The problem with the buck with the perfectly symmetrical 8-point rack was that he was just too darn close to shoot.
“I could have reached out and touched him with the rifle,” said Brock Martin of Greenwood, S.C. who finally was able to take a good shot and drop the 130-class buck.
On Friday, Oct. 27, Martin and his hunting buddy Charles McKinney were sitting on the ground, their backs to a tree, in an oak grove where each could see at least 200 yards in different directions.
After waiting from 5:30 that morning on deer to come through the oaks eating acorns, McKinney decided about 9 o'clock that they needed to move.
When they stood up they saw the big buck coming through the oaks, head down obviously following the scent of a doe that had come that way earlier. It definitely was the buck with the huge rack they had captured on trail cams several times. They dropped back to the ground and watched the buck walking straight at them.
“He never got broadside for a good shot,” Martin said. “Charles was saying, 'Shoot! Shoot!' but I did not have a good shot. There was no way to see him through the scope that close.”
The buck kept coming, head down and oblivious to the hunters until he got to Martin's hunting boots and smelled something other than the doe he had been tracking.
“He looked straight at me and saw my eyes through the camo netting,” Martin said. “He blew one time and ran off downwind and stopped about 40 yards out. I had to jump up and shoot freehand. I did not give him a second chance to run again.”
Martin described the buck as having a “big old rack, the most perfect rack I have ever seen, with a 17-inch inside spread.” Each side with four points mirrored the other side perfectly, he said.
Taking the big buck was proof that the unorthodox hunting tactics used by Martin and McKinney really work. While most hunters hunt from above in climbing stands, ladder stands or tri-pod stands, they prefer to sit on the ground in an area where they can see the deer moving through the woods. They sit against a tree where each can scan a different section of the woods.
“Hunting on the ground is one of the smartest things you can do,” Martin said. “It's better than walking through the woods and making noise going to a stand. When you touch the stand you leave your scent there and when you kill a deer out of a stand the rest of the deer know where the shot came from. They remember that.”
Martin said he and McKinney cover up in camo, sit where the wind does not flow their scent towards the likely areas where the deer will move through, and they put on scent blocker to disguise the human scent.