Sain bags "deer of a lifetime"

Friday, February 24, 2012
Chase Sain with his award-winning mount

Chase Sain of Rector loves the outdoors. The 23-year-old grew up with an appreciation for duck hunting, enjoying countless outings with his father, Gregg and other family members and friends in the local wetlands. As a teenager, Sain developed an interest in deer hunting, furthering his bond with nature.

While he's enjoyed his time out in the woods, this past hunting season will forever stand out in Sain's mind.

On Dec. 12, 2011, Sain bagged "the deer of a lifetime" while hunting at the Cache bottoms area near Knob. The massive buck sported an impressive rack featuring nine points on a wide 23 and one-quarter inch antler spread, making it not only the most impressive buck of the young hunter's life, but also one of the top trophy deer bagged in the region.

Sain knew the massive buck was in the area where he hunted thanks to the use of a game camera he had set up on the property. The first photos of the deer were captured this past September, setting the stage for what would be an active, involved hunt.

"I put in the time to get him," Sain said. "I hunted about five days a week from Oct. 1 until the day I killed him. You know how it goes, the days I couldn't get there or hunted in a different spot, he'd be there (at the regular hunting area). I just kept hunting him."

Sain, who attends classes five days a week in his final semester studying agribusiness at Arkansas State University, spent so much time in the woods searching for the animal that friends and family noticed his absence.

"My girlfriend told me it was a good thing I bagged him, otherwise she might have had to kill me," Sain said, laughing. "I spent so much time out there that it kind of took over my life."

On the day he finally actually saw the deer, Sain was filled with anticipation.

"It happened really quick, and that helped," he said. "I didn't have a whole lot of time to get nervous."

The deer approached Sain's tree stand from the rear, emerging to the hunter's left. Sain moved cautiously to reposition his crossbow as an ideal shot opened.

"I realized it was him and I shot. He was about 20 yards away."

Sure that he had hit the massive buck, Sain prepared to track the animal as it hurriedly left the area. Sain's excitement was so great that the agile young man nearly fell while climbing down from his tree stand. He painstakingly followed the deer's trail, calling good friend Zach Arnold for assistance. Eventually, the trail led to a stream, hindering the search.

"We tracked him for an hour and a half," Sain said. "Half that distance was in water. A lot of it was on our hands and knees, finding the trail."

The search concluded in one foot deep water, where the animal lay.

Sain was unable to weigh the animal, but did note the tenderloin weighed a whopping 22 pounds. The deer, estimated to be between six and seven-and-a-half years old, was deemed as best prepared as jerky due to its age.

The massive rack has been displayed at the Big Buck Classic at Little Rock, where it received third place honors in the crossbow division. The mighty spread was named Best of Show at the Sports Show at Jonesboro, and also placed third in the crossbow division at the event.

"I got a lot of compliments on it," Sain said. "It scored 164 and five-eighths gross and 151 and three-eighths net."

The impressive trophy was made all the more special because of the time and effort put forth in hunting the buck.

"It's the deer of a lifetime," Sain said. "There was almost a sense of relief when I got it. It wasn't a situation where I just showed up and he was there. I put in the time. I spent days in the woods just looking for a sign it was there. That means as much to me as how big it was."

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