When 51-year old Mike Kossover got into his ground blind early on Nov. 6, he knew he didn’t have much time before leaving for work obligations, but the opportunity to get a shot at the monster buck he had nicknamed “747” was too much to pass up.
At 8:39 that morning on private land in Spartanburg County, he finally got the bow shot on the buck that had commanded his undivided attention the past six weeks.
“The buck was scored by my hunting buddy Chuck Mulkey of Chuck’s Taxidermy in Anderson,” Kossover said. “The 170-pound, 12-pointer had a 23-inch inside spread, was 21-inches tip-to-tip and 25 ¼-inches outside. The green score was 158 6/8 Boone & Crocket. Chuck had a biologist from Clemson age the buck at approximately 4 ½ years old.
“I give credit to working year-round at deer hunting with Chuck as a major reason I was able to even know this deer was in the woods,” he said. “After last season and throughout the winter, spring and summer, we kept cameras in various places to record deer on the property. We’d determined that some good bucks were working a specific cutover area and we had photos of bucks working the edge of that cutover in specific locations. The bucks generally worked right along the edge so I put a ground blind about 15 yards inside a stand of young pines, giving me excellent concealment and about a 20-yard shot to where I hoped to shoot.”
Kossover said “747” showed up for the first time on any of their cameras on Sept. 18, of this year.
“Then we had no more photos of him until the middle of October before the buck appeared on another camera,” he said. “About a week later, we had photos of him on four different cameras and we felt we had an opportunity to get a shot.”
After getting in the stand early, Kossover had a six-pointer standing in his shooting lane at 8:15.
“I had no intention of shooting this smaller buck, but he was acting strange and seemed to be looking past my blind deeper into the woods,” he said. “It was eerie but I felt he was watching something beyond my blind. Then the smaller buck bolted and was gone. I got extremely focused and a couple of minutes later I saw a mass of antlers on a buck quietly slipping through the pines and I knew it was ole 747.”
But Kossover still had to overcome one problem he’d not anticipated.
“This buck was walking well inside the pines, not at the edge like all the other bucks we’d seen on the cameras,” he said. “When he stepped into the open he was only eight yards from my blind. I did not dare make eye contact with him; I just stared at his feet and tried not to shake too much. I’m certain any movement at that range would have blown him out. I had to be patient and pick the right opportunity.”
After 15 minutes, the buck had moved to where his head was hidden by a couple of trees between the two shooting lanes Kossover had prepared.
“At that point I could go full draw and when I shot I knew I’d smoked him,” he said.
Kossover said the buck only went 40 yards before going down. He shoots an Elite Impulse 34 with Easton flatline arrows with 100 grain NAP Killzone Maxx broadheads. He was hunting out of a Primos double-bull blind.