Those of you who saw the Outdoors page in today’s Roanoke Times, which had a feature on late-season hunting, saw this shot of Matt Vess and his giant taken last year on New Year’s Eve.
This is one of those shots that I misplaced last year, so I never got it posted. I’m happy to be able to finally give Matt and his buck the attention they deserve. Here’s Matt’s story about the hunt:
“I killed this buck on Dec.31, 2011, in Alleghany Co. on National Forest. I went out that morning really just to learn more about a particular part of the mountain I was hunting. There had been sign of a big deer in an area lower on the mountain but after a couple of weekends hunting there I decided to move.
I had a topo map and picked a place higher that looked to be a good spot. The leaves were wet and quiet so I was able to still hunt pretty well. I would walk 10-15 yards and stop (behind a tree) and listen for about 5 minutes then move another 15 yards.
After about an hour of doing this, I had been standing behind a tree for about 2 minutes. I was looking for any sign of movement in the hollow, then I started to look back to the direction I was going to walk when I saw this monster staring at me at 50 yards behind some mountain laurel .
Surprisingly I was calm and collected. I cocked the hammer of the Pro Hunter and raised the gun slowly. The only shot I had was at his neck, and when gun cracked the deer crumpled. I walked up to the deer and was in awe of what just happened. I called my Dad and told him what happened; this is when the jitters came. Turns out he got a buck as well.
The first picture is when I finally got the deer to the hollow. I had quite the drag. The second picture is of the dragging crew once I got it there. I called my brother Brother, my buddy Eric, my Dad, and Uncle Steve to come help me. And once I sent them a picture of the deer they raced up the hollow to find me and deer. We spent a long time just sitting and looking at the deer, sharing high fives and laughter. It was a day every hunter dreams of and I was so glad I was able to share that moment with them.”