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Fifty-five-year-old Louie Payne, from Hodgenville, Kentucky, the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, experienced a life changing event in the deer woods in 2014.

A strap broke on his deer stand and he plummeted 25 feet. Louie suffered a broken back and extensive nerve damage. Still today he cannot feel his left side, but has been able to return to deer hunting.

“Climbing is out of the question,” Louie said. “However, my cameraman, Lonnie Lockard,  and I built an insulated box blind on a trailer. It allows me to move around as needed and hunt with a crossbow.”

On November 15 Louis and Lonnie climbed into the blind, overlooking a BioLogic food plot overdressed with Green Patch Plus and Deer Radishes. “It wasn’t long until three does came out,” Louie said. “They fed for quite a while. An hour before dark, they were still out there. Soon, I spotted a big bodied  deer coming.”

Louie raised his Leupold binoculars to check it out. “It was a big buck, but I couldn’t see its antlers ,” he said.  “The food plot makes a loop, and the buck stopped behind some thick brush.”

It seemed as if the buck stayed in the brush forever, according to Payne. “I finally could tell that it had a big rack, but I still couldn’t tell which deer it was. 

The buck finally walked out of the thick stuff, and Louie recognized it as the shooter buck, from his trail cam photos taken earlier in the year. “Lonnie, gave me the green light,” Louie said. “But the buck was moving. I tried to stop him, but he kept going. On my third try, the buck stopped for just a second.” 

Louie had his PSE Pac 15 with as Leupold scope ready to go. “As soon as the buck stopped, I took the shot,” Louie said. “I saw the red knock disappear through the buck’s rib cage, but we decided to give him a little time.”

Louie and Lonnie waited an hour before climbing out of their portable blind to take up the blood trail. “He only went about 80 yards,” Louie said. I was really happy, because that was my first Iowa buck since my fall in 2014. I did kill a buck in Kansas before this one though.”

And we all know, deer hunting heals!

- Bill Cooper, DeerCast Senior Writer