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October 27, 2012

Big Bucks Corner

Scottie Emery’s 14-pointer

Sat, October 27, 2012

Scottie Emery is no stranger to giant bucks.  Perhaps this is why the Crossville, Illinois resident sets some pretty high standards for himself.  “I’m a pretty patient person, and I try to only shoot a deer if it scores at least 160 inches.”  It would not come as a surprise to anybody that knows him.  Scottie has managed to harvest a slew of big bucks, even though he is only 23 years old.  When Scott was 12 years old, he found himself wrapping his deer tag around a 203 7/8’s inch Boone & Crockett 23 pointer.  I am certain that would put him among the youngest ever to take a Boone & Crockett whitetail.  This story is not about his Booner, but rather a deer he nicknamed “Old Chocolate”.

The quest for Old Chocolate began in the fall of 2011.  The first time Scottie became aware of the buck was while hunting.  He estimated that Old Chocolate scored 160 inches last season.  Scottie hunted hard for him, but they continued to play cat and mouse.  “I saw him about 8 times last season.  The closest I got was 70 yards.  I would see him come out in one part of the field, so I would hunt there.  He would then pop out at another spot.  I could just never get him in range.”  When the season ended and Old Chocolate lived, Scottie just hoped for another chance. 

Since he had knowledge of the buck living around that particular farm, Scottie made sure to get cameras in the area.  As luck would have it, on September 23rd in the early evening, Old Chocolate cruised right past Scottie’s trail camera.  He got two nice photos of him.  Just as he and his family had hoped, he had gotten bigger.  In fact, Scottie guessed that he would now score in the low 170’s.  Little did either of them know, in just over a month from the time of the photo Scottie would get an up close look at his nemesis. 

The week of October 21st started with unseasonably warm, windy temperatures.  Afternoon highs were getting up into the low 80’s and few people in Southern Illinois had any desire to hit the timber.  That all changed on October 26th.  A strong cold front blew in from the North and suddenly, it seemed perfect deer hunting weather. 

The morning of October 27th, Scottie was perched in a tree stand.  He spent the first part of the day watching some does out in the field being harassed by a coyote.  Little did he know, while he watched the does, his dad Eddie was having an encounter with Old Chocolate.  “He had him at 50 yards, chasing a doe but that wasn’t a shot he wanted to take.”

Other than the does being chased by the coyote, Scottie was not seeing much.  Little did he know what was in store in just a few minutes.  “Periodically, I would hit my grunt call.  Just after I blew it the one particular time, I looked up and Old Chocolate was headed my way out of the corner thicket.  He got within 15 yards of me, but did not present a shot until he was 22 yards.”  At that point, Scottie drew his Bowtech Guardian and sent a 100 grain Grizz Trick broadhead into the buck.

Scottie shot Old Chocolate at 8:29 that morning.  He, his dad and his friend Billy Williams decided to give the deer a couple hours to expire.  Around 10:30 that morning, they headed after him.  After several hours of tracking and a fairly tough blood trail, the 235 pound Old Chocolate was recovered!  The two year quest was over.

Old Chocolate is a typical 10 point with 4 kickers and stickers.  He has been “rough scored” around 180 inches, but will not be eligible to be officially scored until December 26th of this year.  He was estimated to be 5.5 years old.