3-Year Quest For A WV Stud Buck [Big Buck ALERT]

Circling back to a favorite hunt area a dedicated bowhunter and his trail cams find an impressive buck. When a solid hunt plan delivers success our Week 8 winner is crowned.

by Mark Melotik

HuntStand Pro Contributor MORE FROM Mark

Circling back to a favorite hunt area a dedicated bowhunter and his trail cams find an impressive buck. When a solid hunt plan delivers success our Week 8 winner is crowned.


West Virginia’s Michael Thompson knows the drill. Run trail cameras in your hunt area beginning in late summer and try to find a shooter or two to focus on during the fall hunt. It’s a great plan when it works, but making it all come together? That’s another story. But this year, triumphantly, Thompson did see it through. For bagging a heavy-beamed West Virginia 9-point with his compound, his first successful hunt for a specific target buck, Thompson is the latest weekly winner in the HuntStand Big Buck Alert contest. The win earns Thompson a sweet pack combination from ALPS OutdoorZ: The Bino Harness X with Vital X (see below). The weekly win also makes Thompson eligible for our Grand Prize drawing (more on that below). We’re still looking for two more weekly winners so enter today!

Here’s the amazing HuntStand success story of Thompson’s target-buck trophy, in his own words:


“This deer first showed up in June on my trail cameras, and soon became a regular,” Thompson wrote. “He didn’t become my target buck until September, when I realized how big-bodied this deer really was.

“This was first time in a couple of years that I had decided to hunt this particular area, and soon realized that I had previously taken a photo of this deer back in 2017, as a two-year-old. And he’d done some serious growing. This past September this buck had a neck that you would imagine on a mature buck in full rut, and from then on he became my target.

“The area I was hunting is down off of a ridge that had been timbered several years before; during the operation the loggers had made a flat landing, which I will call a ‘field top’ of the ridge, about 300 yards long and 50 yards wide. Down at the end of the field there is a point that borders a very steep and thick brush line; I figured this would be a good area to catch bucks moving from the oak trees to the thick bedding area.

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“Most of the oaks are off to my right-hand side when I’m sitting in my treestand, and I needed a south/southwest wind to be able to sneak into this area without being detected. As always before a hunt, I checked my Huntstand app, and the weather conditions, and I knew that on Oct. 12 I would have a south wind. With all the other weather conditions also favorable, I knew this was going to be one of my best chances to get a shot at my target deer.

“But now to the morning of the hunt. This deer had been making several appearances at my stand site but never staying much longer than 10 to 15 minutes after daylight. On Oct. 12, the day of the hunt, I got to my stand about 6 a.m.; it doesn’t get daylight till about 7:15 a.m. I had been monitoring my HuntStand app and saw that the day before we had a full 30-degree temperature drop along with a light rain, and so I knew I had to be in the treestand the next morning.

“About 7 a.m. I noticed movement underneath me; all I could see was the white of what I thought was a deer nose moving up and down. At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me; then I grabbed my binoculars and realized it really was a deer. It would be a few more minutes before I could make out that it was a buck, and a couple more minutes after that before I realized it was my target buck. At that point I was finally able to see the kicker off of his G2, and once I realized what I was seeing I slowly put my binoculars down and grabbed my bow.
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“As I’m sitting there waiting on enough light to see through my peep, 1,000 different thoughts are running through my head. Of course, one was whether or not this deer would still be there in a few minutes when I had enough light to shoot. But luckily for me, the buck stuck around another five or six minutes. Eventually the buck gave me a perfect broadside 25-yard shot. In all the years that I’ve been hunting, this was the first time that I could say that I killed my target buck. Needless to say, it was a very blessed and perfect morning.”

To enter the HuntStand 2019 Big Buck ALERT contest, simply send us a few clear, high-res. digital photos (three to five) of your 2019 buck bagged after Aug. 31 (Entries accepted NOW THROUGH NOV. 29) along with a brief story of your hunt that explains how the HuntStand app played a part. Be sure to tell us if your buck was known to you or a newcomer, then describe the area where your stand sits, or where the encounter took place, as well as the fateful day’s wind and weather conditions, and of course, the blow-by-blow account of the exciting action as it unfolded. Include your full name, age, successful hunt date and state, weapon used, and also be sure to include your mailing address. Your e-mail subject line should read: Big Buck Alert! Send your photo(s) and requested info to: [email protected]

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Team HuntStand will choose 10 weekly winners that we will share with the extensive HuntStand community; EACH weekly winner will receive BOTH the Bino Harness X (valued at $49.99) AND Vital X rangefinder pocket (valued at $19.99) from ALPS OutdoorZ (see above).

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In addition, at the end of the 10 weeks, all weekly winners will be placed in a drawing for our Grand Prize: an ALPS OutdoorZ Contender X pack (valued at $199.99; image above). Pack specialist ALPS is calling this new feature-packed design the ultimate whitetail day pack; the coolness of the Contender X begins with its innovative self-standing L-shape frame, which allows you to set your pack on any flat surface. The unique U-shaped zipper provides extra-large, flip-down top access to the main compartment—ideal for easy gear access while hanging in your stand or sitting on the ground, without losing precious pack contents. You’ll also find Elimishield Scent Control Technology to help eliminate scent, and a Drop Down pocket to carry gun or bow securely.

Good luck out there this fall from all of us here at Team HuntStand and let us know when (and how) you score!



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