WEST MILFORD, W.Va. — When you catch the Davisson Brothers in concert, the shows are high energy and non stop. The successful recording artists who have been travelling the world performing their music for more than a decade put heart and soul into every project and every concert. Therefore it’s no surprise to find Donnie Davisson obsessed with perfection when it comes to deer hunting.
However, in recent years Donnie had not had the success he pictured with one buck in particular on the family farm in Harrison County.
“I called him the ‘Big 8’ he was an eight pointer the last two years and before that he was a seven point. He’s a five or six year old buck and we had a lot of encounters over the years,” Donnie explained in a recent appearance on West Virginia Outdoors.
“I’ve seen that buck a few times in the daylight and I’ve gotten a bunch of pictures of him. But I’d always see him when I was riding the four-wheeler or doing something else and I’d jump him up. One year back when he was going from the seven point to an eight, he came in there in pure velvet and it wasn’t even the season. He was just teasing me,” he laughed.
The buck was one Donnie had in his mind to hunt, but he’d been stifled before on other such quests. One of his good friends killed a really big eight point buck while hunting in the same area. There was another buck which would come in and bed down in front of the camera.
“He was a big 11 pointer and I’d call him ‘Sleepy’ when I was hunting him,” Donnie explained.
But it was a woman who lived on the next farm over who got to put “Sleepy” to bed for good two years ago.
During October, on a quick trip home from work obligations in Nashville, Donnie got into his stand on the knob on the family farm in Harrison County and observed several does and a couple of young bucks sparring. The youngsters moved into another area, but soon came bolting out with their tails down and acting more than a little concerned.
“I knew he had to be close and I was just praying because we had to go back out on the road the next day. This was my last day to hunt him. Then I saw him when he stepped out of the woods. It took him about 40 minutes to get up to me because he would take a step, then look around everywhere. He just knew something wasn’t right and by the time he got up there to me I was falling apart,” he explained.
The Big 8 would never present a broad side shot. He stayed straight on with his body directly looking into Donnie’s direction. Low energy and calm patience are not hallmarks of Donnie’s nature. Every passing second was tying his stomach into knots. Then, without warning, the unthinkable happened.
“An acorn fell and hit the metal roof and it sounded like a bomb went off. All of those deer blew out of there and I thought, ‘Oh no, it’s almost dark and there’s no way he’ll come back here during the light,’ I thought it was over.” he said.
But, this time, fate shined a different light on the brother Davisson and the buck, after bolting about 30 yards, stopped and turned around. Instead of a slow return, he boldly trotted back into shooting range without fear. He immediately presented himself broad side at 30 yards and Donnie sank the arrow cleanly into the vitals.
“It was just meant to be. Man it is amazing when you finally get to lay your hands on the rack of these old West Virginia mountain deer, especially when it’s on your own farm,” he said. “He’s the biggest deer I’ve ever killed on the farm.”
There was one more surprise twist to the story. It turned out the Big 8 was more than Donnie expected. The fall the Big 8 had sprouted a couple of extra points, which made him in reality the Big 10.