The story starts way back in the middle of summer when I got Reconyx pictures of a big mature buck that I decided to call the Sticker 8 because of the kicker coming off of his G2. This buck was a traveler and would only show up every now and then. He basically disappeared until late October when I got a few more Reconyx pictures of him. We hunted him quite a bit and I finally caught up with him in early November. I had him around me for over 30 minutes but the camera man and I just couldn’t get on the same page. Then, about a week later I was filming Shawn and we had him come in again. Shawn shot him at 30 yards and he jumped the string big time. Shawn’s arrow struck him high in the shoulder and only penetrated about 6″. We looked all over for him the next day but we jumped him and he seemed fine. A few short weeks later we got pictures of him healed up and looking good.
That brings us up to two nights ago when I was out scouting glassing one of my food plots. Right at last light I saw the Sticker 8 feeding down the three line. I then looked over and saw a buck we call Junior heading right toward him. There must have been a hot doe or a fawn just coming into heat in the area cause these bucks postured up and did the stiff legged walk right toward each other and proceeded to battle it out for a good 2 or 3 minutes right in front of my tree stand. I thought to my self, “man, I hope they didn’t bust any tines!”
After seeing the brawl and all the deer feeding in the plot I decided that since the wind was right, I would hunt that stand overlooking the food plot. About 4:45 I spotted him stepping out in the food plot. Skyler got the camera on him and noticed that he was missing his G3! I immediately knew it had to be from the night before when I watched him fight with Junior. He fed into about 40 yards and with light fading, I decided to take the shot. I held low, to compensate for him ducking and I am glad I did because he dropped a good 12″ and my arrow went in high in the lungs. He took off and disappeared through the trees. We listened for a crash but heard nothing, and since the shot was a little high, we decided to back out and wait till morning.
This morning we got up and headed toward the farm to look for him. Right when I pulled through the gate and headed to the food plot I looked up and saw him laying right here on the edge of the field! I couldn’t believe it, but he had only gone about 100 yards. After shooting the recovery and taking a couple pictures, we headed down to the stand and looked for the tine. After about 5 minutes of looking I spotted the tine! I couldn’t believe it was laying right there where I saw them fighting. If I wouldn’t have seen them fighting the night before I never would have know it was there!
Shawn and I thought he was a 4 year old all year long, but as I was typing this email I had an epiphany. I went to the back room and dug through my box of sheds and pulled out what I believe to be his sheds from last year as a 2.5 year old. Turns out he is only 3.5. He made one heck of a jump this year and really fooled me with his big body, but I don’t regret shooting him at all. What an amazing story and a happy ending to a VERY long struggle to get a buck on the ground. At the beginning of season I said i wasn’t going to shave until I killed a buck, but i never thought it would take this long. I can finally shave my beard! I was starting to look like Santa….
Here are his sheds from last year: