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3rd season’s the charm for So. Florida bowhunter

The third year was the charm for Dale Grubb of Sebring, Florida, who hunted the same big buck for three straight seasons before finally sealing the deal during the 2012 archery season.

Dale’s biggest-ever bow kill – an impressive 11-point that gross-scored 144-6/8 inches – was taken on Aug. 17, 2012 on his hunting lease located south of Hwy. 70 below Lake Placid.

“We only bow hunt on our lease, which is located in the South Zone (Zone A). Back in 2007 and 2008 I was hunting for this massive 8-point we kept seeing on trail cameras, but it wasn’t until September 2009 that I finally got him,” Dale said.

That impressive South Florida 8-point sported a rack that scored 135-1/8 inches. Then, in 2010 and 2011, Dale said he began seeing a huge 10-point on game camera photos.

“Just like the previous one I managed to get three years earlier, we kept seeing this 10-point on trail cameras and knew when he was showing up in a certain area. After not getting a shot at him over the last two seasons, I finally decided to battle the mosquitoes and hunt during the early season in August,” Dale said.

“I unsuccessfully hunted for him on opening weekend (July 28) and two weeks later on Aug. 11. “Finally, on the morning of Aug. 18 at 7:30 a.m., I saw three small bucks near my protein feeder who all got stiff-legged and started looking in the same direction.

That is when I knew something big was coming.

“Two minutes later he came in, and I put an arrow perfectly two inches behind his left shoulder at 26 yards,” Dale added. Dale was using his Hoyt Alpha Maxx 32 bow with 70 lbs. of pull and new Montec expandable broadheads he had just bought for his Flatliner arrows. After waiting about 30 minutes, Dale and a buddy started searching and found his arrow covered in blood from the tip to the fletching.

“But, despite a double lung shot, we trailed tiny pinpoints of blood and never found any bigger than a thumbnail until we were right on top of him about 55 yards away – where we found him dead as a doornail,” Dale said.

The monster buck weighed 178 lbs. “on the hoof” and had a 17-2/8-inch inside spread.