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Indiana Hunters Find Trophy Antlers 2 Years After Shooting The Buck

By Brett Stayton,

Photo by Steele Burrow/Getty Images

Back in November of 2021, Wilson Royer was hunting in his home state of Indiana on a farm he owns with his father and brothers. They purchased the property in 2017 and have been managing it for deer ever since. He shot a really nice buck. However, despite his best efforts to track and recover the deer, he was unable to find the downed buck. The story of how he finally got his hands on the antlers was recently shared by Realtree.

The buck was well known to Royer and his neighbors as it had routinely popped up on their trail cam pics. Royer was hunting over a mix of terrain that included hardwoods, soybeans, cornfields, and some overgrown grassy cover. The hunt started slow with very little deer movement going on. “I gave a couple of soft calls on my Primos Buck Roar and immediately heard trees rattling behind me. Then I got into position, and he walked past me at 25 yards in thick brush. I didn’t want to call again while he was that close to me, so I waited,” said Royer.

However, the deer started walking away before he could get a clean shot. Once the buck was about 50 yards away from him, he called out again using his grunt tube. The deer turned around and walked within about 10 yards of his stand. He got off a clean shot and sent an arrow into the buck’s vitals. The deer then took off running towards a nearby cornfield.

Though He Made A Good Shot He Was Unable To Find The Buck

He climbed out of the stand, found his arrow, and picked up the blood trail. He tracked the buck for about 400 or 500 yards before all signs of the deer dried up. Unable to find the deer, he got the help of a dog handler and his tracking canine to see if they could help find the buck. Eventually, he started losing hope in regard to finding the deer. They had no luck though.

Then on January 2nd of this year, Royer received a surprise call from his neighbor. “He told me he found a tall 10-point, and I was super thrilled. He said they had just made a new path through a part of the woods they had never had trails through, and on the last day of the season, his son-in-law and grandson were walking that trail. They saw a rack and cautiously walked up and found the body and rack of my buck. They immediately said they thought it was the deer that I had been looking for and called me the next day,” he said.

He continued. “I ran into the house, and my wife asked me what was going on. I told her the neighbor had just found my buck. She was super excited. My brothers and friends were very happy for me, too, and he was even bigger than they had imagined.”

“I was very thankful to the Lord for giving me this opportunity to shoot this monster buck,” Royer said. “This buck is a buck of a lifetime for me. I always felt it was impossible for me to kill one this size. This deer means a lot to me, and I’ll never be able to repay my neighbor for finding him,” he continued.

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