When Robert Clark of Laurinburg, N.C. saw trail camera photos this past summer of a big buck on the property that he and a friend deer hunt on, he decided to be aggressive in attempting to keep the animal around long enough to get a chance to kill it.
His plan worked. The 130-class buck stuck around and he killed it while bowhunting during the opening week of gun season.
And while it’s common practice to keep plenty of fresh corn on the ground to attract and keep deer around, Clark opted for something a little different. He was giving this deer something a little more special than corn.
“I started pouring the minerals and sweet potatoes to him,” he said.
And it didn’t take long before Clark saw that these treats were doing as he intended. At least at first.
“I had consistent pictures of him until a week out from opening day of bow season,” he said.
But then the deer began coming around less often, and made it a little tougher for Clark to get a good feel for what the deer was up to. Still, Clark was happy that the buck, which he’d named Wide Load, was still alive and well, even if it wasn’t showing up every day on his trail cams.
He decided to put in a lot of time hunting this deer during opening week of bow season, but warm temperatures and other weather-related factors made that week a tough one for getting a look at deer, especially a seasoned one like Wide Load.
So after that didn’t work out, Clark waited for a cold snap, and when the weatherman called for such a day on the Friday of opening week of gun season, Clark checked his trail cameras again. Luckily, Wide Load was back to making daily appearances, and during daylight hours. He knew that Friday would give him a good chance at taking the deer.
And even though it was now gun season, Clark really wanted to kill the buck with his bow, so he left the gun behind and took his archery equipment into the stand.
“I really wanted to kill him with my bow, so mid-week, I checked my camera and had consistent daylight pictures of him. Friday morning rolled around and about 6:45, Wide Load walked out. As it began to get light, a 10-point came in and started eating with Wide Load,” he said.
And once it was fully light, Clark released his arrow which hit Wide Load right in the pump house.
“It’s my biggest buck to date, and I’m really glad I killed it with a bow,” he said.