‘I was freaking out’: Trophy deer dodges three bullets from couple before wife bags it – Clarion Ledger

Mature bucks are difficult to harvest. Their sense of smell, hearing and ability to sense danger make them a challenge for even the most experienced hunters.

One particular South Delta buck had an unusual defense. His 146-inch rack, with thick bases and long main beams, made hunters so nervous it appeared no one could hold a rifle steady enough to shoot him.

“I first saw him last year,” said Thomas Garland of Onward. “I had an encounter with him, but his main beam was broke off at the G2. There wasn’t any point in killing him like that.”

The broken antler was the buck’s pass to live another year, but Garland had his sights set on the buck this season. Photos of the buck began appearing on game cameras in early December. His rack was bigger than before.

After her husband missed him twice and she missed him once, Victoria Garland of Onward was finally able to harvest this 146-class Delta buck.

Garland hunted the same stand where he encountered the buck last season and although he was seeing some good bucks, the one he was after never appeared. On Christmas Day, that changed.

Garland walked outside to get his gear out of his truck for an afternoon hunt. As he got ready and began walking to his stand, he kept his eyes on a group of does feeding in a field 500 yards to his right. He was so fixed on the feeding deer, he almost didn’t notice the buck standing directly in front of him.

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