By Woody Bloxom
-- On Friday, Oct. 5, 2007, my friend Larry Patterson called me at home in Arlington, Texas, asking me to meet him the following Sunday at the lease in Grapeland to hunt for a week. It was 90 degrees with a heat index of 95 degrees. I told him it was too hot to hunt. But it’s hard for me to pass up an opening day of deer season, so on Sunday night I called Larry back and told him I would be there Monday morning.
I did not hunt the first three days. It was just too hot in the dense pine forests of east Texas. Larry talked me into going out Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 10.
I was sitting 20 feet up a tree in my bow stand, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and covered with my bug-out suit. It was miserably hot. I had eight does and yearlings under my feeder. At 6:30 p.m., I saw a buck step out of the dense woods and enter the oak flats I was sitting in. The buck came straight at my stand and turned broadside at 40 yards. He then walked past me another 40 yards, turned back and walked straight back to the feeder broadside at 20 yards.
I pulled my bow and released the arrow. The string hit my bug-out suit and there was a loud pop. I saw the buck jump forward, drop low, and run back to the dense woods with my arrow sticking out of his left side. I thought to myself, "He’s gut shot." It was 6:45 and there was still enough light to see fairly well.
I knew to sit in the stand for 30 minutes, but after 10 minutes I had to get down. I looked for blood from the spot where he was hit all the way to the wood line, but couldn’t find a blood trail. I walked back to the truck and went to pick up Larry and tell him what had happened. He asked, "How big was the buck?" I told him I thought the buck was a heavy 8- or 10-pointer.
We went back and looked for blood, but still couldn’t find a blood trail. By this time, we were losing daylight fast, and we agreed to wait until morning to look for the gut-shot buck.
The next morning was Thursday, Oct. 11. Larry and I began searching at 8 a.m., as soon as we had enough daylight to be able to see. I found the spot where the buck entered the woods, and within 20 yards, I found my arrow, covered with blood. But we still couldn’t find a blood trail.
We followed a deer trail with broken limbs and branches until it split into a "Y." I took the left trail, and Larry took the right. At about 10:00, Larry yelled out, "Where are you, and what are are you doing?"
I was really frustrated by that time and yelled back, "Looking for blood. What are you doing?"
Larry returned with, "Looking at your 16-point buck!" I thought he was kidding, but started walking toward him. When I saw the buck, it took my breath away, and I had to sit down on a log. He was the most massive 16-point buck I had ever seen.
As I tagged the deer, I told Larry that I had my doubts we would find him. Larry said he had prayed last night for us to find the buck, and he told me he knew we would find him. Thank God his prayers were answered.
We each grabbed an antler and dragged that buck 250 yards back to the oak flat. Larry walked in front of my truck as I drove the last 100 yards through the oak flat because it was full of stumps. After all that walking and dragging, we were both exhausted. It took all the strength we had left to load that deer into the back of my truck. While we aren’t exactly geezers, we’ll both be 60 next year, and it doesn’t take much to wear us out.
After finally getting my buck loaded, we went to my brother-in-Iaw’s house to take pictures. Then we headed to the Sportsman’s Memory Shop in Grapeland.
The buck was 4 1/2 years old and weighed 160 pounds. His BTR score is 151 6/8 Irregular with a gross of 168. We don’t usually grow deer that big in Houston County. And when we do, you don’t see them in the daylight and never at a feeder. The owners of Sportsman’s Memory Shop told me that in 25 years, my buck was the biggest buck they had ever seen come from Houston County with a bow. I feel like the luckiest man in the world.