By Brandon Bedsole
There isn't a time I can remember hunting not being a part of my life - a big part.
I've been fortunate to have grown up hunting with my dad, and everything I know about the outdoors I've learned from him. He taught me how to scout with trail cameras, which clued us in to this buck's existence.
For two consecutive years, we got a few pictures of the buck we named The Freak. Then, the deer mysteriously disappeared.
We didn't see it again until the day I shot it, and everything about that day was out of the ordinary.
I had been hunting all morning and already passed up opportunities at a couple of smaller bucks. Here in Alabama, the rut was on and the younger bucks chased does past my stand earlier in the day. It sure was a great day to be hunting.
I came out of the woods and went back to the truck to rest, eat and regroup. As I unloaded my gear, I heard grunting and brush crackling out in the clear cut and knew instantly it was the sound of a buck chasing a doe.
I grabbed my gun and hurried up the road, hoping to find a better view.
As I rounded the bend in the road, I couldn't believe it. The Freak was running through a clearing, directly away from me!
I only had a split-second to shoot before the giant was in thick brush, so I took the only shot I had, which was in the back of the neck.
Admittedly, my 100-yard shot was a bit lucky, but my 7mm-08 hit where I was aiming, and the buck dropped it in its tracks.
I was in complete shock as I walked up to my massive trophy!
I had just taken an exceptional trophy buck; one I might not ever be able to exceed in a lifetime of hunting.
I'm especially proud it came from a place not known for giants: Choctaw County, Alabama!