Hoyt Trophy Photos | Johnathan Barnett

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Johnathan Barnett, Tennessee

Bow Used: Spyder 30

July 19th was my first time seeing this deer or even knowing about his existence on the farm and which I was hunting. At that point my heart was filled with hopes of being able to get a shot at this deer. As months passed sporadic pictures of the deer would emerge all over the farm however this dear among several other Pope and young class bucks really had my attention. September 29th was my first encounter with this deer. I was set up in a hardwood draw between to fields which were planted in corn. Previous scouting had proved that there was a loan White Oak dropping acorns in which the deer were heavily feeding on. At 5:45 p.m. deer began to funnel through the draw making their way to the lone White Oak. However due to my watching another Pope and young class deer which came in from behind me I was caught off guard, when I turned to see 4 other bucks making their way across the draw where the tall 8 was third in line. I was able to make a move and turn around in order to get a shot. In doing so amongst all the commotion I was overtaken by Buck Fever. At this point the buck was a mere ten yards from my stand. Upon drawing my bow The Buck Fever only became worse and I hit my release before ever fully anchoring before my shot as I watch the Arrow clip the top of his back and Skip off as the buck turned and ran in the same direction in which he was coming from. An overwhelming sickness came over me although I still had two to three other Pope and young class bucks all within bow range I was heartbroken because I wanted the tall 8. 4 days later with a trail camera setup over the area where the deer were feeding on acorns I did get a picture at the same approximate time a 5:45 in the afternoon of the tall 8 feeding on acorns. After multiple sets and set up all in different locations while playing the wind I never seem to be able to close the deal on another encounter with the tall 8. On October 30th in a set up nearly a quarter mile from where I had missed the tall 8 I was set up on a finger of woods containing several persimmon trees which protruded out into the cornfield in what I believed was not only a feeding area but more so a staging area before the deer enter the wide-open field. My wind direction wasn't perfect but wasn't bad...I'm a firm believer in Scent control and had been treating my scent Lok clothing using my homemade ozone scent tote, so I thought I would try and thread the needle on that afternoon. Around the 5:30 mark multiple deer begin entering the fields, some of those deer being awesome bucks whom I could see where checking each doe that would enter the field. A short time later I began hearing footsteps behind me inside the finger of woods I became ready removing my bow from the bow hanger, only to be surprised by 4 does which came directly under my tree. Does feeding on persimmons through the platform of my stand, which is when I heard the first grunt only to see another Pope and young class buck that I had had several trail camera pictures of and called the split G2 buck. Upon seeing this deer I had made up my mind that it was a deer that I would love to take. The buck was only 23 yards and standing perfectly broadside looking down the hill, I came to full draw settled my pin right behind the shoulder and at that moment through my peep sight and decide housing I could see the rack of the tall 8 headed towards the split G2 buck that I was settled in on and about to take. Seeing this and knowing that both bucks were distracted with each other, I was able to let down from Full draw. The tall 8 upon encountering the split G2 buck snort wheezed pushing the split G2 buck directly under me which pushed the does out into the field. The split G2 Buck was distracted now with the does, running and doing everything that a buck would do however the tall 8 stayed concealed inside the woods directly behind me within 30 yards with no shot opportunities. One of the does that were being chased other smaller split G2 buck entered the wood line catching the attention of the tall 8 this prompted a Chase with the tall 8 and the doe. What seemed like eternity the doe broke away from the tall 8 and made her way back into the field, however the tall 8 was nowhere to be seen. In what felt like hours with no sign of the tall 8, until thru the tree limbs of a small maple tree I caught a glimpse of one of the 12 inch G2 from the tall 8 followed by hearing several tending grunts. The buck began making his way towards the field where the does were along with the split G2 buck. That's when the tall 8 began making his way in their direction approaching a window offering me a clear shot at 30 yards. Once at full draw the Buck entered the window where he was stopped with a soft grunt, the lighted nock passed thru as the tall 8 mule kicked and ran 30yrds before piling up. Amongst the excitement, I realized the chase was over. I wish I could breathe life back into him and chase him again.

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