Battle-Tested Warriors Meet for Final Time in the Deer Woods

Cory Sutton got in touch with us here at D&DH a few years ago with a pretty compelling story about his health battles and passion for deer hunting.

Back in 2013 Sutton, who lives in Tennessee, was diagnosed with Advanced CHF and kidney failure. As he put it in this story we published, “it’s been a massive ordeal to say the least, I’m lost count of ER visits, hospital stays and Doctor visits, I’ve had 4 heart surgeries, 2 to save my life, I now have 3 implants and a home monitor, my kidneys stay in stage 3 failure so yeah that’s no fun.”

Y’know what? Ever since that diagnosis and first story on DDH, Sutton’s still battling and fighting.  He’s still knocking around and chasing deer. He recently sent us another update, which we’re happy to share here:

Cory Sutton hunted this old buck several years and experienced the highs and lows that go along with pursuing a wily animal. (Photo: Cory Sutton)

An old warrior fell today, a buck I’ve hunted for many many many years. It’s bittersweet and very humbling! Needless to say my emotions are all over the place.

He was the King for many years, I called him “ole gray face” I always thought it was strange naming a deer but when I started hunting him he had a grey face, so the name just kinda stuck.

Sutton nicknamed this buck Old Gray Face.

Today our paths met for the last time, and he went out as the warrior he was, he was tearing up and tree and making a scrape! It’s been a long journey and a lot of sleepless nights wondering what I’ve done wrong Hunting him in the past, he may have declined in antler size, but he was still the King and will always be remembered as that, his genetics have spread and you can definitely see it in the Bucks on my land, they all have his crab claws.

Sutton’s encounters with Old Gray Face lasted several seasons and it was bittersweet when their relationship ended in the woods.

Hunting isn’t easy. The older I get the harder it seems to take the life of an animal, it’s harder emotionally now, when I was a teen and throughout my 20’s I’d never blink an eye at taking deer after deer after deer! This is by far my greatest hunt and success ever, along with an ending that is very heart heavy.

He will feed my family and I will honor him with a shoulder mount. Just wanted to share this with you.