DANIEL CALLOWAY, MD
I watched this buck everyday morning and evening for two weeks before opening day. He was traveling from a bean field across a crp field to bed in a small 8-acre thicket, then back to the beans in the evening almost everyday.
On opening day I hunted both morning and evening with no sign of him. The next day I returned for the evening hunt. I had my stand hung in a hedge row that funnels the deer toward the beans. I had nine does and one small buck pass by my stand when i noticed the 130-class buck he had been traveling with come around the corner of the thicket.
A few moments later, the big 8 came out behind him and was still in full velvet. As they made their way to me, at 44 yards he stopped and I released my arrow. It found its mark and the buck ran down the edge of the thicket and looked to have gone down as he rounded the point of the thicket. I gave him some time; I knew the shot was good but just to make sure I waited.
After making a few calls I went back with my wife, father-in-law and friend Dave to recover the buck. He had fallen just around the corner from where I saw him last. It was my first velvet buck, which is unusual for our state due to the buck's rubbing out before the season opens.
He was rough scored in the 150's by my taxidermist and good friend Gina Tyler, who is an official scorer for our state. It was a great start to the 2008 season!
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