November 8: Aaron Bennett


Like so many bowhunters do each season, team member Aaron Bennett bow hunted a different farm this year, because the place he hunted last year sold.

Aaron put in ample time on his new deer hunting place to quickly learn how many deer the farm held and where they liked to roam. He soon had trail cam photos of a tall, narrow, and trashy, buck which he aptly named “TNT.”

Bennett managed to get lots of photos of TNT throughout the summer and fall. TNT was easily identifiable because of a broken ear that dangled down the side of his head.

Bennett finally laid eyes on TNT on November 2, and knew he was a target buck. “TNT’s ten points carried a lot of trash, giving it a lot of character,” Bennett said. “The tall tines made him especially attractive too.”

“My food plot is half green field and half standing corn,” Bennett said. “On the morning of November 7, TNT came out into the food plot chasing does. He passed by my stand at 55 yards. That distance was a bit farther than I feel confident shooting, so I passed on the shot.”

Bennett displayed nerves of steel and a powerful sense of personal ethics by passing on the shot. His numerous trail cam photos and several encounters with TNT created confidence that this would not be their last encounter. Aaron paid close attention to the spot where TNT left the food plot that evening.

The next evening Bennett was not surprised when TNT re-entered the food plot at the exact same spot where he had exited the prior evening. “That trail definitely lead to a bedding area,” Bennett said.

“Normally there are 15-to-20 does in the food plot when the bucks show up,” Bennett said.”For whatever reason, on the afternoon of November 8, TNT popped out into the food plot while only two fawns feed on the green plot.”

Other does were out of sight inside the standing corn. TNT quickly winded them and headed into the standing corn to find them.

“TNT made his way towards us inside the standing corn,” Bennett said. “I think he followed a mowed trail I have inside the corn rows. He popped out of the corn to make a scrape. Then he continued making his way towards us, but downwind.”

TNT teased Bennett for a long five minutes by meandering in and out of the corn rows well within bow range, without presenting a good shot angle.

Good luck shined on Bennett when a doe popped out of the woods on the other side of him and fed  into the corn.

“That doe caused TNT to make a mistake ,” Bennett said “He immediately turned to go to the doe and passed by my stand at 20 yards.”

“My shot was a little far back,”Bennett explained. “I watched TNT run off, stop momentarily in the food plot, and then go another 150 yards and bed down. I quickly decided to back out and look for TNT the next day.” 

Anxiety is a reality for every bow hunter who has to leave a buck overnight, and there was no exception for Bennett. “I knew I’d made a fatal shot, but waiting to get my hands on him was tough.”

Bennett returned the next day to the exact spot where he had seen

TNT bed down. He immediately found his Tall, Narrow, Trashy buck, but his heart sank. Coyotes had reduced his target buck to skin and bones.

“I was heartbroken,” Bennett relayed. “I knew coyotes getting to TNT was a possibility when I left him for the night, but I preferred that over pushing the buck and maybe never seeing him again. My consolation came with the fact that I did recover TNT’s head and antlers,” Bennett said.

Hard work and perseverance paid off for Aaron Bennett with a buck that he will tell his grandchildren about, TNT.


Gear Used:

Nomad apparel

Leupold optics

Scent Crusher

PSE X-Force

Tenzing packs

Rage broadheads

LaCrosse Boots


- Bill Cooper