Bowhunter Passes Great Buck and Kills the Giant One Year Later

Big Game,White-Tailed Deer


Bowhunter Passes Great Buck and Kills the Giant One Year Later

Posted 2018-11-26T10:55:00Z  by  Michael Pendley

Have You Ever Let a Big Buck Get Bigger?

Rack Report Details
Buck:199 ¾ Inches (Green Score)
Time of Year:October 12, 2018
Place:Washington County, KY
Weapon: PSE Bow  Bowhunting 

Passing young bucks with a lot of potential means harvesting giant bucks like this one. (Wesley Smith photo)

You have to pass on some really great deer to get a chance at a super deer, Wesley Smith said.

That quote pretty much described Wesley Smith's two-year quest for this buck. He'd seen it, and passed it, last year as a main-frame 10-pointer that Smith estimated would score just over 150 inches as a 3-year-old.

He was a great buck, but I knew he was young and had all kinds of potential, Smith said.

In August of 2018, Smith was happy to see his patience rewarded. The big buck blew up from the previous year, scoring what Smith and his hunting buddies estimated in the high 180s or larger. All during the month of August, the buck was a regular at the mineral sites Smith and his hunting partners had put out around their farm.

As September rolled around, the buck disappeared. With plenty of cover and nearly 40 acres of food plots, Wesley was confident the buck was still on the farm, he just needed to locate his new core area.

Using multiple trail cameras, Smith was able to locate the buck again in October. But the buck's movement seemed entirely dependent on temperature.

We only got photos of the deer when the temperature was below 50 degrees. He just didn't move when it got warmer, Wesley said.

Smith's buck was very impressive, taping out at nearly 200 inches. (Wesley Smith photo)Knowing he needed perfect conditions to hunt the deer, Smith waited to go into the buck's core area until everything was right. On Friday, October 12, the wind was right, and the temperature was a crisp 36 degrees. Wesley slipped into his stand and waited.

Sure enough, the buck soon appeared, coming in to just 20 yards away. As Wesley waited for the perfect shot, a nearby squirrel mildly spooked the buck, causing him to jump out to 30 yards and stop to look around. Soon realizing the commotion for what it was, the big buck settled down and began to move toward Wesley again.

When the deer stopped at what Smith estimated to be 20 yards, he settled his pin and released the shot. The buck turned out to be slightly closer than estimated and the shot hit high, and slightly back. Smith watched the buck run off and thought he saw him bed in thick cover.

After giving the deer plenty of time, Smith got down and went to look for sign of a hit. He found no blood and no arrow. As he continued to search the area where he thought he saw the buck lie down, Wesley received a phone call alerting him to a family medical emergency.

As tough as it was, Wesley knew he had no choice but to leave the buck. A bit later, Smith called his uncle, who also hunted the farm. After searching the area, Smith's uncle found a bit of blood about 50 yards from the spot where Wesley had stopped searching.

Those spots turned out to be the only blood found. After not finding anymore sign, Smith's uncle began a grid search of the area and soon walked up on the downed buck.

Once he got his hands on the deer, Smith soon realized his estimated score of the massive rack might be a little short. The deer turned out to score a whopping 199 ¾ inches green gross, making it easily the largest buck Smith had ever taken.

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