Long hours in the stand and a can-do attitude can yield remarkable rewards. Just ask Phillip Carter and his brother-in-law, Roger Hill.
These two Arkansas guys live to hunt white-tailed deer, and after what happened to Phillip on Dec. 30, 2012, their dedication to the sport isn’t about to wither.
Phillip and Roger live next to each other on 80 acres they bought in 2008. The Benton County tract has rolling hills of white and red oak timber, interspersed with food plots they planted after building their houses.
Their devotion to molding the land and managing deer has paid big dividends. Going into the 2012 season, Roger had harvested a 135-inch (BTR) 13-pointer, and numerous friends had taken respectable 8-pointers off the place.
On Sept. 24, Phillip and Roger had an opportunity to buy a nearby 160-acre tract. To see what kind of deer it held, they put out trail cameras. Within a few days, they’d retrieved a photograph of a buck far bigger than any other they’d ogled.
They hunted for that deer for almost a month before the neighbor called to say he’d harvested it. The man had set up a pop-up blind and sat in it for two hours.
“Talk about taking the wind out of our sails!” Roger sighed.
After devoting so much time to pursuing a particular deer, many hunters might’ve written off the season.
Knowing there’s more fish in the sea doesn’t always spur a frustrated fisherman to keep casting his net.
For Phillip and Roger, however, hope springs eternal. The brothers-in-law simply rested a few days while their trail cameras did all the work.
They got the wind back in their sails when they checked the cameras on their 80 acres on Dec. 22.
Twice in five days, a monstrous buck — even bigger than the one they’d hunted on the other property — had walked in front of the backyard lenses. Thus began new and extensive planning sessions.
Both men hunted long hours through Christmas, carrying both bows and guns, when that season opened.
Neither saw the buck from the photos, and they were fearful that a new ground blind might’ve spooked it off the tract.
Both Phillip and Roger had to go out of town on Dec. 28, so they removed the blind before they left. They pulled the camera card when they got back home, and the buck was there. It had been hanging around for the last 72 hours.
The wind was right on the evening of Dec. 30 for them to visit a tree containing two stands. They were aloft by 3:30, braced for the 20-degree weather.
Nothing happened until 5:15, when Phillip hissed, “THERE HE IS!”
The magnificent buck was 100 yards from the stand and coming closer. When it stopped for a while halfway to them, Phillip told Roger, “I can shoot him.” But Rodger told him to hold his horses.
“He will get closer,” he promised.
Sure enough, the buck came to within 25 yards, and that’s when Phillip loosed his arrow. The thwack was music to their ears, the period at the end of 80 days of climbing trees and sitting in ground blinds.
And that the deer was shot on their own property made the experience even sweeter.
Hunter: Phillip Carter
BTR Score: 208 4/8
– Photos by Rusty Johnson
This article was published in the October 2013 edition of Rack Magazine. Subscribe today to have Rack Magazine delivered to your home. Read Recent RACK Articles:
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