Shabdue estimated that the buck was 35 yards away. He drew his bow, centered its 35-yard sight pin on the buck's chest, and released an arrow.
"He jumped up, whirled and ran down over the hill," Shabdue said. "I thought for sure I'd hit him too far back [to have a quick-killing shot]. I thought I heard something crash down the hill a ways, but wasn't sure."
Shabdue didn't want to trail the wounded deer and risk spooking it onto surrounding posted land. He decided to give the deer ample time to expire before searching.
"I went back to my house and sat there for about 30 minutes," he said. "But then I started wondering what would happen if the deer had died and someone else came in there and found it. I drove back up there and sat in my truck from 4 p.m. to dark to make sure no one else came in."
The next morning, Shabdue and his brother returned to search for the deer. They didn't have to look long.
"We spread out; he took the lower flat and I took the higher one," Shabdue said. "We had only covered about 100 yards when my brother yelled out that he'd found the buck."
The shot had been a good, humane one after all. The buck went just 70 yards before it died.
The massive 10-pointer "green-scored" at roughly 175 inches. The rack is still at the taxidermist's, and Shabdue has not yet had it officially scored.
"It's pretty wild when you go to a big-buck hotspot and kill big deer, and then you come back home and kill a deer that's even bigger," Shabdue said. "This was, by far, my best hunting season ever. Between Chelsea, my brother and me, we have four trophy bucks at the taxidermist's right now. That's a heck of a season."