Woodard knocks down December velvet buck

Aaron Woodard took this 12-point buck in velvet in Webster County on Dec. 15.

Aaron Woodard is a successful bowhunter from Gluckstadt and he’s had quite a bit of success in his deer hunting career. Woodard harvested a trophy buck in Webster County last year and the story was featured in Mississippi Sportsman. However, our story this year actually began last season when he captured an 8-point buck on his game camera. There was nothing unusual about that buck last year, but things changed this year.

Have you ever seen a velvet buck? While most deer hunters don’t bow hunt and thus don’t get to see the early season velvet bucks except on camera, rarely do they see a velvet buck during the gun season, but that’s just what happened to Aaron Woodard.

“I saw this buck on my game camera during the bow season and he was now a 12-point buck with a much wider rack,” Woodard said. “I only saw him a couple times and it was at night, but things changed in December when he showed up on my game camera during daylight hours.”

Astonishingly, the buck still had his velvet on Dec. 13 no less, which is way past the time most bucks have shed that soft outer skin. Woodard made plans to hunt the buck as soon as he could and a couple days later, he was in the stand again.

“I was hunting the same stand that I hunted last year when I arrowed that last trophy buck,” Woodard said. “It’s a natural travel corridor for the deer with a hardwood bottom along the creek behind me and cutover to the north side. I got to the stand about 3 p.m. on Dec. 15 and heard some noise in the creek around 5 p.m.”

The work pays off

Sometimes things don’t work out no matter how hard you try and other times everything falls into place, and this happened to be one of those times for Woodard.

“I’d done all of my homework previously with scouting the area, putting the stand in the proper placement and then just hunted when the time was right,” he said. “There really wasn’t much to the final kill portion of the hunt. The deer fed out in front of me at 30 yards eating acorns and never knew I was there.”

Woodard centered his sights on the buck and let the arrow fly.

“Whap!” The Mathews Vertix bow was true, and the Carbon Express arrow tipped with a Rage broadhead smacked the buck and he was down for the count in short order!

“All I do is take a bow when I hunt now unless its an extremely cold day,” Woodard said. “The buck had 12-points with a kicker on one brow tine and had a 16-inch spread but the unusual thing was that the buck still had his velvet on his antlers except right at the bases in the middle of December!

“Last year the buck shed his velvet in October, so we are not sure why he didn’t this year. He had testicles, and nothing looked abnormal, but I did some research that indicated some bucks just have low testosterone and that could account for the velvet still being on the antlers this late in the year.”

Whatever the reason for this anomaly, it made for an interesting story and unique buck that will live forever in Woodard’s favorite memories of bucks he’s harvested.

About Michael O. Giles 401 Articles
Mike Giles of Meridian has been hunting and fishing Mississippi since 1965. He is an award-winning wildlife photographer, writer, seminar speaker and guide.

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