Out Cold Buck!
Mississippi, 11/2002
   

My name is Christopher Clark. I am 28 years old and am a father of 5 beautiful future hunters. I grew up on a hunting club in Benoit MS. This is where I learned to hunt, and grew to love the outdoors. The hunt I am about to tell you of is what I consider to be the complete culmination of my entire hunting career.

It was in Allendale County, SC at Groton Plantation. I was on a two day hunt with my Dad, Uncle, and my brother-in-law (I don't usually mention my brother-in-law, but he is a decent hunter ;-)) My dad isn't a hunter in any shape, form, or fashion, but he came along to take some video footage and contribute to the quality
conversation. My uncle has been a long-time hunter that I have managed to glean many tips from over the years. Anyway we got in the woods late on Friday afternoon and had no luck at all due to our late arrival I would
suppose. We retired to the cabin for the evening and got to bed early.

We rose to a relatively cold morning for SC in Oct. (Around 45-50 degrees). We were hunting in the peak of the rut and bucks had been moving constantly in pursuit of estrous does. I got in a chain up ladder stand before sun-up,
and was watching a road that went for 200 yds in both directions. Well within the range of my Savage 99 .243 with Vari -X II 3x9x50. I sat there until around 8:30am before I saw any deer @ all. Then one little doe came
and stood in the road for a while and then continued on.

We were supposed to meet for lunch around noon so with no more luck than I was having I climbed down and started to walk towards my dad who was sitting in another stand about a mile away. He watched deer all morning (and to my benefit he had no video footage of it otherwise I would have had to fight for the spot).... lots of deer small bucks, does, and of course THE bigun. I got to my dads stand about 11am and he was just coming out. When he met me he
couldn't stop talking about the Big Buck he had seen (I was like yeah OK dad whatever), but my dad isn't the kind to tell a tall tale so I had to give his input serious consideration for the evening hunt. We went back to base camp and ate a good lunch and napped for a while.

We made it back in the woods early; around 2:30 pm. My dad and I went back to the place that he had been that same morning. The plan was for my dad to sit in the stand with me. He and I made it up in one piece, but soon realized that if the old guy would ever be able to feel his backside again he would have to sit on the ground which was fine considering the stand was surrounded by extra thick laurel. He wasn't on the ground 30 mins before he was out cold. Well we sat there till about 4pm and it began to lightly rain. I wasn't encouraged by the conditions, but the wind was in my face and was coming from the clearing that the deer had been spotted in earlier that morning. Right after the rain stopped about ten does one at a time began to meander out into the clearing. They new all about the stand I was in and they kept me in check the whole time. Constantly throwing there heads up and looking strait at me. Not long after the does arrived a small 4-point entered the clearing, and soon after a small bread basket 6 was chasing a doe. It was about this time that my interest really perked.

The little 6-point was following a doe at a high rate of speed to the edge of the clearing at which point he put on the brakes and threw it in reverse. This deer couldn't get turned around fast enough and he was moving like he had seen a ghost. I got excited and began to concentrate hard on my ability to listen to what was going on around me. I could hear deer off to my right playing in the underbrush, but at no time could I get a glimpse of anything. The noise that I paid special attention to was what sounded like two sticks being slapped together every now and then. It was around 5pm when I caught movement directly beneath me (let me remind you my dad is laying flat on his back at the base of my tree. My dad was to my left and the little 6 was at the base of the tree on my right. This tree was about 3-4 feet in diameter so only about 6-10 feet separated my dad and the deer.

Well again the wind was in our favor, and the deer's nose was useless to him. He began to circle in front of us, and continued his circled pattern until he winded us. He then proceeded to blow 2-3 times and left the general area. At this point the clearing was empty, and my hopes of shooting a deer at all were fading much less taking a big buck. The plantation we were on only allowed you to take does or big bucks so I decided I would take the next doe that stepped out just to put some meat in the freezer and not to go home empty handed after a long two-day hunt. I had considered taking a doe early on, but opted to wait. The decision to wait was the best decision of my hunting career. Around 5:45pm the biggest doe I had seen so far stepped out. I pulled down on her and placed the crosshairs right behind her left shoulder blade. I placed the tip of my finger on the trigger and started to apply pressure when not 3 feet behind her HE stepped out and all I could see in my scope was antlers. I didn't have time to get nervous I immediately went to his vitals and squeezed the trigger.

He dropped where he stood. It was a good shot, and I was in shock. I look at my dad now wide-awake and said I
got him. He said got what? I said I took the big one you saw this morning. We walked over to where the deer lay and talked until we were picked up. When my Uncle and brother-in-law arrived it was dark and I ask them to help
me load the small doe I had shot. The got out and were taken back by the size of the antlers on my “small doe”. Anyway this was not only the biggest buck I have taken (191lb, 8 point BC 110-120 unofficial), but it was the
best time I had ever had in the woods. My dad, uncle and brother-in-law were there to share in the experience. I don't ever expect to top the hunt; unless I get to see my children or my wife have the same experience.

Chris Clark