It was early January, and Chelsea Hunter was uninterested in staying residence. She simply needed to get outdoors, and she or he determined to go looking.
“With the pandemic, and other people just about in lockdown, I simply needed to get outdoors for some time,” says the 24-year-old from Tallassee, Alabama. “I made a decision on a whim to get out and deer hunt,”
Hunter is a long-time whitetail chaser with many deer to her credit score since she first started looking at 9, when she would tag alongside together with her grandfather Mike Gunn. She began deer looking alone at 15, and since then averages a number of deer annually, normally taking pictures meat does for the freezer.
Final 12 months she shot a dandy nine-pointer on household farmland within the famed, deer-rich “Black Belt” of Alabama. Throughout that hunt she noticed a second, a lot bigger buck. However by no means noticed the deer once more till this 12 months. Hunter climbed right into a tree stand that afternoon of Jan. 4, and noticed 5 does in a area round 5 p.m. Twenty minutes later, a pair of does got here operating towards her and she or he knew a buck was chasing them.
“I noticed him and he was headed proper after the does, however stopped only for a second at 150 yards,” she says. “I knew it was the identical massive buck I noticed final 12 months, and he wasn’t gonna stand there lengthy. So I shortly made the shot earlier than he took off chasing does once more.”
Utilizing a Winchester .270 bolt-action rifle her grandfather had given her, she despatched a 130-grain Winchester Energy Level bullet by the deer’s shoulders. The large buck went down 60 yards from the place he’d been hit. Hunter, her grandfather, and her cousin Ean Weldon loaded the buck and took it to a state-registered scale they’ve on their farm. The deer weighed 242 kilos. The 13-pointer has large antler bases and is estimated at 6.5 years outdated. It inexperienced scored 167 inches. The buck can be mounted by a taxidermist, and will probably be formally measured after a 60-day rack drying interval.
Unsurprisingly, Hunter and her household cherish their venison. They historically hold deer in a cooler for 20 days earlier than rigorously processing the meat.
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“We’ve already loved some dice steaks from my buck,” says Hunter “With collard greens and corn, it’s scrumptious—like all deer meat we age.”