10-point buck was in full velvet
Tyler Pearson of Gilbert, S.C. killed a trophy 10-point buck on Aug. 18 while hunting in Lexington County. The deer weighed 180 pounds and had an 18-inch spread.
Pearson was bowhunting from a Tethrd Phantom tree saddle, hanging about 18 feet off the ground from an oak tree. It was an afternoon hunt, and he was sweating from the extreme heat. But he knew he was in a good spot as soon as he arrived.
“The walk in was extremely hot and I was sweating like crazy. I could tell the deer had been hitting this area hard. And I felt like it was going to be a good afternoon sit,” he said.
Patience pays off for hunter
Around 7:20 p.m., things got interesting.
“Two spotted fawns moved into my area, but didn’t stay long. All of a sudden, they spooked and ran back in the direction they came from. Immediately I began scanning the area for a coyote or another deer. A couple of minutes went by and I picked up movement from directly in front of me. Two big-bodied deer moved in,” he said.
Pearson immediately picked out the shooter between the two bucks, recognizing it as the one he wanted to harvest. Things fell right into place from there.
“I heard a loud buck snort and realized this nice mature buck was entering bow range. So I kept the tree between me and the deer to use it as cover. I picked up my bow as the mature buck snorted again at the younger buck and started pushing him around some. Both deer walked into my shooting lane in open sight. Then I pushed off the edge of my tiny saddle hunting platform to the left side of the tree,” he said.
Now it was just a game of patience as Pearson waited for the buck to present the best possible shot.
“I waited a few seconds for the deer to get completely broadside. Then I reached full draw. The deer came to a stop. I picked my mark and released my arrow. The buck donkey-kicked as the tooth of the arrow broadhead smacked him. I felt like I hit him a little farther back, but I knew it was a solid hit,” he said.
A good blood trail, until the rain came
The deer ran off quickly for about 50 yards, but Pearson was able to watch as it slowed down, then walked out of sight.
After climbing down, Pearson found his arrow almost immediately. It was covered in dark red blood.
“Dark red blood indicates a liver shot. I found a few big puddles of dark liver blood, and I knew he wouldn’t survive. I gave him two hours to lay to be on the safe side. But then storms began moving in, and the urgency to find my buck became real. It started raining, and I was feeling sick to my stomach,” he said.
Luckily, three of Pearson’s buddies showed up to help him track the buck. With rain now washing away the blood trail, the four men decided to split up and search.
“About 15 minutes after we split up, we located the deer. The buck took a straight line for about 100 yards and piled up,” he said.
With some congratulatory high fives going around, Pearson got his first up close look at the deer.
“Finally, I counted the antlers on his head. I had no idea he was a 10-point when I shot him. I knew he was a good, mature deer, but I did not realize he was a 10-point buck in full velvet. I’m very thankful for this early-season, 180-pound, 10-point buck in velvet. Bow hunting out of a tree saddle is by far my favorite style of mobile hunting,” he said.
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