Congrats to Blizzard Ridge

STRONG deer! Wow. Congrats to Blizzard Ridge. Thanks for posting his success. We await the story, Brett!!!!!
Well I have been away for awhile running some hunters. I wish there was some great story to tell about this buck. It was pretty simple actually. I got a few hunters into their stands that evening, I had been waiting on the right wind to hunt this stand location for about two weeks. I hauled butt to my farm, It was approx. 4 pm when I got out of truck and got dressed. I ran up the hill and across the field to the small woodlot I would be hunting. As I started into the woods I noticed a doe bedded up on the edge. Well of course she blew out of there with the other 9 that were laying there with her. Great start of the hunt, right. Well anyway I made it into the stand. I had a ton of intel of a couple good bucks crossing by this stand in the field and also a giant that I know is running the area. I had 100% confidence that one of three bucks would show up. Well I had sat about and hour and I stood up to check the field behind me to see what was going on as I knew there were three doe working their way across field to me. In the corner of the field I saw antlers about 250 yards away. I texted my son and buddy and told them a good buck came into field and if he comes across field I will take him. I gave him a couple soft grunts just loud enough he heard them. I put the grunt tube away to not be tempted to use it again unnecessarily. Well he worked his way inside of 100 yards and I was second guessing my decision to shoot this deer. I texted my son and buddy again and told them I was going to let him walk.

Well the buck comes to within 25 yards of the tree and works a scrape. He gives me plenty of time to assess his age and I decide he is more mature than the pictures have told me. As if on a string he puts his nose to the ground and enters the woods a mere 20 yards south of me. Takes a few steps turns broadside and walks right in front of the stand at 15 yards. His head goes behind a tree and I draw settle the pin a couple inches behind the shoulder and tug on the trigger. He bounds about 30 yards turns to look and see what hit him. He stands looking my direction for about 3 or 4 minutes. I can see the blood and feel I hit him good. Right as I think he will pile up within 30 or 40 yards of my tree he turns and walks down into the draw in front of me. I decide to sit tight until dark then climb down and look for arrow. As I am searching for arrow I find a good bit of blood at the spot he was shot. I am happy with results but decide to circle around him and out to the truck to wait for help, hopefully getting him out of there. Help arrives and we head back to get him. The blood trail was steady, after about 100 yards I am starting to second guess my shot placement, after another 50 yards I am starting to quietly freak out a little. So as we stand there contemplating what is going on we look up on the other side of this log laying across the deep draw and there he laid. I go get my hands on him and he is stiff as a board after just an hour after the shot. He must have been dead within a couple minutes after the shot.

I get my hands on the rack and get to look him over, he is a lot better deer than what I had anticipated. I guessed him in the 40s to 50s. Well I have my youngest son and two buddies there to help with the track and now the haul up out of this deep draw. After some heavy breathing, a few stops to lower my heart rate and getting stabbed by an antler point when my son dropped his side of the antlers, we finally made it to the field edge up top. You just can't beat great family and friends!

After getting him home we get him dressed out and measured up. What a great day to have my new taxidermist in camp for a hunt. We got the tape ran over him and he scored out just a shade over 174" a far cry better than my original guess and almost letting the deer walk. His 2's were over 13" and carried the height all the way out with a 20" spread. I underestimated his mass as well which he carried nicely all the way out. Sorry for the terrible pictures as he was sitting down in a ditch and I was sitting on the hill and we had trouble getting good lighting.

Thank you for all the help Deen, Ronnie and Dalton and also thank you for all of the congratulations.
A great scoring buck. Congrats to you. And you considered letting him walk.

All is well that ends well.
Thank you for the kind words everyone. A blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally. I am just glad that he cooperated and did what he had done 3 days before with the same wind direction when I caught him on camera the last time. Now I am holding on to my final buck tag until my target buck shows up. Unless he shows up earlier and I can put someone else on him. Last year I didn't see him until late December so we will see. Thanks again everyone and good luck finishing up your seasons.