Tenley Schutte bags Horry County buck

Tenley Schutte (12 yr old)
Aynor, SC
Horry County
November 1, 2023; 5:42 p.m.
Rossi .30-30

8-points, 170 pounds

On October 18, 2021, a beautiful young 8-point buck began appearing on our camera, but during that hunting season, we never crossed paths with it. It was only captured on camera a few times. The following season, we saw no signs of that young buck, and I thought it was long gone. However, on December 22, 2022, my camera captured an 8-pointer, and I instantly recognized it as the same buck. It was the only time it appeared on camera that year.

This season, I decided to plant a brassica food plot to provide late food sources for the deer in the area, as the surrounding farmland was planted with corn and soybeans. Toward the end of September, all the deer on our property left to feed in the harvested fields. Finally, on October 24, my camera captured our 8-pointer passing through. On October 26, it was seen feeding at night in the brassica for 4 hours alongside 8 does.

On October 28, while sitting in the stand on the North end of the 2.5 acre plot, I started to rattle, and within minutes, a spike that I have not seen before came right to me. After calling it quits, I convinced my wife to hunt in the same stand that evening. Just before dark, the same spike emerged 250 yards away on the south end, and behind it was the big 8-pointer we were after. It briefly glanced into the plot and then retreated into the woods.

On the next night, my wife tried the stand again and saw a couple of does. I decided to go that evening as well to a different plot adjacent to my wife’s stand. I rattle in that same spike. Knowing that a cold front was approaching and the wind would change, I convinced my daughter Tenley to hunt after school on Wednesday, November 1st. She has hunting sporadically throughout the years even shooting a spike 4 years ago. However, this year would be the first year she would do everything unassisted. So we discussed our game plan beforehand, considering Tenley’s inexperience as a hunter who had recently passed her hunter safety course. We aimed for a positive experience, even if it meant taking a smaller deer.

We made our way to the South end of the brassica plot to a ground level box stand. Once in the stand, I explained to her the wind direction and where the deer would likely emerge. After 45 minutes and a few grunt calls, the spike that my wife and I had seen came out and started feeding. Tenley got excited and started to shake. I kept reminding her to breathe and stay calm. The deer was calm and couldn’t detect our scent, so we had time.

After a minute, Tenley was calm and ready to take her shot. However, out of the corner of her eye, she noticed another deer. We decided to wait to identify it. As it emerged from the woods, we could tell it was a buck, but we still didn’t know if it was the elusive 8-pointer we had been pursuing. When it stepped out and looked at us, we instantly knew it was the buck we had been after. Tenley couldn’t adjust for a shot since it was staring straight at us. We played the waiting game until it turned its head.

A sudden gust of wind spooked the spike, causing the 8-pointer to take a step back towards the woods. Fortunately, we were just downwind enough not to scare them away completely. The spike reemerged to feed, and as it did, the 8-pointer looked away and presented a perfect 30 yard broadside shot. Tenley took her shot, hitting the deer perfectly in the lungs. The deer ran back into the woods on the same trail it had used to enter. After allowing it some time to rest, it was time to teach Tenley how to track the deer. We followed the trail for 200 yards into the woods and found it resting against a tree.

–J. Schutte


Bag A Buck Contest

Congratulations to Schutte, who is now in the running for our monthly prize of a free 1-year subscription to Carolina Sportsman Magazine, a Mini Maglite, an 18-ounce Yeti Rambler, a two-pack of Lowcountry Seasonings, as well as our Grand Prize, which includes a 3-year-subscription to Carolina Sportsman Magazine, a 2-day two-person hunt at Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge in Chesterfield, SC, and other prizes to be determined.

See all the bucks entered so far, and upload yours at carolinasportsman.com/bag-a-buck-2023, or email photo and detailed info to images@carolinasportsman.com.

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