By early January in my northwest Missouri hunting grounds, I was still not finding much luck. I waited until the weather became more favorable and decided to give it one more shot before season ended.
The wind was good for the state-line farm, so that’s where I headed. As I neared the cedar bottom, I saw the rump of a deer laying behind a large oak tree. I slipped down to some cover to glass. When I got around some brush I glassed again and saw a HUGE rack poking out the other side of the tree. He was bedded on the creek bank soaking up the sun.
I decided I was going to attempt a stalk. I had my bow in a sling on my back and belly-crawled in the fluffy snow towards the buck. When I got to about 70 yards, I saw he was still bedded there. I slipped down in the creek and walked his way. When I got to what I thought was 40 or 50 yards, I eased back up the bank. He was still facing away from me. I decided I would draw my bow and just walk straight at the tree, then when he stood up I’d shoot. I stood up came to full draw and ever so slowly started towards the buck.
I didn’t make it 10 yards when he spotted me.
He stood up. I could’ve taken a shot, but the tree was blocking the vitals. I two-stepped to my right. When my pin saw his shoulder, I released the arrow. The arrow sailed right over his back. I was devastated.
The buck ran toward me, stopped 15 yards away and bolted to cross the creek. When he jumped down the bank the unthinkable happened. When his two front feet hit the ground BOTH antlers fell off right in front of me. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I stood there staring at the massive set of antlers. How many times does this happen? How lucky am I?
I took the sheds to my taxidermist, where we scored them. We measured a 21-inch inside spread, 24-inch main beams, G-2s and G-3s over 11 inches, circumferences between 4 and 5 inches, and 12 points total. The green score was 180 5/8 gross non typical.
I am so happy that this buck gets to grow another year and that I get to hunt him again.
Go hunting with D&DH Editor Dan Schmidt in Whitetail Wisdom.