Gibson. “He had been traveling right along the edge of the field, coming to me. He was barely at an angle with his head down and I had just enough room to put the dot on his front right shoulder.”
After releasing a Stryker bolt from his StrykeForce crossbow, Gibson’s 100 grain Muzzy broadhead hurled at 350 feet per second toward his target.
“When I heard it hit, I thought I had missed the deer,” said Gibson. “I thought it had hit a tree or something, that’s how loud it sounded. The other deer scattered, but I never saw him scatter. I heard a kicking sound like one was down and when I stood up I could see the soybeans moving around.”
After climbing down to inspect the commotion, Gibson found the biggest buck he had ever taken--with the broadhead lodged squarely in his forehead.
“I knew exactly how to aim,” said Gibson. “But, when the bow released, he heard it and lifted his head just enough to get in the way of the arrow. He didn’t run a yard.
“Imagine the odds. It could have hit his antlers, the side of his face, anything. The broadhead is still in his skull. I had to screw the arrow out.”
Gibson’s buck carried an inside spread of just over 20 inches, with the longest tine extending 10 inches.