Thanks to Dean Weimer for this report.
Thirty-seven year-old Indiana hunter Robert “Bob” Jones was very busy in the early archery and firearms season last year, and he wanted to hunt all-day at least once during gun season to make up for lost time. The owner of a home inspection company and also a construction business, Bob doesn’t get to hunt as much as he did earlier in his deer hunting career.
He thought about it and decided that he would hunt all-day on Friday, November 30, 2012. “I wanted to sit out all day before the weekend when everyone would be out,” he says.
Bob set out to one of his favorite stands on the edge of an in-woods swamp. With the drought conditions of 2012 the swamp was without water, but he was set up next to a 12-15 acre thicket where deer loved to bed. Since the swamp was dry the deer would travel across it as opposed to traversing around it like they normally would. This should work out in Bob’s favor.
Bob settled in and watched a lone doe come out about 7:30 a.m. He did some calling, and she hung around awhile. Around 8:45 he noticed movement to his right—a buck!—and things happened quickly. The buck was about 60 yards away, on the edge of the swamp. Bob raised his H.R. .44 mag. single-shot, found the buck in his scope and fired.
“The whole thing lasted maybe 15 seconds,” he says. “I knew it was a big buck, but I thought it was just a big 8-pointer with lots of mass.” It wasn’t until he walked up, on the huge mainframe 9, that he realized he had a bit more than that.
“When I got up to the deer I saw it had the split brow and junk sticking out everywhere,” he says. “People talk about ground shrinkage…this deer did not shrink, it grew,” he says
Although the buck has not been officially measured, it has a 180-class 5X4 frame and will end up tallying in the high 160s to low 170s after deductions, and after subtracting the non-typical growth.
“I had a couple buddies come to the woods where I shot him. I never moved him until I got photos where he dropped. I was so happy; I’ve hunted all my life for a buck like this,” Bob says enthusiastically.