Missouri: EHD Kills Giant 225″ Buck

zach ehd buck killOn July 20 I first posted a huge non-typical buck that a hunter had been watching for several years. He said, “I really hope to see him this fall. He has been completely nocturnal for the last two archery seasons.” Yesterday I got the tragic news that this giant is dead. Here’s the story from Zach:

Well…this isn’t how I wanted it to end, but looks like EHD got him. This deer was a legend on our farm, and it is sad to see him go.

Three years ago, I was bow hunting during the Missouri youth season and this buck walked under my stand. He was an impressive 2-year-old. He made his way past me to where my brother and nephew were hunting several hundred yards away. My nephew actually shot the deer in the left rear leg. We jumped the buck several hours later, and he made it through that season alive and well.

The next year he showed up on camera a few times, but visits to our farm were few and far between. You could visibly see where his leg had been injured the previous year. But no one in my family physically saw him that year.

zach cam freak buck 2

Last summer he lived almost exclusively on our farm, and I got thousands of daylight pics of him. He was a 160s class 4×6 with some trash and a small drop. He went completely nocturnal starting in September until January. I didn’t have a single daylight photo of him during that entire time frame, though he showed up in trail cam pictures at night.

This spring we never found his sheds, although we spent many hours looking. He was not frequent on our farm from May through July, but in mid-July he moved back to a small core area on our farm.

zach cam freak buck 1

My dad and I were working on food plots this past weekend when we discovered him for the last time.

It has been a great 3-year journey with this buck. You never want to see a deer go this way, but Mother Nature is a much more efficient killer than we are. After getting our official salvage permit, we do plan to have the deer mounted. We rough green scored him at 225 1/8” gross. I doubt I will ever have the pleasure of chasing another one like him.—Zach

Initial reports I’m getting indicate that Missouri is ground zero for EHD in 2015, though I hear some dead bucks are being found in Iowa and Illinois too. I hope these outbreaks are limited, but at this point it’s impossible to know. If you see or hear of any dead bucks in your area, let me know so I can keep everybody updated.–M.H.


7 thoughts on “Missouri: EHD Kills Giant 225″ Buck

  1. Quote of the Day: “…Mother Nature is a much more efficient killer than we are.” How true; and I never really even thought of it like that before.

    Sad story, but at least you found him and will get to keep the rack, etc. Here’s hoping another one similar to him gives you the opportunity to pursue him in the future. Thanks for sharing this unique story with all of us.

  2. BTW, I didn’t realize that buck was still in full velvet until I zoomed in on one of the photos. How cool. I like to call this stage the “silver” stage. To me they take on that silvery-grayish tone. You know it was just a matter of days before that stuff would start peeling off.

  3. Sad! But, I’m glad that you are going to mount him. A buck of that caliber deserves to be remembered. I found a 180+ buck a few years ago while mushroom hunting and it took awhile to find a cape for him. But he looks awesome on my wall. When somebody sees him for the first time they always ask “bow or gun?” and I reply “neither, I took him with my bare hands”.


  4. Zach had the presence of mind to recover the bone of the back left leg with the visible scar from the earlier bullet wound from nephew’s shot!

    • I was wondering if he did that. How bad was the damage and how well did it seem heal up?

      • Sorry for the delayed response.

        The leg healed well. I will have to take a picture of it sometime. It looks like he had two femurs that fused together where it healed up. It actually still has a hole through the bone as well. No doubt the reason for his non-typical growth.

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