Deer Hunter Kills Giant Velvet Deer as First Archery Buck

Big Game,White-Tailed Deer


Deer Hunter Kills Giant Velvet Deer as First Archery Buck

Posted 2017-09-29T11:36:00Z  by  Michael Pendley

What Was Your First Archery Buck?

Rack Report Details
Buck:180 Inches (Velvet)
Time of Year:September 2, 2017
Place:Ohio County, Kentucky
Weapon: Bow  Bowhunting 

(Shaun Maiden photo)

Everyone remembers their first buck taken with archery gear. But not that many of us can say our first scored over 180 inches. Shaun Maiden can.

Shaun was late to the hunting game.

In high school, I spent all my time playing sports, Maiden said. I just never got into hunting.

That changed about four years ago when Maiden started deer hunting with friends and family.

Shaun was a fast learner, taking a couple of bucks in the 140- to 150-inch range while hunting with a firearm. When Maiden took up bowhunting a couple of years ago, he was able to fill his freezer with a couple of does. Not content to kill a small buck, Shaun made the decision to pass on anything less than a mature deer.

This year, a camera check on June 14 revealed such a buck. With almost daily photos, Maiden watched the buck grow throughout the summer. The deer was consistently showing at two spots on the farm, one near the front, and the other in a beanfield along the river at the back of his hunting area. In the weeks leading up to the season opener, the buck moved to the back of the farm almost exclusively.

But there was a problem. Almost every photo of the deer was at night or the very early hours of the morning. With this pattern, there was no way to get through the beans and into the stand without spooking several deer from the area.

Shaun made the decision to skip the opening morning hunt. A strong weather system had moved through the area the day before the opener. So the rain hadn't completely moved out of the area until the next day.

Hoping the clearing weather might have the deer up and on their feet early, Shaun made his way to the stand at 11:00 am with plans to sit the entire afternoon and evening. Early movement proved to be slow.

As the hours ticked by, Maiden checked his phone for text messages from time to time. At 4:45, he was replying to a message when he looked up to see the big buck walking straight toward him.

I didn't have my bow ready or anything, Maiden said. But I couldn't move because the deer was facing me the entire way in.

At 22 yards, the buck stopped and turned his head away from Maiden. Shaun drew his bow and tried to settle his sight pin on the buck. Much to his dismay, Maiden instantly realized the setting sun was shining right onto his sight.

I couldn't see my pins, Maiden said. I could see the buck's body, but I couldn't tell where my pin was on him.

Finally, Shaun was able to center the pin on the buck's vitals. At the shot, Maiden heard the arrow make solid contact with the deer. The buck bolted from the beanfield. Shaun waited for everything to settle before calling in help to track the deer.

By the time his brother made it to Shaun, a little more than an hour had passed since the shot. Twenty-five yards up the trail, the duo found Shaun's arrow. As they continued to track the deer, the blood trail began to dry up.

About 175 yards into the blood trail, Shaun and his brother jumped the buck. The deer was obviously hit hard, but the shot was back. As the hunter's watched, the big buck slowed his escape almost immediately and began to stagger. Not wanting to risk the deer making it to the steep river bank, Shaun crept in and made a follow-up shot. The buck went down for good.

Shaun Maiden's first archery buck turned out to be a giant main-frame 8-point with a split G2 and the same multiple brow tine genetics the hunters had seen on other bucks from the farm. Shaun says he has always wanted a velvet mount, so he decided not to strip the antlers.

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