Buck had disappeared during the rut, reappeared after
On Nov. 21, Seth Rabon of Aynor, S.C. killed a massive 9-point, post-rut buck in Horry County that weighed 187 pounds. With an 18 1/2-inch spread, the buck sported just over 130 inches of antler protruding from its skull. It’s Rabon’s biggest buck of his life, and it almost didn’t happen.
Rabon first discovered this big buck was in the area before the season started. And he hunted every chance he got once the season opened in September. By then, the deer had disappeared before he could get it in his Trijicon sight and on the way to Wildlife Creations Taxidermy studio in Conway.
“I am hunting in a block of woods completely surrounded by agriculture fields. I plant 5 acres of food plots and keep plenty of corn out for these deer,” Rabon said. “But, if I don’t get them early, they always seem to disappear when the rut comes in.”
The disappearing act continues
And this year wasn’t any different. Rabon kept hunting hard during the rut and got sporadic photos of decent bucks, but never with any regularity. Finally close to Thanksgiving, his trail camera picked up a familiar face.
“I got a picture of him on Sunday morning. He was back!” Rabon said.
The rut is generally over by the third week of November in Horry County. Rabon felt the deer was going to be back for the remainder of the season. But, he wasn’t entirely convinced.
“I rarely see the same deer on camera during the rut and I was concerned he may still be rutting and may do a disappearing act again. So, I was going to hunt him as much as I could,” he said.
Rabon’s persistence pays off
Rabon hunted a few times early in the week and on Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 21, with only a few minutes of shooting light remaining, a deer stepped out 100 yards away and walked into his shooting lane.
“I knew it was him as soon as he walked out of the woods. I reached for my gun and the deer looked right at me as if he heard or saw me. I was shocked because he was 100 yards away and surely he couldn’t see me, but I froze,” he said.
As shooting light dwindled, Rabon started getting nervous. Rabon moved his gun into position when the deer dropped its head. He shot him right behind the shoulder. The deer took off in a flat-out sprint, then collapsed well out of Rabon’s view. Rabon found on his trophy lying motionless in the darkness 20 minutes later.
“I almost gave up on him when he didn’t return. But, my friend Spencer Evans stayed on me to keep on hunting the area because a lot of the deer I get on camera before the rut will show back up eventually. And he was right,” he said.
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