PHOTO: Bowhunter Tags Massive 190-Inch Velvet Buck on Archery Season’s Opening Day

by Jonathan Howard

For one Georgia suburban bowhunter, the hunt of a lifetime went off without a hitch on the first day of archery season. The outdoors is a place for sports and fun. Lee Ellis is a big proponent of the suburban hunting community. And he can shoot, too. The bowhunter had been watching one buck over the course of three years. They had their date the other day.

Ellis was sure that the deer he had been looking at for three years had moved on. The patterns were getting irregular as the season approached this year. His trail cams were showing him that he might not be able to land the buck in 2022.

However, right before the season began, his trail cam picked the deer up again. This time, the massive eight-point, velvet buck was sticking close to one of Ellis’ stands. Operating out of Atlanta, Ellis shot sure and true. He hit the deer with a deadly shot from 17 yards out. Not too bad.

Bowhunter Sticks to It

When it was said and done, the nontypical buck measured 190 2/8-inch on the antlers and is going to make for a great story for years.

“I had pictures of the [nontypical] last year, and I think he was 3 1/2 years old and, at best, 140,” Ellis said to the publication Outdoor Life. “I saw him on and off, nothing consistent, but I got pictures of him at the end of the year and knew he had made it.”

Ellis stuck to it. Even when the deer was being strange with his behavior and patterns.

“Spring rolls around and I’m getting pictures of this deer back in the area that I knew he summered at. He got really big and was definitely the buck I was really gunning for,” he said. “But as we got closer to the season, he got super inconsistent.”

From there, there was just one thing to do. Get out in the stand and hope that he shows up where you need him to.

“I’m freaking out thinking he’s going to work his way down,” the bowhunter said. “Up the creek is right in the core of his bedding area, where I have this camera. I don’t have permission to hunt there, I only have permission to run a camera. All my attention is focused to my right, I’m thinking if I see a deer coming, hopefully, it would be him.”

All that determination paid off.

‘Cruising Through’

Now, Ellis thought he might see a deer in his line of view. However, he was hoping and praying the whole time that his deer would pop up. Sitting in the stand, he planned on using three days’ worth of his time to find this perfect kill. And, all it took was one. That opening day was a lucky day.

“He was just cruising through. I think around this time, deer will break out of their summer area and do a loop exploring their rut range, and I guess he was just doing that.”

From 17 yards out, Ellis lined up the shot and let it go. The arrow flew, connected, and the buck didn’t go further than 60 more feet before hitting the ground. Clean kill.

That’s every bowhunters dream!