Do You Deer Hunt During the Early Season?
|Rack Report Details|
|Buck:||198 ½ Inches (Velvet)|
|Time of Year:||September 2, 2017|
|Weapon:||Obsession Bow Bowhunting|
Colten Clemmons owes this buck to his trail cameras. As a pro staffer for Spartan Trail Cameras, Colten likes to run cameras every chance he gets. About a month before the 2017 Kentucky season, Colten decided to stick a camera on a farm he thought might be good for a doe or two.
The farm had a little timber, but was surrounded by what had always been cattle pasture. This year, the farmer had moved the cattle and the land around the timber had been planted in row crops. Deer numbers in the area had always been low, and Colten wasn't expecting much when he hung the cameras.
His third card pull changed everything. A huge buck, bigger than anything Clemmons had ever killed, was showing up on a regular basis. Colton immediately made plans to hunt this buck. In the days leading up to the season, Clemmons patterned the buck and its running mate.
Both deer regularly approached the stand site shortly after midnight. They'd both linger a bit, then leave. Most mornings, both bucks passed back through right at daylight. Colton decided that, as soon as the wind was right, he would be able to sneak in to his stand before the bucks made their return trip at dawn.
Opening morning dawned extremely cool and wet. The remnants of a tropical hurricane drenched the area with several inches of rain. The last waves were still hanging on at daylight.
Clemmons decided to hunt anyway. He knew he'd have to get into the stand early to keep from bumping the bucks as they made their way by his treestand location. To be safe, Colton climbed into the tree nearly an hour before shooting light.
As the morning light began to grow, Colton strained to see the bucks returning on their normal route. At 6:10 A.M., he finally saw the smaller of the two bucks standing 130 yards away in the beans. Soon, the large buck stepped into view, too.
Minutes later, the buck stopped at 40 yards, but Clemmons wasn't comfortable with the shot angle. The buck wasn't spooked, so Colton hoped it would continue down the trail. The buck moved in his direction and finally stood broadside at 24 yards.
Colton drew his bow and released the arrow. The shot was good and the buck bolted from sight. It was 6:24 A.M. on opening morning of season and Colton Clemmons was pretty sure he had just filled his buck tag.
The blood trail was short. The buck had made a circular 60-yard dash, and piled up less than 30 yards from Colton's treestand.
As he walked up to the buck, Colton quickly realized the buck was even larger than he thought. A nearby landowner had shown Clemmons trail cam photos of the same buck from the previous year. Both of the hunters judged the deer to be in the mid 140's then. From his numerous trail cam photos, Colton had expected the buck to score in the 160's this year.
A trip to the taxidermist confirmed his suspicions. The buck taped out in the upper 190s (gross score). With several tines measuring nearly a foot in length, and mass measurements that ranged from 4 to 6-plus inches, the buck was even better than he imagined.
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