November 02, 2022
By Clifford Neames
Finding the perfect hunting spot is something deer hunters dream of. It must be easy to access, have a ton of sign and plenty of places to get a shot. Then, ideally, a great buck shows up on your trail camera, and you seal the deal.
Does that mean you are on to something? Maybe. What if a second huge buck shows right where you shot the first one? And what if it happens on the same date two years in a row? Would that work for you?
Mickey Wilson can tell you how it came about for him!
Mickey took a wide, tall-tined 9-point in a pine thicket last year on Sept 13. The buck was far better than average for the area. Most folks there, including Mickey, figured it was the king of the woods. However, there was a surprise coming.
A few weeks later, an even larger buck showed up on his trail cameras. The frame was similar, but the rack was super wide; and the beams had something different going on.
North Carolina is a two-buck state. So, Mickey took up pursuit of this new target, and that turned into a real cat-and-mouse game. He has two blinds in the thicket, and the buck always managed to be at one location while Mickey sat in the other. All his efforts could not make it happen, and the buck won round one. The season ended, and the long wait that we all hate began.
By July of 2022, Mickey was ready again. He went back in, put out some corn and fired up a trail camera. Bingo! The buck showed up within 24 hours. All Mickey had to do next was keep the giant there until the season opened.
By September, he had established that the buck was sticking around, and that there were several other bucks coming into his setups. So far, so good!
Since it is hard to get into the woods in the morning at the beginning of season without spooking deer, Mickey only hunted afternoons. During the first few days of season, Mickey had every other deer come by, but the big guy was not showing up.
On the afternoon of Sept. 13, Mickey got into the action. Not long after he arrived, a 10-point came in. The buck was a tempting target, but knowing the bigger deer had been around saved him. More deer began blowing just out of sight, and Mickey thought his hunt might be going down the tube. Then a familiar 8-point walked in and changed his mind. This new buck had been with his target deer all summer. This could be it.
Ten more minutes passed before he spotted tall tines coming into the small clearing. The real boss of the woods was now standing just a few yards away! Mickey could plainly see the stickers on both G2s and the left G3. All he had to do was make a good shot, but a bad case of the shakes had taken over. Ten minutes passed before he could shoot, then the Rage broadhead did its job; and the 170-class buck fell in sight.
Two big bucks taken on the same day, in the same spot, exactly a year apart. Sounds pretty perfect, right? Mickey is going to try to make it three next year, and he says 13 is his new lucky number!