Adcock, who lives in White Oak, didn’t have to think twice about shooting the buck when it finally got into range. A student at Simpson County Academy in Mendenhall, he drew his bow and waited until the right moment.
“Thwack!,” sounded the Swacker broadhead as it smacked the deer’s vitals a split second after Adcock’s release. His aim was true, and he remained calm during the moment of truth.
He was rewarded with a 13-point Smith County buck — a main-frame 10-pointer with three splits that weighed better than 180 pounds.
“I spotted the buck on my trail camera last year; he was an 11-point, and he had a hole in him,” Adcock said. “One of the neighbors may have shot him last year. When he showed up on my camera this year, he had much more mass and was noticeably bigger. I patterned him for a week or so and finally decided to go after him.”
The buck was frequenting a hardwood bottom with another mature 8-pointer and a couple of smaller bucks. Adcock got in his stand right about noon on Oct. 2 and stayed until dark.
“I saw the other bucks that had been with the bigger buck but never saw him come through,” Adcock said. “I got down from my stand right at dark and walked toward the field on my way out and came face to face with him at 30 yards, but it was just too late to shoot. I wasn’t able to see him clearly enough to shoot or take a chance at wounding him.”
Moment of truth
Oct. 3, a Sunday, was a day of reckoning for the young hunter, but he didn’t have a clue how it was going to turn out.
“I got in there the next afternoon, and the other bucks came in. I spotted my target buck at about 100 yards, feeding on acorns as he fed my way,” Adcock said. “The buck was traveling through a pinch-point in the acorn flat with a pine thicket on one side and a thick, overgrown field on the other.”
The buck made its way towards Adcock like he was on an invisible string. The moment of truth came as it walked into an opening at 27 yards.
“I let the arrow fly, and the buck ran away out of my sight at about 70 yards,” Adcock said. “I called my dad and told him what had happened, and he said to get Heath to help me look for the deer since he was close by. We didn’t want to spook the deer and push him further away if he was still alive.”
Heath Walters of Taylorsville has a prize chocolate Lab, Gage, a well-known tracking dog that has recovered many deer that escaped hunters.
“We waited until about 8:30 and took Gage up there, and Heath turned him lose,” Adcock said. “The dog picked him up quick and found him in a few minutes; the buck was already dead. As it turned out, he fell dead just past the last spot I saw him, 75 yards from the kill zone.”
The broadhead had cut a massive hole in the buck on the way through, and the blood trail was so big there was really no need for a tracking dog, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
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