11-year-old kills trophy buck

11-year-old Jacob Gearheart killed a trophy buck in full velvet in Calhoun County, S.C. on Aug. 14, 2021.

Youth hunter Jacob Gearheart of Lexington, S.C. killed a trophy 8-point mainframe buck in Calhoun County on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. He was hunting from a box stand with his dad on Game Zone 3’s Youth Day when he pulled the trigger on the big buck, which was in full velvet.

The young hunter and his dad tried to jumpstart the season that morning, but a buck that was showing up daily on their trail cam did not show up Saturday. So they went to plan B, which was to hunt a different property that evening. The plan worked out well.

After walking in to the stand that evening, they waited patiently until a 9-point buck showed up. Unfortunately, this deer was too young to shoot according to the hunt club rules. So Jacob waited. A doe showed up and almost spoiled the party, blowing dozens of times before running off.

“We kind of thought that was the end of it,” said Jacob’s dad. But they stayed put, and so did the 9-point buck.

Not long after, the 8-point buck showed up. They could tell this deer was bigger and older. Jacob’s dad gave him the go-ahead to shoot the buck when he had a clear shot, which didn’t happen right away.

“I was nervous that he wouldn’t turn broadside,” said the youngster. Luckily, after a few minutes, the deer turned, offering the hunter a clear shot.

“When he pulled the trigger, it dropped. On the spot. It didn’t move,” said Jacob’s dad. “Last year, he shot a buck from the same stand, but we couldn’t find it. So this was a bit of vindication for Jacob,” said his dad.

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