Bowhunter had multiple encounters with this buck
John Fuller of Oak Ridge, N.C. killed a 12-point Guildford County trophy buck on Sept. 23. But his hunt for this buck did not go without drama. It began on Sept. 7, when he thought he’d made a critical miscalculation on opening day of North Carolina’s deer archery season.
“When I went to my stand about 2:45 p.m., I bumped a buck (he’d long imagined in front of his Barnett crossbow’s sight pin),” said the 51-year-old supervisor at Welcome’s HM Windows and Doors.
“I had (trail-camera) photos of this deer from early May to June 1, then a really good set (of digital images) July 4, a day after a shot of him running with three in-velvet bucks.”
However, Fuller brushed aside his worries because he believed the big deer would return to its home territory, including a big soybean field.
“I was going to set my ladder stand against a tree near a field when I spooked him,” he said. “The 12-pointer and the nine-pointer he was hanging with were together.”
Hunter learns some critical information about the buck
Fuller quietly slipped away, not wanting to leave his scent to further spook the deer. He returned a few days later at mid afternoon when whitetails normally lie down to ruminate their morning snacks.
His trail camera’s memory cards had recorded times and dates the buck appeared at the field.
“I saw him and the nine-pointer Saturday (Sept. 14) at the field about 150 yards away,” he said. “I stayed in the stand that time, not wanting to spook him. And I knew then he was spending daylight (hours) some other place (a bedding area).”
After he climbed down, Fuller walked to where the bucks had crossed the field and found two well-defined, parallel trails (crossing the field into the woods).”
He moved his 20-foot-high, homemade ladder stand to a tree near the trails.
“I didn’t need any corn or other bait because of the beans,” he said.
Unfavorable winds keep hunter away
Because of swirling winds, he decided not to hunt Saturday evening (Sept. 21) or the next day.
“I use Dead Downwind Soap and Hairwash and spray my hunting clothes with Scent Killer,” he said. “I put my stands at least 25-feet high and make sure the wind direction is always from (deer) toward me. It’s worked so far.”
On Sept. 23 Fuller saw four bucks in the beans to his right. The big boy was 50 yards farther out, offering no shot.
“Then he started working his way toward me,” the hunter said. “It felt like forever until he got 32 yards from me. He was broadside, facing right and eating beans when I let her rip.”
The Carbon Express bolt tipped with a Rage two-bladed broadhead passed through the deer. With binoculars, Fuller watched the four bucks run away.
Fuller is hoping to put a youth hunter on the 9-point buck
“They ran and disappeared in a dip in the field, then went up a knoll and down again,” Fuller said. “When they ran up the second rise, the big one was kind of shaky legged. Then only three bucks came up the next hill.”
Fuller drove to friend Matt Barnhill’s Brown Summit home. He didn’t want to push the buck. They returned and followed a blood trail to the 180-pound deer, 150 yards from the broadhead’s impact point.
“I was shaking like a leaf when we found him,” Fuller said.
He plans to take a neighbor’s 9-year-old son to the area to take a crack at the nine-pointer.