Madison Parker of Florence, S.C. began sitting in the deer stand with her dad when she was just a baby, so it was fitting that the two were sitting together on Sept. 6 when the 19-year-old killed the biggest deer of her life, an 11-point buck that weighed 195 pounds and had a massive rack that has been rough scored at 140 inches.
But Parker and her dad had to endure a tortuous hunt just a day earlier when her dad, Chad Parker, received photos of that same buck from a trail camera at a different stand than they were hunting on their Florence County property.
“When we were walking in to hunt the day before, dad was getting texts on his phone from the trail camera at the other stand. But we didn’t go to that stand that day because the wind was blowing in the wrong direction. The wind forecast was good at that stand for the next day though, so we didn’t want to try getting in there and risk scaring him away,” said Madison.
“I think I was more upset than she was, knowing the deer we’d been hunting was that close to us, about 400 yards away, and I was trying to figure out if there was any way we could sneak our way over there, but Madison was fine with it. She said we should just wait and not mess things up,” said Chad Parker.
They’d been targeting the big buck since seeing it last year as a 9-pointer. They’d let it walk and were happy to see it showing up again this year, but with a couple of extra tines now. They left the buck unpressured, making sure not to visit the stand except when all conditions were right.
“We needed a northeast wind to hunt that stand, and when we saw we would get that on Thursday, we knew we had a good shot to see the deer,” he said.
So the two climbed their 12-foot Quad Pod deer stand early the next morning, and before long, two cowhorn bucks showed up. As Madison watched them play around near their corn pile, she noticed them both get suddenly alert. Then they scattered.
“Once they scattered, I put my gun to my shoulder and began looking for him. I knew they must have scattered because they saw him coming in, and a few seconds later, he was there,” she said.
That’s when Madison found the deer in the crosshairs of her Bushnell scope, pulled the trigger on the Remington Model 7 .308 that she’s hunted with since she was seven-years-old, and sent a 165-grain Hornady bullet to the buck’s vitals, dropping it at 7:05 a.m.
It’s not the first buck she’s ever killed, but it’s definitely her best one so far.
“It’s my buck of a lifetime. It’s great when a plan comes together,” she said.