Big Buck 411 Blog

If you hear dirt hitting leaves ...

If you hear dirt hitting leaves ...

By Mike Handley

Clark Campbell doesn’t mind stepping into the shower in the middle of the day, especially if he knows he’ll be in a deer stand 15 or 20 minutes after toweling himself dry.

The 23-year-old from Guthrie, Oklahoma, doesn’t hunt where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain. He goes to a friend’s acorn-rich 9 acres in the (bow-only) Oklahoma City limits.

He had lots of incentive to go there often in 2019, namely a mature buck he’d nicknamed Big Heavy. He’d even collected a few daytime trail camera photographs of the deer just 500 yards off a noisy major highway.

“You can hear car horns honking and sirens blaring. You hear trucks running down the highway. But you don’t often get to hear the actual sounds of God’s creations, like birds singing, squirrels scratching or deer making scrapes,” he told Gita Smith, who’s writing the story for Rack magazine. “Even after three years, I haven’t gotten used to it.”

Prior to driving there at 2 p.m. on Nov. 1, scent-conscious Clark took a midday shower. With the temperature in the 60s and a quarter-mile walk to his treestand ahead of him, he wanted to start as scent-free as possible.

Three hours into his afternoon excursion, Clark watched a 3-year-old 8-pointer, not the deer he was seeking. After it had gone and there was a lull in the nearby highway traffic, he heard something approaching from the east.

“I knew there were some scrapes where the sound was coming from, and I heard dirt hitting leaves,” he said.

Figuring a buck was responsible, Clark stood and readied his bow.

“When the buck appeared, I let it walk straight into a small opening in the brush. It was heading toward more brush and could disappear, so I quickly picked the spot, a trail I had done some manicuring on,” he said.

“I drew a deep breath. My knees went weak, but, fortunately, I had on my harness. When my arrow hit, the buck made the standard jump and kick, and then it looped toward the bedding area,” he said.

Its bellows duly pierced, the animal went down after a 20-yard sprint.

For the next 20 minutes, Clark shared the news with friends while fighting the urge to go to his deer. He asked his closest to help him retrieve the animal.

It has not yet been scored.

— Read Recent Blog! Who Bowhunts from the Ground? Dillon Boone's deer has a BTR score of 203 3/8 inches.

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