The uneventful season ends abruptly during the holiday hunt.
A Thanksgiving morning hunt has long been a family tradition for Kevin Brooks, his father Jerry, Uncle Bobby and a good friend, Troy.
They often prey on small game on the 125-acre Troy farm in south-central Indiana, but they switched to deer in 2015 because they still held male tags. Putting on orange, swapping balls for slugs, and heading for the trees was a no-brainer.
The Troy farm is made up of cultivated fields separated by several hardwood apartments. Hunting here has been good for many years, so good that Kevin often brings novice hunters there.
“This particular large oak dish is a favorite sleeping area for a group of does, and I’ve always thought that if you hunt where the does are, the buck will come calling,” Kevin said.
“I had a good stall there, but I rarely hunted it, preferring a place just down the hill for me. For some reason, last year I chose to hunt the summit, just in this oak apartment.
“I hadn’t pulled a trigger, so I thought I was going to take a doe.” The flat oak stand was a place as good as any other, because the people I put there always saw it doing it with a few small dollars, ”he continued.
“Troy and I had hunted the farm throughout archery season, but neither of us had seen a quality buck within range, although Troy had seen this particular buck before,” Kevin said.
When the Thanksgiving morning group parted from the truck, Kevin announced that he was going up to the apartment to get a doe for the freezer.
“I told my father that he should take the position where I usually hunt, at the foot of the hill. I had taken several really good bucks from this place, and wanted it to try something pretty cool.
“It was very cold that morning, probably only 8 or 9 degrees. I remember sitting there facing southwest. The sun was starting to rise over my left shoulder. It was very calm and calm at the time, ”he said.
“I flew a big red woodpecker up a nearby tree and watched it as it looked for bugs. I watched for several minutes before it took off to look for better picks.
“There was a good frost that morning, and it was so calm I could hear very well. I thought I heard something and turned slightly to try to figure out what had caused the noise. I saw something coming out of a thicket about 100 yards away. It was a big sum!
“He was coming towards me, moving slowly but steadily. I thought he was looking for down jackets on this apartment, ”Kevin noted. “By the time he got to 65 or 70 yards, I knew he was a shooter. He didn’t stop to eat or anything, just at a brisk pace.
“I was hunting with a rifled shotgun, so I knew the buck was in my comfort zone.
“Flashback: When I was a kid I missed a lot of deer in the first few years after I started hunting. I was always too eager to get a photo, so I took the low percentage of moving deer shots, and far too often I missed.
“My dad tried and finally managed to teach me to find an opening that I thought the deer would go through, point my gun at that opening and wait.
“That’s exactly what I did: I found the spot and applied the scope to that opening. I only had a few seconds to wait until the male entered my scope, and I pulled quickly when he did. The deer fell back in place, ”he said.
Kevin could see the downed male and knew it was over, so he didn’t rush down from his perch. When he did, he rushed over to the animal.
“I counted the points several times, for a total of 19, one of which was very short and would be counted when scored. But 18 points is quite impressive!
“I was overwhelmed. He’s the biggest buck I’ve ever shot and probably the biggest I’ll ever see while hunting.
“I really wanted to call my dad. We had two-way radios so we could all keep in touch. I couldn’t call her without the others overhearing the conversation. I remembered another hunt about 10 years ago when my dad shot a big 14 point pointer.
“He pulled my leg, telling me it was just a little 4 points, but needed help getting it out,” Kevin said.
“Well, when we got there, we saw the little white lie he told. I thought it was recovery time.
“I was on the radio, and of course everyone would hear what I had to say. They had heard me shoot.
“They all asked me what I shot, and I confessed that I had made a mistake and shot a little 4 point instead of a doe. I explained that I was going to do what ‘I had to and use my buck tag,’ he continued.
Well sure, the guys started blaming her for being a model, but Kevin let him do it. He told the guys that since it was still early, only 8:30 am, he would stay seated until the others were ready to go home.
“I went ahead and dressed the male on the field, tagged and ready to hang out, then sat down next to him to wait for the usual 11am moving time,” he said. he declares.
“It didn’t take long for the excitement to get the best of me. I called my dad and told him I couldn’t take it anymore and he had to get along here.
“Dad wanted to know what the problem was, and I had to admit that I had shot a monster of a male that had 19 kills on the head, including an incredible extra beam on the right side!”
Jerry came down from his booth and rushed over to where his son was sitting with his amazing deer. They both stood and admired the animal for several minutes before stepping back to pick up the side by side to pull it out of the woods.
“After we loaded it onto the truck, we sat there waiting for my uncle Bobby and Troy to come out of the woods. Several vehicles stopped to admire the male. A truck stopped to watch and he had two little boys with him. They wanted to take pictures with them and the male, so they got in the back of my truck and took several.
“After the fact, I found out that many locals also had an eye on this big boy. Even the local taxidermist was hoping for a chance to hang his tag on the male.
“We still have checkpoints in Indiana, so later that day we went to one to have the tag processed. They were having a Big Buck Contest, so I went ahead and participated in it. It was ironic because a week or 10 days earlier, a man had brought in a very large sum that everyone thought they would win hands down.
“This is not the case,” he added. “I got a free shoulder mount thanks to this deal!” “
This article was published in the April 2017 edition of Rack Magazine. Subscribe today to have Rack Magazine delivered to you.
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