Deer of the Day -- Tennessee Treetop Buck, JD Emison
June 30, 2011
For me it all began in 1974. I was fourteen at the time, and if it wasn't deer season, I was thinking about deer season. I was always in the fields or woodlots, searching for new areas that might yield my first buck. It took me three years, but I finally harvested a small eight pointer. As the seasons came and went, and after having average success, I began to think about trying to harvest a really nice mature buck.
Here in West Tennessee, we have lots of deer, but the big boys are hard to find. It just seemed it would never happen. Fast-forward many seasons later to the fall of 2009. I gained permission to hunt a small tract of land near my home in Medon.
After walking the farm, I noticed a huge weed field on the back of the property, which was on the edge of a creek bottom. I made a mental note of this bedding area. Most of the timber was cut over, and the upper part of the farm had a small cornfield. In early November, after the corn had been cut, I put out two trail cams and left for Illinois for a two-week bowhunt.
I headed back home to Tennessee on Nov. 20th, the Friday before our gun season opened. The next morning, I hunted a lease I have, and as I was sitting in my deer stand, I remembered my trail cams that I had out.
On the way home, I stopped and pulled my cards. As I looked at the pics, I was stunned to see two pictures of a huge non-typical buck, with a sapling hung in his rack. I couldn't believe my eyes. This was the biggest deer I had ever seen anywhere. I decided to nickname him "Treetop". I put a plan together that night. I remembered the weed field, and figured he had to be bedded near it, if he was still in the area.
As the day started on Sunday, Nov.22, 2009. little did I realize how that date would be forever etched in my memory. I eased into the area well before daylight, and climbed very high up a Red Oak over looking the weed field. As the morning progressed, I saw several deer in the weed field, does and small bucks, but no sign of "Treetop". Around 1pm, I decided to slip out for a quick snack, and by 2 pm I was back in the stand. The evening was really slow, without any sightings.
As dusk started to fall, I happened to look out over the weed field, and all of a sudden "Treetop" stood up and shook himself at about 90 yards. He had been bedded in front of me all day.
I knew this was my deer of a lifetime. I eased my rifle up onto my rest, settled the crosshairs on his rib cage, looked up to the sky, and said God please.
I squeezed the trigger, and he bolted, running about 40 yards, and then he fell down. I got my gear together, went down the tree, and hit the ground running. As I walked up to him I couldn't believe it. He had 24 scoreable points, and after the drying time he officially scored at 175 2/8. A 35-year-old dream had finally came true. I looked up towards the sky and said, thank you God.
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