posted on October 13, 2013 08:26
By Mike Handley
Had the curtain not been about to fall on Kentucky's 2011 deer season, Hebron bowhunter Jim Hill might've taken the 30-yard poke at the 150-inch 10-pointer he'd nicknamed the Grapevine Ten. He chose not to, to let the buck live at least one more year, because he thought enough of his neighbors had tagged out so that it could.
That wasn't the case a couple of weeks earlier, when the whitetail's antlers became entangled in some vines just 25 yards from his treestand. The scene was almost biblical.
If the animal had remained still long enough, Jim's bowstring would've hummed. But it managed to free itself and leave forthwith, before Jim could say "Jack Robinson."
"After that, I nicknamed him the Grapevine Ten," Jim said. "In addition to the nice rack, he had a calcium deposit on a front leg that made him easily recognizable."
That summer, Jim planted a clover plot near the buck's stomping grounds, and he retrieved his first trail camera photograph of it in June. With two more months to grow, its rack was already as big as it had been in 2011.
By late August, the deer was passing in front of the camera four times a day before it changed food sources and disappeared.
Jim hunted the field edges throughout September and most of October, but he didn't see the Grapevine Ten until Oct. 28, when he moved deeper into the property.
He hadn't been in his tree an hour when the buck of his dreams was breeding a doe 25 yards in front of him.
"When I drew my bow, he was only 10 yards from me," Jim said.
When the deer stepped clear of some brush, a Rage broadhead left a big red X in its side.
The Grapevine Ten was Jim's first to break the 160-inch mark on the BTR system. The inside spread pushes its composite score to 183 3/8 inches.
Dale Weddle will share the rest of this story in RACK magazine next year.