Hunter Hotline

Hunter Hotline
(Photo Courtesy of Derek Thompson)

Prior to last November, Derek Thompson had pretty much convinced himself that seeing or shooting a big buck wasn't going to happen where he hunts in Ross County, Ohio. Truth be told, he wasn't having much luck with little bucks either.

A busy signal seemed to greet him whenever he tried dialing the Almighty's hunter hotline.

"I can't tell you how many times over the years I've prayed for God to just let me SEE a big one," he said. "I thought shooting one was unachievable. My prayers were always unanswered."

Derek doesn't have a lot of time to hunt. Thirty-three-year-old father of two children and foster dad to four others, his time away from the post office is often earmarked. But no amount of pleading from his wife, Melissa, or kids could keep him out of the woods on a rainy Saturday, Nov. 8.


The previous Sunday, as the Thompsons were leaving church, Derek experienced a sense of déjà vu. As soon as he stepped out the door of Faith Chapel Ministries in Bethel, Ohio, he flashed back to a dream he'd had a couple of years earlier.


"The dream had two parts to it," he explained. "In the first, I was walking out of Faith Chapel holding an infant. The second part showed me in a tree, watching a monstrous buck coming my way.

"When I had that dream back in 2005, my wife and I were not expecting to have more kids," he said. "So after telling her about it the next morning, I forgot it ... until that Sunday two years later.

"There I was, holding an infant," he said. "And then it clicked. That was the vision I'd had. So I immediately told Melissa I had to go hunting the next weekend and why (the part about seeing the big buck). I called my brother-in-law, Matt French, and we started planning the following weekend's hunt."

While he was en route to Chillicothe on Saturday, storm clouds unleashed torrential rains. Matt called to say he wasn't going out in it.


But Derek would not be deterred.

He was in the woods by 3 p.m., hoping his ScentLok jacket would keep him dry. He laid down some estrous doe scent by drag rag and hung some scented wicks before attaching his portable stand to a tree and shimmying up the trunk. While the rain bounced off his clothes, he offered up a prayer: "Lord, let me see the big one."

Just before 5:00, Derek glanced up and saw the buck of his dreams. Okay, it wasn't THE buck, literally, he'd envisioned. That one was a huge Typical. This one was clearly an irregular-racked creature.


"Still, it was the monster I'd been waiting for all my life," he said. "It came down the freshly scented trail, straight for me. At 10 yards, it passed my stand and I lifted my bow.

"Just before firing, I realized the safety was on, so I hurriedly switched it off, resighted and then fired," he continued. "I watched the mammoth deer gallop away - not springy, like a deer. More like a large bull. The arrow was dangling."

was worried that he'd shot too high and maybe too far back. He was too pumped to wait and too eager to see what kind of blood trail remained before the rain washed it away, so he got down immediately and began tracking.

The buck lay dead about 100 yards distant. The quartering-away shot had been perfect. The arrow pierced both lungs and heart before embedding in the off shoulder.

In a decade of hunting, this was Derek's first antlered buck. And it was the first time something didn't go awry.

"I look at all those other mess-ups as training," he said. "This was meant to happen, or maybe it was a fluke ... and I'll find myself shooting at a monster Typical some other time.

"It's kind of weird," he added. "I got this deer on a day when nobody else in his right mind would be caught outdoors. I never gave up."

Hunter: Derek Thompson
Official Score: 203 6/8
Composite Score: 224 5/8
Weapon: Crossbow
Class: Irregular

Reprinted from the November 2009 issue of Buckmasters RACK Magazine.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

As OSG's Lynn Burkhead looks on, Josh Neville shows off the cordless and corded versions of a new electric filet knife from Bubba Blades.

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

13 Fishing Inception SZ

13 Fishing Inception SZ

Florida angling pro Jessie Mizell knows that the saltwater found in Sunshine State coastal fisheries can wreak havoc on even the best fishing gear. But with 13 Fishing's new feature laden Inception SZ saltwater baitcasting reel, tackling inshore and light tackle saltwater game fish just got a whole lot easier!

Mustad

Mustad's Saltwater Jig Lineup

Russ Whisler shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the innovative features and great color schemes in Mustad's voluminous lineup of saltwater jigs introduced at ICAST 2019.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers. Striper & Hybrid

3 Deadly Bait Rigs For Stripers

J.B. Kasper

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers.

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some strategies. Catfish

Understanding Catfish Spawning

Keith Sutton - June 06, 2006

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some...

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options. Catfish

12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find the Garden State's hottest bass fishing. Destinations

7 Best Bets for New Jersey Bass

J.B. Kasper - October 04, 2010

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find the...

See More Trending Articles

More Whitetail

Most major deer-urine scent companies are adopting the technology. Whitetail

Commercial CWD Test for Deer Scents Available, in Wide Use

Game & Fish Digital Staff - February 20, 2020

Most major deer-urine scent companies are adopting the technology.

A shot commits you to finding the animal. Your success depends on how you read the hit and the track. Whitetail

Aim True, Track Smart: Harvest Recovery

Wayne van Zwoll - December 26, 2019

A shot commits you to finding the animal. Your success depends on how you read the hit and the...

If you're like a lot of deer hunters, you probably hunt out of the same stands every season. You might want to re-think things. Whitetail

Take a New (Deer) Stand for Fall Hunting

Mike Marsh - July 09, 2020

If you're like a lot of deer hunters, you probably hunt out of the same stands every season....

It's not over after the deer rut, and your best whitetail hunting may still be ahead. Whitetail

Make Late Season the Great Season

Mark Chesnut

It's not over after the deer rut, and your best whitetail hunting may still be ahead.

See More Whitetail

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now