Sixty-nine-year-old Tommy Thompson of Rosepine, who is retired from the fiberglass industry, has an old deer rifle he carries with him to the deer stand. There is something rather unique about his Remington 30.06 auto. If you check it closely, it may look like Thompson became bored and started whittling on the stock of the gun.
“Actually,” Thompson said, “I carve a notch in the stock of the gun for every deer I get with it. Right now, I have killed 43 deer with the rifle so there are plenty of notches on the stock of the old rifle. Of course, none of the others I have killed were anything like the one I got this season.
“Years ago, we started giving our guns nicknames and with all the good luck I’ve had with my rifle, I named it ‘Dr. Death’,” he said with a chuckle.
Most deer hunters today make sure they’re sitting on their stand when daylight comes. Thompson doesn’t prescribe to that ritual.
“I might go early and get on my stand but I usually go when the urge hits me,” Thompson said. “I didn’t get on my stand until 9:00 the morning of Nov. 9.”
Close to home
Thompson, his wife and two grown children all live in the same vicinity. He purchased a 100-acre piece of land from his cousins some 20 years ago and he lives somewhere in the middle of a 40-acre portion of the property.
“I have three stands on the property, two behind my house and one in front,” he said. “I have been getting most of my trail camera photos of the buck on the area behind my house, practically all at night, but decided to walk the 250 yards from my house to my box stand in front of the house.”
Thompson has both corn feeders and rice bran feeders of his own design out in front of the stand. He barely had time to get settled in before action began taking place. Half an hour or so after sitting down, a buck trotted across the clearing 100 yards in front of the stand, never stopping at a feeder.
“I didn’t have time to get on him before he was gone and I figured I had missed my chance at a buck that morning,” he said. “A few minutes later, at about 75 yards, here came this big buck across the clearing. I had time to get on him and pulled the trigger.”
Thompson later checked the area where the buck came from and found several fresh scrapes along the trail where the buck appeared, indicating the rut was kicking in.
An impressive buck
The buck was indeed a dandy carrying a rack of 10 points. Inside spread was an impressive 21 inches with bases around 5 inches each. He didn’t weigh the buck but felt it would have tipped the scales at just under 200 pounds.
He took the buck to K&K Taxidermy in Reeves where the rack was measured with an unofficial score of 146 4/8 inches and estimated to be 5 or 6 years old.
“I have hunted on this land for years and lately some folks have been suggesting that I clear some of the hardwoods and pines on the land. However,” Thompson said, “I want to leave it just like it is for the wildlife.”
Perhaps, Thompson will be able to put another notch or two on his trusty old ”Dr. Death.”