Today’s blog is from Jacob “Dirty” Goodwin from Arkansas, who has hung with me on the blog for 7 years, from Day 1 when I started it. Thanks man for your support:

MO velvet 1Mike: Jamie Graves and I met here on the Big Deer Blog 7 years ago. We became great friends and hunting partners. I’ve killed a lot of game with him over the years, and have introduced a lot of my friends and family from back home to Jamie’s great hunting area in beautiful northern Missouri.

This year on our trip up there, in the early bow season, luck struck for a gentleman named Stacy Barron, a dear friend of mine. On the first sit of our hunt he arrowed an absolute giant! The deer was in full velvet and was 18 inches wide and had 8-inch bases! I asked Stacy to compose a short story about the hunt, and here’s what he came up with. –-Thanks “Dirty”

Growing up, hunting and fishing were my most important pastimes, but recently marriage, kids and work have gotten in the way. Especially since my job is super busy in October, and I work 80 hours a week. Good friend Jacob Goodwin has a deer processing business that obviously gets crazy this time of year, so he has a similar problem.

One time we were discussing our hunting dilemma, and he informed me that bow season opened September 15 in Missouri.  So we could go on a big deer hunt before we both got busy. Jacob had been hunting with Jamie before in northern Missouri, and he said that the hunting was incredible, with lots of deer sightings and big bucks. So 3 years ago I bought a Mathews bow and started practicing.

On our first trip to Missouri, we got there a couple of days early to scout, and then just set up where Jacob had hunted before. The first day I saw 2 does, and the second day 1. It was nothing like I had been told, but Jacobs’s previous trip was a gun hunt during the rut. We found out that September bowhunting is completely different.

This year we decided to do things differently. We made a trip up 2 weeks early to scout, and we put out 8 trail cams.

MO velvet 4

We returned to Missouri on the 14th.  Our first camera had some small bucks on it, so that was a little encouraging. But cameras 2-6 had few to no deer on them in daylight, so that was discouraging. One camera had a 160 buck on it twice, but only at night.

The cameras worked for us by eliminating a lot of places with fresh sign that I would have liked to have tried, but since any activity in those areas was only at night, I would probably have been wasting my time.

The eighth camera was in a creek bottom on a heavily traveled trail where Jamie says deer come to a nearby field every evening. Since we didn’t have any bucks moving in daylight on the other cameras, I decided to hunt the creek bottom without even checking the 8th camera so I wouldn’t disturb the area with scent and noise. I knew there were deer there, I just didn’t know what size.

I carried a climber in about 2 o’clock, hoping that the deer were still bedded down, and set up by the trail.  At 6 p.m. a doe and a small buck came by. The doe browsed leaves and the buck rubbed every bush it came to.

MO velvet 3At 7, I heard a buck grunt several times behind me, but I never saw anything.  At 7:22 I saw a huge deer move straight in front of me, about 20 yards in a thicket.  Then I saw the horns… It was the biggest deer I have ever seen, and the excitement began.

At 7:25, with less than 5 minutes of shooting light left, he came out right in front of me.  I had already drawn my bow; it was a good thing because he looked straight up at me. I guess I was so excited and shaking so badly that I was causing the tree to shake and he saw me! I released the arrow and made a poor shot, hitting him in the middle of the back. But even though it wasn’t a pass thru the Rage broadhead made a huge entry hole and left a blood trail easy enough to follow.  Turned out he only went 70-80 yards and piled up.

It was the deer of a lifetime, in velvet, with thick, heavy bases. A dream come true for me, and all I can say is, “PRAISE THE LORD.”–Stacey