Whitetail Deer Hunting photo

Feb_21_07 Bradley Caro just emailed me this fine and well-written story:

Hello Mike: I killed this beautiful buck in Adams County, IL on December 7, 2006. I was hunting with Trophy Quest Outfitters out of Payson, IL.

There were 8-10″ of snow on the ground and the deer were keying in on food sources.I got into my stand at 11:30 a.m. and started seeing deer immediately. At about 3:00 it was like someone hit a switch and deer were everywhere.

I saw a monster buck cross a cut corn field around 4:00 that took my breath away. I knew he was 180″+. I did everything to try to get him to come my way. I grunted, bleated, snort-wheezed….everything. He looked my way but didn’t come in.

I was planning on how I would set up on him the next morning. Little did I know I wouldn’t need to. Right before 5:00 this monster came into the food plot and walked straight to me. I let him walk right under my stand and get past me for a quartering-away shot.

At this point I was on auto-pilot. I knew he was huge and I knew I’d make the shot.

He got to 20 yards; I drew and picked a spot at the back of his rib cage. I released and heard the thump of a perfect hit. The arrow entered at the back of the ribs and came out in front of the off shoulder. He took 3 big leaps, stopped and stood there as if nothing happened. Then he started to sway and went down into the powder snow.

It was the greatest feeling I’ve ever experienced. What made it even better was that my Dad was on the trip. He was as excited as I was. I called my wife and she was in tears, she was so excited too. It really was the perfect deer hunt.

Feb_21_07_2 The final tally on him was: 202 4/8 gross; 192 2/8 net non-typical; 160 2/8 net typical.

Truly a buck of a lifetime. I just wanted to share my story. Thanks, Bradley.

Bradley shot him an awesome P&Y buck–check out those world-class split brow tines! For a young guy, he also hunted like an old pro:

  1. He got into his stand super early, which minimized the human noise and movement in the area.
  2. When the 180-incher came by out of range he didn’t just sit there and watch him; Brad tried different calls and tried to make something happen. Didn’t work this time, but at least he gave it a shot. One of those calls might bring in a hog buck next time. Don’t be afraid to try stuff. I would have rattled also; some cruiser bucks in the Dec. post-rut and just before a second rut will still come to mock fights.
  3. Brad kept his cool and let the second giant walk under and past his stand for a 20-yard quartering-away. Very smart but not an easy thing to do in the heat of battle; heck I still mess that up sometimes!
  4. HUGE FACTOR: Way too many bowhunters see a big buck coming and hope they can hit it. Not Bradley, he knew he’d kill it. Confidence is big, especially in archery hunting. Never think about missing!
  5. As the dream buck walked under and past, Brad remembered to move his aiming spot back on the ribs as the animal quartered-away. Then he picked a spot of brown rib hair and drove that arrow/broadhead forward through the vitals.

Bradley, when I add it all up I gotta give you an A-plus man, way to go.