Skip to main content

August Flashback: Tennessee Hunter Gets Tired, Shoots Huge Velvet Typical

Bryce Slaven didn't feel like climbing the rest of the way up to his spot on the mountain, so he decided to just watch an open field on opening day.

August Flashback: Tennessee Hunter Gets Tired, Shoots Huge Velvet Typical

The mountains of Tennessee are rarely known for big deer, but Bryce Slaven was able to put an arrow through a giant, Tennessee velvet buck. Growing up in Fentress County, Tennessee, Bryce always dreamed of harvesting a giant buck; but he never believed it would happen. “In a county full of cattle fields and big timber, we never seemed to have the agriculture that it takes to grow bigger deer,” Bryce says.

Several years back, Bryce and his cousin were fortunate to pick up a 230-acre lease located on a mountain. The lease is mostly big timber with one small field that used to be an old home place. With the local community talking about a big deer in the area, Bryce was excited to see what his cameras had to show. To Bryce’s disappointment, the cameras showed no sign of this buck that was becoming a local legend. With Tennessee’s early velvet season starting at the end of August, hunters can hunt early enough in the year that the bucks are very patternable.

Though Bryce had no sightings of the giant buck, he decided that he was going to give it a shot on opening day to see if he could gain any knowledge on the buck’s habits.

When the opening morning alarm went off, Bryce got ready and prepared for the 40-minute walk to his spot at the top of the mountain. Just 20 minutes into his ascent up the mountain, Bryce started to get tired as he came upon the old home place roughly 1/4-mile from his spot. There was a tree stand just 20 yards away from him overlooking the small field, and after thinking about the 1/4-mile trek still ahead of him, Bryce decided to climb up in the stand next to him.


“It was me being lazy and not having a picture of the big buck that kept me from climbing that hill,” Bryce recalls.


To Bryce’s surprise, about 45 minutes after daylight, he saw a buck stand up out of the waist-high grass just 40 yards to his right. With one glance Bryce knew it was the giant buck everyone had been talking about.

As Bryce rushed to get into position to make a shot, the buck headed toward the timber. Right before the buck entered the timber, Bryce steadied his crossbow and squeezed the trigger.

The arrow found its mark, and Bryce was full of excitement and began making phone calls to his friends and family to come help get this legend off the mountain. After a short recovery, Bryce was in disbelief as to how big this buck was. Supporting a 10-point frame, this Tennessee mountain buck has a green, gross score of 176 7/8.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

For years, one of Publisher Laden Force's favorite hunting programs has been the Outdoor Channel's Live 2 Hunt program with Cody and Kelsy Robbins. Their passion for bowhunting and making new hunting buddies is contagious. Additionally, time and time again the pair has undoubtedly confirmed their position as some of the best deer hunters north of the Canadian border. So, Laden quickly accepted when an invite came from friend Mike Tussey of NOMAD Hunting Apparel to test new deer gear on a summer bear hunt with Cody and Kelsy's L2H Outfitting. Join him as he travels to north central Saskatchewan to put new NOMAD, the brand new Bowtech Carbon One and his sense of adventure to the test.
Destination Videos

Live 2 Bowhunt

Opening day is just around the corner, but there is still work to be done! The Forces complete the final prep steps, getting their hunting sites ready for easy access.
Learn

Opening Day Prep

The Forces complete the final investment, one that's not so “instant”, by planting new fruit/mast trees. 
Learn

Investing in the Future

Baseball transitions to football, which means it's time to get oats, clover & chicory in the ground.  
Learn

Cool Season Food Plot

Laden teaches the boys the importance of keeping your property clean to make final adjustments easier and less time consuming.
Learn

Property Management

The new hunting blinds have arrived, but the Forces get busy because the blinds aren't going to assemble and strategically place themselves.
Learn

Blind Placement Strategy

It's time for weed patrol! Laden ventures out to high cut the perineal plots, weedeat the electric fences and spot spray his clover. 
Learn

Plot Maintenance

Laden and the boys plan the off-season “to do's” and prep their equipment needed to execute each exercise. 
Gear

The Plan

Laden and his boys work through a timber management plan, letting Dad safely remove a few unwanted trees, opening up a canopy to help with understory native forage growth.
Learn

Timberstand Improvements

North American Whitetail Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the North American Whitetail App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top North American Whitetail stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All North American Whitetail subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now