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Feb_25_06 While my OL colleagues were going gaga over the new guns and gear at the SHOT show out in Vegas, I was roaming the aisles looking for people who had killed monster deer. Am I sick or what?

I bumped into Chad Goetten of Jerseyville, Illinois. Chad told me was attending SHOT as a guest of Winchester Ammunition, because back in November 2003, he had killed a giant with one of the W’s shotgun loads.

Check out this photo of the 234 7/8-inch, 25-pointer.

The non-typical’s mass is freaky—7 inches at the bases, and thick all way out through the main beams. Chad says that for reference, think of beams as fat as a beer can. The rack alone weighs 10 pounds. The 8 mass measurements total nearly 55 inches. Boone and Crockett says the Goetten Buck will go down as one of the top whitetail racks ever recorded in terms of total mass.

The story of Monster Mass confirms 3 things I’ve been writing about in OL’s Whitetails column for the last few years:

· On Nov. 18, 2002, Chad missed the buck with an arrow on his father-in-law’s farm. On Nov. 22 the following year, he killed him from a stand 100 yards from the miss site. Most big, mature bucks are homebodies. The older they get, the smaller their core areas get.

· Chad saw the buck two times—the miss day and the kill day. His father in law roams the farm every day, and he had never seen the giant. Nobody else in the county had seen him. Chad surely would have heard the stories and rumors. A lot of old, world-class deer are nocturnal all year, until a hot doe pulls them out in daylight hours for only 4 or 5 days during the rut.

· Forget all the pros you see on the Outdoor Channel or OLN. Most titan bucks are shot by everyday hunters during their week of fall vacation.

Chad had hunted hard for some 18 years. “My buddies were riding me pretty hard about all the little bucks I was shooting,” he told me. Then he killed Monster Mass and they shut up.

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