Lee Tanner’s 10-pointer
Scorable Points: 10
Kill Date: 11/06/2010
County: Tazewell County
I had decided to take my decoy with me and didn’t want to put it together in the field, so I put it together in the horse trailer in the yard at about 4 am. After putting the decoy together, I went back in the house to shower and get into my hunting clothes. It was supposed to be a cold morning, so I decided to wear my Arctic Shield clothes.
I got the decoy and the rest of my hunting gear together and carried it to my stand, but I was burning up by the time I got there. Once I got the decoy set up and had sprayed it down with scent killer, I placed some buck lure and doe pee on the ground around the decoy and then got into my stand. As I sat down, I remembered that my wife had asked me the night before to show some restraint and only shoot a deer if it was less than 50 lbs or over 200 inches. I said a prayer and about 30 minutes later I saw a small 8-point buck come out of the woods up near the house. I grunted and he came running down to the decoy—pinning his ears and posturing for about 15 minutes before leaving. About 10 minutes later, I grunted again and heard footsteps behind me. This time, a tiny doe came directly under my tree and rubbed up against it, then walked to the fence. I drew my bow, put the pin on her, and released, but shot just over her—I had shot too high for the angle I was at.
She jumped the fence and turned, stomping and snorting at the decoy, but I didn’t have a shot. Within 5 minutes, she came back into my shooting lane, but this time I shot 2 inches over her this time. I looked over my shoulder at my quiver—noting I had 2 arrows left—and sat down. I prayed again and by the time I ended my prayer, I realized what I needed to do: shoot lower. Much lower.
I started a sequence of rattling and grunts, but got no response. I rattled 4 times between 7:30 and 10:00. At 10:00, the small 8-point buck came back across the pasture, checking scrapes. I grunted at him, but he had no interest in the decoy and kept going about his business, going over the hill away from me. I picked up my rattling bag and rattled for nearly a minute when I noticed a nice-looking buck come running from the same place where the 8-pointer had been a little earlier. About 40 yards from the decoy, he stopped and started walking stiff-legged and all puffed up.
My bow was hanging on its holder, and there was no way for me to get it without being seen. I still had the rattling bag and grunt in my hands. The buck walked straight up to the decoy and stopped behind a honey locust on the other side of the fence about 17 yards away. That’s when I grabbed my bow. The buck side-passed up to the decoy, laying his ears back and taking one side-step at a time, but offering no shot. Finally, when he was within 3 feet of the decoy, he turned and I saw his eyes roll back in his head and knew that he was about to destroy my decoy. I drew, putting the pin just underneath his chest and released. I saw the arrow strike right behind his shoulder and go in about 6 inches.
He took off running toward the pond at the back of our property and I could see the arrowing spinning around like a wagging tail. He went about 100 yards when he slammed on the brakes, reared up, and fell over backwards. I started shaking and kept staring. I couldn’t take my eyes off the spot for the next 30 minutes.
After waiting 30 minutes I got out of my harness and got down. I couldn’t believe how big he was when I walked up to him. I knew he was a nice deer, but I had avoided looking at his antlers when I first saw him coming straight towards me. He is the biggest buck I’ve gotten with a bow. His live weight was 290 and he field dressed at 220. His right front leg had been broken in a previous year and was slightly shorter than his left front leg with a large knot about 4.5 inches in diameter just below the knee. His antlers scored 186 2/8 (green score). I called my wife shortly after tagging him and asked if a 190 was OK. She said yes.