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Pennsylvania Grandmother Bags Giant 14-Point Buck

Pennsylvania Grandmother Bags Giant 14-Point Buck

Posted 2024-06-26  by  Stephanie Mallory

Four-wheelers, chainsaws, and coyotes couldn't stop Donna Powell from tagging this massive Illinois whitetail with her crossbow

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Despite a frustrating morning that almost caused her to give up, Donna Powell stuck to her spot and was rewarded with this massive Illinois buck.

Donna Powell is a seasoned deer hunter, and a lucky one at that. Her husband, Dave, often questions why she always manages to tag the bigger buck when they go hunting.

“It’s true. I do usually kill the bigger deer between the two of us,” Donna said.

Getting the bigger deer was her goal again last season when the two headed out from their home in Pennsylvania to hunt their lease in Jersey County, Illinois. Donna had a specific target in mind, too: A massive 14-point buck that had been photographed by a trail camera on the property.

“I gave Dave a hard time about it. I said, ‘Ooh, Dave. This one is mine!’ He, said, ‘No, this year, I’ll get the big one!’ As we were looking at the wall where our other deer heads were hanging, I continued, ‘Hmmm, where should I hang my 14-point-buck?’ I was just joking, of course,” Donna said.

But, as it turned out, Donna would indeed need to figure out where on the wall to hang her giant buck. And although her hunt would end in great success, it started out as a bit of a disaster.

“That morning, I set up in my stand with my TenPoint crossbow. I had a nice one come through at about 70 yards, but I couldn’t really tell how big he was. Then a good 8-point came in that I decided to pass up. But after a few minutes, I heard a 4-wheeler and then people started talking not too far behind me. Then, of all things, they started cutting down trees. I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!,’” Donna said.

At about 10:30 a.m., with all of that noise going on, Donna decided to return to camp. She returned back to her stand at around 2 p.m., hoping things had quietened down some, but the people were still making a lot of noise.

“They saw me walking back to the treestand. They literally rode by me on their 4-wheeler and saw me and still continued to make a ton of noise. I thought, ‘You guys have gotta be kidding me. Don’t you guys hunt at all?’ I called Dave, who encouraged me to stay, saying, ‘You’re good and in a safe haven.’ So, I stayed,” she said.

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A bit later, Donna spotted a doe at 200 yards. Then, as if the noise wasn’t enough, a coyote showed up and hung out in front of her stand.

“The coyote eventually left, and at around 5 p.m., I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked over and there stood the massive 14-point buck. It caught me off guard. When I slowly went to grab my bow, my treestand made a noise and the deer looked right up at me. We just stared at one another for a while. Then he started shaking his head, and I took advantage of that distraction to grab my bow and get into position. He looked back up at me again and started to back up. When he turned like he was going to go back out to where he came, I grunted. He turned quartering toward me at about 40 yards. I took the shot and he took off through woods,” she said. She knew she’d hit the buck and was praying that they’d find him.

“I only had 1 percent battery left on my phone, so I called my granddaughter Makensie and told her about the deer, but I told her not to tell anyone. I wanted to make sure I was able to retrieve him first. Then I called my husband, but couldn’t get ahold of him. Next, I called my 13-year-old granddaughter, Autumn, who we’d brought with us. I told her to get ahold of her Pappy. I also called our friend Dave who was hunting with us, and he said he’d get in touch with my Dave.”

Donna climbed down from her treestand and soon, the two Daves, along with another friend, Greg, arrived to help track the buck. The deer was dead about 125 yards from where Donna had shot him.

“I didn’t realize how big it was until I saw the antlers close up. My husband just shook his head and said, ‘You always kill the big one. Why is that?’ I think it’s because I don’t get shook up like a lot of people do. I just figure God created the animals and we have dominion over them. I just don’t shake when a big deer approaches.”

The giant whitetail gross-scored 212 inches.

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