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Rothe Buck That's Scared of His Own Shadow

YorkBy Roman York

-- Three years ago, I was fortunate enough to get exclusive rights to hunt a north Georgia property that's known to hold some big deer.  The area hadn't been pressured by hunters since the turn of the century, or so I was told.  And after scouting the place for about a week, I truly believed it.

The house on the property looked to be well over 100 years old. With no one around to take care of it, it also looked like it had 100 years of decay  That didn't bother me. What caught my eye was the leveled-out piece of property in the back.  I was looking for a good spot to put in a food plot, and all indications pointed to it.

I worked hard in preparing the plot, and even recruited friends and family to help.  The plot was a success. While the corn and beans were growing, I put a scouting camera in place to see what was coming in.  Most of the pictures were of does, but there also were some hogs I didn't know we had.

YorkThe only things missing were the bucks.  I couldn't figure it out.  Weeks passed, and still no bucks showed.  A friend of mine suggested I try an attractant called Deer Cocaine. I'd used it in the past without any luck, but I figured, “What the heck” and gave it another try.  After setting it up according to the directions, I returned three days later to check the scouting camera. I couldn't believe my eyes.  A group of bucks apparently found my spot within an hour after putting the attractant out.

From that day on, bucks came in like clockwork.  Pictures showed them rolling around in the mud. I soon found the bedding areas of these same bucks. The deer became such regulars, I even gave them names. 

One day an 8-pointer I never recognized showed up in the photos. Although still an immature 2 1/2-year-old, he had tall tines, a thick base and a nice spread.  The only problem was that he didn't want to come out during daylight hours. This deer was and is completely nocturnal. 

My camera hasn't moved since I set it up 3 years ago and I have only one picture of him at the crack of dawn.  All of my other pictures of him were taken during the night. 

Although I've taken deer all around the area, these days he rarely makes an appearance. Last year, he was a 12-point; this year he's probably just as big or bigger.

I still find myself thinking about this deer.  I know one day we will finally meet 

I sometimes wonder if the next cartridge I put in my 7mm is going to be the one that takes him. Being able to hunt a worthy animal that eludes my every attempt to harvest him is an experience of a lifetime.  That to me is a trophy on its own. 

--Roman York

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