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Talk of the Town

MalottBy Andrew Malott

-- On Oct. 21, 2006 in Winamac, Ind., in Pulaski County the day started out early with my dad getting me out of bed. I remember thinking why should I even get up; it's not like I'm going to get a deer. It had been six years since I shot my last deer.

So, I talked myself into going. Usually we are always running on the late side, but this morning we seemed to be right on time. My dad and I jumped into the truck and were on our way to my grandpa's woods. Then we grabbed our bows and were off to our stands. I sat on the edge of a 10-acre cornfield, just about 5 yards into the woods, along a well-traveled deer trail. My dad was only about 80 yards away in his stand.

It was a nice, still morning, and we were also having a really warm October. I started out seeing absolutely nothing at all, maybe a few squirrels. Around 8:15 I heard a "crunch, crunch" behind me. I looked and I saw a deer's rack moving around in the trees.

At first, I thought it was just a little 6-pointer, because I couldn't get a good look at it through all of the brush. As I got a better look at this deer, I noticed all of the mass and points it had. I thought to myself that this was definitely a shooter. I picked up my bow and settled myself for one of the most exciting things I have ever witnessed. There were only two possible ways this deer was going to walk. I knew if I made a good shot on it, I would have a really nice deer on my hands.

So, the buck started walking along the cornfield and then it cut into the woods. The buck got into the woods about 5 yards and looked right at me. I thought, "Oh my, gosh, what did I do?"

The buck didn't spook though; it just kept walking. When it put its head back down, I drew. I grunted at the deer and it trotted about 3 yards, I had a really nice clearing, so I took the shot. I hit the buck really well, and I could tell by the way it was running that it was going to go down.

About 10 seconds later and 80 yards away, my trophy dropped. That's when all the excitement hit me, I started shaking, and I couldn't even believe what happened. I pumped my fist and just kept saying to myself, "Yes, you finally did it!"

After making myself wait 10 minutes, I finally got out of my stand. I had to wait on a button buck to pass, and then I was ready to see what was waiting for me on the ground.

My dad and I met about halfway between our stands, and he told me he'd heard the shot and that the deer ran right behind his stand. Since he knew the buck was down and where it was, he wanted to see where I shot it.

So we went back to my stand, and I showed him the spot where he was standing when I shot. He wanted to practice our blood trailing. We started trailing and followed it for about 30 yards. By then, Dad could tell that I was ready to go get the deer. I wondered to myself why we should go to all this trouble when we already knew where the deer was.

We ended up looking for blood and didn't find anything at all, maybe one drop. When I hit the deer my arrow didn't go all the way through because I hit the opposite shoulder. He was quartering away from me when I took the shot. We found my arrow on the ground, though, and that is something I always like to find.

When we finally got to my deer, I was surprised how much mass there was, how many points, how tall it was, and just the size of the deer. It was a mainframe 10-pointer with 2 brow tines, making it a 12-pointer.

My Dad and I stood there pretty much in amazement, because neither of us have ever taken a deer like this on my grandpa's property. Dad and I discussed how we were going to drag this thing out of the woods. We were a good 100 yards in.

It was so heavy, we wound up dragging the buck about 10 yards and stopping. We were both panting and out of breath. My Dad and I both fell when we were dragging this thing. Finally, we got it to the truck and all the hard work was over.

I called my mom, and she couldn't believe what happened. My family all came over and took pictures of my trophy. Come to find out this deer weighed 247 pounds field-dressed. Its live weight was estimated somewhere around 310 pounds. The inside spread was 15 5/8 inches. BTR composite was 161 1/8, with a final score of 145 4/8. Hoosier gross was 155 3/8, 141 7/8. This is the first time I was ever the center of a story around my area; everybody was talking about it. This was definitely a day to remember forever for me.

Andrew Malott
Star City, Ind.

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