Paying fanatical attention to scent control might be the only reason Ben Anderson and his buddy of six years, Levi Tussey, got away with hunting from the same stands for a week and a half.
The North Carolina hunters wouldn’t normally put that much pressure on a place or a deer, but they had plenty of incentive in 2017. They were mesmerized by trail camera photographs of a buck with a funky rack – 22 points, one of them snow-white.
The Forsythe County whitetail was extremely photogenic. Ben and Levi collected several trail cam images of it in 2016, when the deer was a mere 11-pointer, and more the following summer, when its point count doubled.
Best of all, the animal had no qualms about eating with the sun overhead.
Levi hunted it hard across the 280 acres in 2016, but he was never in the right place at the right time.
The guys devoted 11 consecutive days to hunting this buck in September. The deer gods smiled on Ben during trip No. 12 – Sept. 22, the day Levi couldn’t break away from his job.
Ben’s was a 20-foot-high, double ladder stand, about 30 yards from a corn buffet. He left his auto repair shop early that Friday, went home to take a “no-scent” shower, and was in his perch by 5:45.
The scent-conscious hunter doesn’t dress in his hunting clothes until he reaches his destination. Truckside, he pulls his duds out of a sealed container.
He couldn’t get into camo fast enough that day.
“I had a something’s-going-to-happen, something’s-coming-in feeling,” he said. “I think Levi sensed it, too.”
His intuition was right.
About 7:15 Friday evening, the wonky-antlered deer arrived with two other mature bucks and one small one. The 30-yard shot was almost a gimme for Ben’s Mission crossbow. The unique whitetail collapsed after running less than 90 feet.
Levi, owner of Driftwood Taxidermy, is going to mount the deer for Ben, whose previous best was a 120-incher.
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