Scott Gordon, NBCDFW.com
Dr. Bill Plauche, an ophthalmologist, uses motion-activated cameras to find the best places to hunt. In October, he set up a camera in the woods near his house.
He couldn’t believe what it captured -- a photo of the biggest deer he had ever seen.
"Once you get a picture of a giant, you know that's where you're supposed to be hunting,” he said.
For Plauche, hunting means doing it the old-fashioned way -- with a bow and arrow.
"You're looking through this blue circle in the string,” he said as he demonstrated in his back yard. “Then I put my top dot on the target."
Grayson County is the only place in Texas where hunting deer with a rifle is illegal. The law, passed years ago, was designed to protect the low deer population in that area.
Plauche said he sometimes hunts with a rifle but prefers archery.
"You really, really, really have to outsmart a very smart animal with a bow and arrow where, with a rifle, it's not quite that intense,” Plauche said.
On Oct. 10, Plauche headed out hours before sunrise to stake out the place in the woods where his camera had snapped the picture of the large deer.
"Probably all three hours of sitting in the dark, my heart was pounding,” he said. “I mean, I knew he was in the area."
At daybreak, two deer appeared right in front of him. He aimed at the bigger one.
"I've been hunting 25 years for that moment,” he said. “I've always dreamed there was that big of a deer out there and that one day it would come out."
It was a 180-pound white-tailed buck.
"I was able to get a good shot off at him at about five to seven yards,” he said.
The buck’s rack is still being officially measured, but Plauche expects it to be one of the top 10 biggest in the state this year. Unofficially, the buck's rack had 30 points and a 20-inch outside spread.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime trophy for any deer hunter. But for Plauche, it is an even bigger prize because his weapon of choice made it even more of a challenge.
"Lightning would have to strike twice for me to get a deer this nice again,” he said.