GLENVILLE, W.Va. — Gilmer County resident Herb Miller knew there was a big buck roaming the area he hunts near his home outside of Glenville. Headed into the 2023 West Virginia archery season, he didn’t have a lot of faith he was going to have a chance to kill it.
“I have seen him before, but I hadn’t gotten any pictures of him until this year,” Herb said in an interview with MetroNews for West Virginia Outdoors.
On October 5, 2023 Herb considered going to his blind several hundred yards from his house, but the heat deterred him.
“I was just so hot and I thought there won’t be anything moving,” he explained.
Of course that was before he was standing in front of his home and looked down the driveway in the middle of the afternoon.
“I was walking down toward the field and saw a glimpse of him and I thought, ‘Oh man there he is!’ Fortunately, we have a county road that runs at the end of my property line and a car went by and evidently saw him too. It slowed down to look and when they slowed down, the deer crossed the creek onto the neighbor’s property,” said Miller.
Although he figured the deer was long gone, the glimpse of the big buck had reinvigorated him. Herb grabbed his hunting gear and his crossbow and headed toward his blind which was set up on one side of the creek on his property. The other side was his neighbor’s property. Although he has permission to hunt above his house on the neighbor’s land, he did not have permission to hunt the property where the buck had disappeared.
“He’s always coming out in front of my blind. So I had it opened up, but it was so hot that I opened up the side of the blind toward the creek to get some air going. Wouldn’t you know it, in just a little while he came right out to the side of the blind I had opened up,” he explained.
Herb could hear the massive buck stomping his way through the creek and headed his way. He steadied his crossbow for the encounter. The big buck stopped and looked directly at him. Herb’s nerves started to become an issue.
“I couldn’t keep the crossbow steady it was just shaking everywhere,” Miller laughed.
He got hold of himself and finally took some deep breaths and began to relax. When he calmed down, the scene played out exactly as he had hoped.
“He came across that creek and came up picture perfect 22 yards right in front of me. That was it,” he explained.
Herb loosed the bolt and made a perfect shot on the buck which darted back across the creek onto the neighbor’s property. Fortunately Herb had discussed this very situation with the neighbor. Although he didn’t have permission to hunt the land, he was given permission to go over and retrieve the deer if he was able to get a shot. The buck only traveled about 40 yards and left an easy to follow blood trail. In a short time, Herb was marveling at the buck’s amazing rack with the extra main beam off the size.
“I’ve seen him in pictures, but once I got up there to him I couldn’t believe what I had done. It really didn’t hit me until I walked up and put my hands on his horns. I was just amazed and knew I’d never kill anything bigger than this,” he said.