Today’s guest blog is written by Dean Weimer:
Roy Mercerr’s “Bed of Pain Buck”
Indiana hunter Roy Mercerr got to his 152-acre hunting area considerably late on the morning of November 18, 2013. He parked his vehicle, and he and a buddy set out quickly on a familiar trail toward their chosen stands. They might be late, but at least the north wind was right, blowing their scent back toward the road.
A short while into their hike Mercerr looked to his right, down into a low bedding area where a week earlier during the bow season he had spooked a big buck. He saw a huge set of antlers atop a buck that was lying in the middle of several blow downs! The buck had not seen the hunters, so they quickly and quietly lay down flat, which was no small fete for Roy (more on that in a bit). “I thought this might be the same buck, but I wasn’t 100% sure,” says Roy.
This time the buck was approximately 100 yards from the hunters, facing due east. Roy thought he might be able to pull off a crawl and stalk. But here is where the troubled started.
Back in 2002 Roy broke his back while carrying rafters on a construction job. He has had several procedures on his back since, and to say that he has a tough time being agile and mobile is an understatement. Crawling especially is a near impossible activity for Roy. But he was looking at the buck-of-a-lifetime, and we all know what those kinds of bucks can make us do.
Mercerr was trying to point out the buck’s location to his buddy, who couldn’t see it at first. Roy crawled over to help his friend get a bead on the buck, and with the sun rising over the trees, his bud finally saw the sun glinting off the thick rack above the blow downs.
Roy whispered that he was going to try and crawl up on the buck. When he got close enough for a clear shot, he’d raise his hand. That would be the signal for his buddy to grunt one time on his call. Hopefully the buck would stand up and give Roy a good shot.
“I was already on my knees, and I prayed to God to help me kill this buck,” Roy says.
The crawl started around 9:30 that morning. Mercerr slowly and methodically worked his way toward the buck on the damp woods floor. He was in excruciating pain, crawling through thick brush and briars and over logs, but he was determined. “I was hurting,” he says.
Using only his feet and hands, holding his shotgun flat in his right hand, Roy worked his way slowly toward the buck. It was thick in there, and tough to see. After a while Roy rose up a bit and peeked to see where he was–and saw a piece of the rack right there! Amazingly he had crawled to within 10 feet of the bedded buck, which still had no idea he was there.
Roy noticed about a one-by-two foot opening in the thick blow downs to the top of the buck’s vital area. He gave his buddy the hand signal; the guy grunted, but the buck didn’t hear it. He hit the call again, louder. Mercerr was aiming his shotgun at the buck through the small window in the brush when the deer started to move just a bit. Roy decided it was then or never. His first nearly point-blank shot grazed the top of the buck’s vitals, but the second shot hit its mark.
Not too long after the hunt I unofficially green-scored the buck at 185 4/8” non-typical. The buck’s most distinctive characteristic is its mass. The 11-point rack racked up nearly 44” of total mass, with the left side H-3 measuring just shy of 7.” Main beams are 23 3/8” right, and 25 2/8” left. Inside spread is 18 2/8” and the collection of 4 forked tines and a single sticker point that shoots from the right main beam toward the middle of the rack combine to add 25 2/8” of non-typical antler.—Dean Weimer