Today’s cool blog from Eric Barrett, who killed this giant in 2011:
Mike: It was October, during archery season, and I had been hearing about a giant deer that a guy had been seeing as he hunted the adjoining farm. He had several trail cam pictures and even a video of the deer in velvet feeding in a green soybean field. I had heard that the deer had around a 30-inch spread, so I was intrigued. I couldn’t even imagine how many gallons of gas I burned and how many hours I spent looking around, just trying to lay eyes on the deer. After all that, I had nothing. No trail cam pictures, no sightings, nothing.
Frustrated, I kind of blew it off. Then the landowner of the farm I was hunting texted me one day about a huge buck he had seen drinking out of a pond near his house. By this time, it was getting toward the end of October. I knew it was the time when big deer would start to get on their feet.
Two days later, the landowner’s son sent me a text saying he had seen the biggest deer he had ever seen in a field close to where I had some stands set. I knew it was time to start putting in some serious stand time.
I checked the weather for the week. We had been having some mild days, and deer had not been real active in daylight hours. I noticed they were calling for a storm front to move in on Wednesday, October 26th. Temps were going to drop throughout the afternoon hours, and I knew that would get deer up on their feet.
I rushed home from work and got all my stuff together, and headed to my stand about 40 yards off a picked cornfield. A few does came by, headed out to the field to feed. I saw a couple more deer coming up the hill toward me. The first one was a doe trotting along. Then, I saw a large-bodied deer coming up behind her. After one look, I knew it was the buck the landowners had been talking about. I saw the rack’s wide spread and tried to control my nerves. Then I started looking for a shooting lane ahead of him.
He came on up the same trail the doe was on. She had already passed by when he stepped out into an opening that offered a 25-yard broadside shot. I drew back and settled my pin behind his shoulder, then released the arrow. Everything looked good; the deer mule kicked and took off, plowing saplings over on his way.
I sat back down to gather my thoughts and to think about what just happened. By the time I climbed down, it was too dark to see much. I found my arrow, a clean pass through. However, the arrow had some guts on it, which was not what I wanted to see.
As I shined my flashlight down the trail the buck had run on, I could see a good blood trail. But, after seeing my arrow and definitely not wanting to push the deer, I decided to back out and wait until it got light the next morning to go look for him.
After a very sleepless night, my brother and I went back in. With more rain that came overnight, there wasn’t much blood to go by. After seeing this my heart sank. We separated and spaced out, then started the way the deer had gone. We only made it 60 yards and then we found him!
My emotions had been on a roller coaster ride like never before. They were the highest of highs when I put my hands on him. He had 27½-inch inside spread with 12 scorable points. The rack scored 183 inches, which is by far my largest buck ever.—Thanks, Eric
Postscript: I killed this giant buck on what turned out to be my wife’s birthday (I shot him iust a short time before we met). I told her I definitely won’t forget her birthday now. I even joked one day last month that our anniversary was coming up!