His climbing stand didn't work nor did the first spot he chose to sit on the ground give him the view he wanted of the area he felt like the buck he'd seen on his trail cam would likely travel.
The fourth spot the Mineral Springs resident chose was obviously the right spot to sit because minutes after settling down, his Stryker II crossbow put the finishing touches on a massive 14-point buck.
"I hunt some private land in north Lincoln Parish, a spot known as the Beck Bottom area, consisting of an 80-acre clear cut that is surrounded by hunting clubs," Otwell said. "The property owner doesn't lease it but leaves it available for anybody who wants to hunt it."
"After it rained the night before and a front came through, I felt like deer would be bedded up during the rain and would probably move from the clear cut to feed. Acorn-bearing oaks are located along the edges."
Otwell used his climbing stand to get as high as he safely could to enable him to see down into the 6-year-old thicket of planted pines. However, even at 20 feet above ground he couldn't see into the thicket to his satisfaction.
"I lowered the climber to about 10 feet and still wasn't satisfied because the area was so thick, so I felt my best bet would be to sit on the ground so I could see under the thick stuff," he said.
Not satisfied that the sitting spot he decided on would give him a clear view of the area, Otwell moved higher up the hill, and this time he had a clear view of the area where he thought the deer might move through.
"I hadn't been sitting there 10 minutes when a little 4-point buck came slipping up a drain, and he seemed nervous and kept looking back up the ridge behind me," Otwell explained. "I eased my head around to see what he was looking at, and the big buck came walking down the ridge 30 yards away."
The buck was sniffing the air and, with the swirling wind, he could have winded Otwell but more than likely the deer was smelling the Buck Bomb the hunter sprayed around the area plus the Code Blue he put on his boots before walking into the woods.
Otwell didn't wait to find out what had the deer's attention.
"I shot, he ran maybe 100 yards and piled up," Otwell said.
The buck sported 10 mainframe points with four sticker points on one beam. The inside spread of the rack was 19 inches, and main beams stretched to 24 ½ inches with 10-inch G-2s.
The buck only weighed in the 160- to 170-pound range, but the rack was greenscored at 173 5/8 inches Boone & Crockett by Simmons Sporting Goods.
Amazingly, Otwell said he didn't even get nervous before he shot.
"It all happened so quick, I didn't have time to get excited," he said.
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