posted on April 13, 2014 15:39
Tony Royal of Pleasant Garden, N.C., fell in love with Indiana while visiting his wife's relatives there two decades ago. He's made the long drive to hunt his in-laws' farms ever since, usually with friends he's eager to introduce to a landscape completely foreign to most Southerners.
Going into the 2013 season, Tony and his friends had tagged 15 bucks that scored 150 or better, and plenty more that topped 140 inches.
"It doesn't get any better than that," he says.
Tony and his comrades du jour normally hunt close to their living quarters when the season opens, but they deviated from that plan when they arrived and couldn't find the usual deer sign. He blames that on a family friend who was given permission to roam the property before their arrival.
He and his friends spent the day before the opener driving around and looking.
At one point, a 200-class buck crossed the road in front of their vehicle. That deer, along with the fact that a lot of the corn was still standing, gave Tony the idea of hunting out of a ground blind along one of the many drainage ditches between fields.
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