Tennesse Christmas ( Kinda long )

KBGKBG Posts: 186 Deckhand
The wife and I made the Christmas trip to Tennessee to visit Mom and Dad this year. They usally come down here. It was definatly the right choice. Got there Friday night (21st) and temp was already 25*. While unpacking I realized I forgot extra ammo for the rifle! I only had three rounds for the trip. Woke up Saturday morning to 18* on the top of the mountain the bottom was even colder. Yeah, ummm I think I'll go back to bed and scout later........ So later that day I'm sitting in a old barn in a "holler" where I had seen a huge buck about 5 years ago. Right before dark two little wrens fly in the barn and start taking a dust bath @ 2 feet from me. " Pretty cool " I'm thinking, I would love to get a video of this. Then one flies right by my boot and starts dusting getting the dirt on my boot! Too cool. As I'm getting my phone for a video of the birds I notice deer legs through the slats in the barn, then more legs. Ends up to be a button buck and a doe just feet away. I get video of them instead and they run off after Dad drives up on the ATV. The next morning I'm in the barn before daylight freezing my butt off. Sat for an hour and then decided to climb the ridge and warm up in the sun. Discoved a huge scrape and a rub that had twisted off and broke a small pine @ 2" in diameter, "this is good". Found a nice big Sand pine and sat until the church bells rang,(11:00). Nothing but squirrels so I made my way down the ridge and headed to the next "holler" over to check it out. At the next "holler" I slipped down the edge towards the ridge. As I get to where it starts to narrow I move to the middle of the "holler" and start comtemplating the accent to the top, @ 1000'. All of a sudden I hear alot of noise, leaves crunching, branches breaking and way up at about 900' I see a deer running just under the ridge line. Throw the rifle up and cannot make out the sex due to trees and the deer running. When the deer hits the gulley I'm about to walk up it turns right towards me and makes it's way down. Now remenber I'm in the middle of the field/ "holler". It keeps coming, 200 yards, 100 yards, oh crap "horns", 50 yards and still running "This thing is going to run me over" I grunt and the deer stops at 30 yards looking directly at me in the middle of the field. Crosshairs on the center of his neck, boom! The .257 Weatherby mag dropped him in his tracks. Now the "fever" hits. For being a 5 point this little guy is wide (19"), though not to big. Both main beam tips are broken as is his G2, and he's missing a brow tine. Oh well, I'm very happy. I notice his tarsal glands arewet and very smelly. Another good sign. Mom and Dad make it back from church and Dad and I go load him up on the "mule". Make it back to the house and start cleaning the buck. The 24th had bad weather so I didn't hunt and was seriously thinking about not hunting on Christmas day. The family and I go see Dad perform in his Christmas play at Church and I get 'harrassed" by the locals about not knowing how to hunt in the mountains because I'm from FL. Back and forth the banter goes. So some guy shows me a decent shed and said "When you get one bigger than this, "We'll talk". Now I'm determined! Confirm with everyone that they are sleeping in Christmas morning. Dad said he'll come pick me up @ 10:00. Christmas morning and everyone was sleeping in except me. I make my way down the mountain into the "fog as thick as pea soup" and back into the same "holler" from the 23rd. Just as I step in the clearing a single deer runs up into the ridge 20 yards to my left. I bleat (Original Can) and the deer stops and takes a step then I lose him in the trees. I get to the edge and stand and wait. Never heard another sound. A few minutes later a nice forked horn buck walks into the clear and tries to find me. I'll let this one walk, he's smaller than what I have all ready shot. He walks up the ridge and over. I start slipping down the edge and between the water dripping from trees and my premature buck fever , I hear way too many "steps". I sit down on a log near two trees very close to where I shot the buck two days ago. As the fog rolls through I plan on moving when it's thick but never do, keep those "steps". Squirrels catch my attention in the wood line, thats what is making all that noise. Just then I see some turkeys fly up into some trees on the east ridge. "I"ll take a nice gobbler" I'm thinking. Well they fly down and make their way down the ridge to the "holler". Now I'm sitting on a log in the open with my rifle in front of me to help break up my silhouette. Six hens make their way into the clear and start feeding about 30 yards away. I'm feeling really good about my camo and the ability to sit still with 12 eyes trying to make me out. They feed around for about 10 minutes and then one of the turkeys streches her neck like she saw me move. "She busted me", but I hadn't moved,then another and another. Up the ridge they goe in a single file line. What the heck?? Then I hear the super soft wet leave shuffle and slowly turn my head. There is a deer with HORNS, and MORE HORNS at 20 feet. Now I'm getting the stare down from a huge buck, sitting on a log in the open! The deer takes a step and he is so close I can see his nostrils moving around trying to wind me. I'm now totally freaking out! Another step, this time towards me. All I can do is TRY to not move. I'm turned the wrong way to make a shot and he's so close there is no way I'm going to be able to move to get a shot! I'm stuck. My eyes are 3/4 the way closed so he cant see my "whites", all I can see him with is my peripheral vision, (I didn't want him to see my face/ eyes). Step, stare and smell, step, stare and smell. This goes on for what seemed like an hour but more like 5-7 minutes. He finally gets sketched out and takes off for the ridge. I spin around, shoulder the rifle and grunt. The deer stops on the ridge about 100 yards away and all I can see is the curve of his rack and part of his shoulder between two trees. As I look through the scope I see tree, deer, tree, tree, deer, tree, tree, tree, deer. I bottom out my breath, find the deers shoulder and squeeze the trigger. The buck takes off up the ridge, Crap, did I miss? He bounces a couple more times then I see his back end drop, then he falls and slides down the hill in the leaves. I'm now locked up, "Did that really just happen"? The buck lifts his head from the ground and then it goes right back down. I try to gather myself. I walk up and snap a picture and then walk away and sit behind a tree. I keep looking over to verify that there was a deer there. I wanted Dad to be there when I got a good look at him. I was waiting to hear the "mule" start up and make its way down the mountain to pick me up. Surley they heard the shot. While I was waiting I saw another deer headed my way on the same trail. I got the phone out and shot a 5 minute video of the button buck from the 22nd. He walked to within 5 feet of me feeding. Finally at arms reach he noticed me and took off up the hill. What a day! To say I was happy is a understatement. I finally hear the "mule" fire up and Dad makes his way down the mountain and up into the "holler". He asked if I had seen anything, I told him about the forked horn, turkeys and then pointed to the deer. After some hugs and high fives, I told him the story. Somehow we got the very heavy deer into the back of the "mule" and head back to the top of mountain. As we get there Mom and the wife came out and said that we need to get inside so we can open presents. I told them I had already opened mine and smiled. They walked around the truck near the shed, "oh my gosh" more hugs and pics. As we were opening presents I reflected on the past few days, the wrens dusting, doe and button buck at the barn, Christmas play, forked horn buck, turkeys, the big buck and then the button buck again all around me and family. What a GREAT Christmas, two of my biggest deer and time with the family. Needless to say I cant wait until next year!

5 point in the mule.....

From the log where I was sitting. The big buck walked right behind the pines and in front of that poplar tree...


Looking back towards where I was sitting, just to the right of those two trees about halfway in the picture...

Happy me....

Sorry so long but it was an adventure!
The welfare of the state depends on the morals of its citizens.




  • pbsnookerpbsnooker Posts: 877 Officer
    Congrats, great story and beautiful buck!
  • GlennGlenn Posts: 1,660 Officer
    Great bucks! What area of Tennessee was that?
  • KBGKBG Posts: 186 Deckhand
    Del Rio, TN. Near Newport, Middle East.
    The welfare of the state depends on the morals of its citizens.


  • ReelAffair23ReelAffair23 Posts: 784 Officer
    congrats on a great buck!!
  • TritonTriton Posts: 10 Greenhorn
    great story and congrats....
  • ReeltightReeltight Posts: 204 Deckhand
    Wow! what a really great christmas you had
  • micci_manmicci_man Somewhere in FLPosts: 11,787 AG
    Congrats man!!
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • BuckDaddyBuckDaddy Posts: 644 Officer
    Nice Christmas hunting & family time... Really enjoyed your story !!!
  • BowtechGen3BowtechGen3 Altoona, FlPosts: 772 Officer
    Congrats Awesome Hunt!!
    Director - Central Florida Dog Hunters & Sportsmans Association

  • Derek ArsuaDerek Arsua Posts: 2,474 Officer
    Wow that's sounds like an absolutely amazing trip and the bucks you harvested awesome!! The big guy is a true stud congrats on him
  • D DayD Day Posts: 84 Deckhand
    Congrats. Great Buck and story.

    The post wasn't too long !! Love all the details and the pictures that went with it.
  • flydownflydown Posts: 6,449 Admiral
    Now THAT'S what I call a Very Merry Christmas! Congrats to you, and thank you for taking the time to take me along for the ride with your story.
    Very well written! I too know the feeling of having a big buck pin me down at close range. There is nothing quite like it.
    DYING for me was the most HE could do. LIVING for HIM is the least I can do

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