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.