Brenda's Big Whitetail

Brenda with big whitetail
Brenda with her whitetail of a lifetime. Her arrow (bolt), with lighted nock and Rage® broadhead in the background.

August 2020—we had captured him on game cameras for the last three years. He had added a few inches of length and mass since last year; but most importantly, he was still there! Of course, there was no question on who was going to hunt him; it would be Brenda. She had pursued him steadily during last year’s archery, rifle and black powder seasons—but never saw him. She called him simply “Mr. Big.” Here we were, in a

Brenda sighting in her crossbow – 30 August
It takes a lot of shooting to validate your point of impact at all the practical ranges you intend to shoot. Here, Brenda is sighting in her Ravin® crossbow in our back yard.

brand-new season—and he was still there!

Brenda’s Double Bull® blind was at the north edge of a food plot we call Orion. As you walk in, early on a fall morning, the constellation Orion is framed by the trees on either side of the road and is hanging low in the western sky—thus the name Orion. Brenda walked in about 3:00 that afternoon and eased into her south-facing blind; everything was routine. Anything walking into the food plot, from

2020 Trailcam image, buck in velvet
Trail camera image from summer of 2020. Interestingly, and pure coincidence, the camera perspectives in this image and Brenda with the buck are nearly identical.

the south, would be within range.

It was a clear, calm afternoon, with temperature in the low 60’s. The season had been open for nearly three weeks, but she hadn’t been out much and was just back from a successful elk hunt with son Russell and grandson Benjamin, in New Mexico.

Her first sighting was just the top 10” of his rack, in the brush at the opposite edge of the field—at 6:45. He was in sight for only a

2019 Trailcam image from 2019
Trail camera image from summer of 2019

moment, after which a smaller buck stepped into the food plot, from the same direction. A couple minutes later, Mr. Big stepped out. Brenda quickly ranged him at 57 yards, and using her Primos Trigger Stick® for support, squeezed the trigger.

But, the crossbow wasn’t actually cocked, needing a slight additional turn of the handle. Brenda had experienced this once before, while sighting in. She removed the bolt, completed the cocking and snapped the bolt back into position. All

2018 Trailcam image from 2018
Trail camera image from summer of 2018; an interesting deer, even then.

that took only 60 seconds or so, while Mr. Big fed innocently in the food plot. He had moved a bit to the left, so the shot was now out the side window. The “Stick” was inconveniently off to the right, so Brenda simply steadied her left elbow on her knee for support and touched off. The shot was a little high and back, but clipped the bottom of the backbone, and Mr. Big was down.

Brenda and Larry with Buck
Nighttime pictures, with good front light and the antlers against the night sky, really highlight the trophy.