Trophy Buck Profile


By Shawn Wirick


Shawn Wirick
Shawn Wirick

Before the start of the 2013 season arrived this year, I had made up my mind that I was going to change my strategy on how I scout my hunting property.  In the past, I spent too much time in the area scouting, searching for sign or looking for stand locations.
This year was different. I was limiting my scouting to one or two nights a week watching the fields with binoculars from a distance and only went on the edges of the hunting area once or twice to hang stands. Trying to avoid known bedding and travel areas and not alert deer.

Season had finally arrived and I was pretty excited for myself and my sons to get in the woods.
     We had seen a few shooter bucks in the area and I new they were still on summer feeding schedule. So we limited our trips to evening only to try and catch deer heading to feed. I got to hunt with my son a couple times in the first week of season and even had an encounter with two of the bucks we knew were on the farm but just couldn't get them close enough for a shot.

An old friend of mine who has been hunting and fishing with me since we were kids had made plans to come and stay and hunt the weekend with me. We have taken a lot of deer and caught a lot of fish together over the years. My old friend made it down on Friday night and I told him that we had been seeing deer get to the bean fields 15 minutes or so before dark and they were passing a couple of the stands on the way. I thought we shouldn't hunt there in the morning to avoid spooking them out for the evening hunt later. He agreed. The next morning we hunted another farm by 11 a.m it was getting warm outside.we only saw a couple does and We headed for lunch and to take a break. After lunch we got ready and headed out to the stands. I headed to the ridge stand that I had been seeing the bucks pass by but had been avoiding until a good wind and good night. He took a stand about 150 or so yards up the valley from me, both were on the travel routes of deer going to the beans. It was really hot and muggy now. By the time I got to my stand it was pushing 88 degrees. I was not feeling real confident about seeing a deer let alone a mature buck in this heat. The first hour or so was warm with only an occasional squirrel to watch.
It was around 5:30 before I spotted the first deer, I never really got a good look but it walked below me in a creek, staying outta view. Finally around 6:15 I saw that it was a doe milling around and I decided if she gave me a shot I was going to take it. She stepped into the path. I drew my bow, settled my pin on her shoulder at 35 yds and touched the trigger on my release, then watched as the arrow took a nosedive and landed 3 feet in front of her. I had hit a small limb that I guess I just didn't see. She bolted and as she ran away I saw a nice 10 point jump up and go with her. How did I miss? How did I not see that buck down there? I was feeling pretty bad by now and just sat back down and knocked another arrow, replaying the shot again in my mind.
My friend had heard the deer running and snorting and possibly the arrow hitting the branch and texted me to see if I had shot. I replied and said yes and told him it was a clean miss. About 10 minutes had passed and it was about 6:30 , when all of a sudden the woods blew up, a deer ran out the point in front of me and stopped behind a brushy thicket 15 yards away, I stood up slowly trying see what it was, 10 seconds after that I hear another deer running to my left and as I looked it slowed down and started walking directly in front of me... It was the wide 8 pointer I'd been seeing . I quickly made the decision to shoot, he was 24-25 yds away walking right to my shooting phone was vibrating in my pocket from a incoming text ,I thought to myself not now as I drew the bow, settled my 20 yd pin in the lane as the buck moved I gave out a soft grunt and he stopped,I let the arrow go and it hit the buck solid in the right shoulder and I watched as the buck bounded off, I knew I hit him good and he wouldn't go far. I sat down to let my nerves settle and to text my friend, as I did I heard the buck crash in the valley. I got my phone out and was texting him when I read his text.... "I just hit that big 8 " !! My heart sank, I text back "so did I" !!
Had we just shot the same buck? Now what do we do? I got outta my stand and went to the scene of the shot. There laid my arrow covered in blood and a good blood trail going toward the way I heard him crash. My friend arrived shortly after and said the buck had passed his stand and he had taken the shot and he was sure he hit the buck on the left side. I told him I new I had shot threw both shoulders in the right side and that he didn't act or walk like he was wounded. We took off on the blood trail and after about 100 yds we saw the buck laying. When we got up to him there was the entrance hole from my arrow on the right side shoulder. The shot was a couple inches forward but a clean pass through. When we rolled the buck over, on the left front leg we saw where his arrow had passed threw the top of the leg and out the other side, missing the killzone low by a few inches. The deer ended up being a little over 20" wide inside and will score in the mid to high 130's. I'm very happy with the buck and I'm glad to add a new hunting story to our collection of tales. It's always a better story to tell when it involves an old friend, son, daughter or family of any kind. It just doesn't have the same luster when you don't share your outdoor adventures with friends and family.
Thank goodness for old friends and new stories!