My Best Buck Ever

The convention floor of the S.H.O.T. Show is the greatest place in the world to find out about all the latest innovations that the outdoor industry has to offer, but is also the top spot to catch up with old friends just to find out what kind of hunting season they had. Outdoor Life ran into Mark Drury last week and discovered that despite protestations to the contrary, Mark and Co. had a fine season indeed beginning with the biggest typical buck he's ever taken. Here's his story...
"Great day to be a bowhunter!" … "I'm so lucky to be a bowhunter!" … I can't tell you how many times I've mumbled those sayings over the last few weeks. But for whatever reason, as I get older I cherish the opportunity to climb a tree and participate in this sport I have loved for so many years. On the morning of October 27, I started my day out by saying, "It feels like a good day to be a bowhunter!" And indeed it was!
"It was late October and I definitely wanted to focus in on sets with scrapes in and around the area. I went to a place I call the Park Oak. It's the same set where I shot a 153 about three years ago with Aaron Bennett filming me during a long day in the rain. At first light, I looked around in areas where I had seen scrapes in the past. Limbs that once hung down low were broken and the ground ripped to shreds. This sight put a big smile on my face! "Shortly after, the first buck of the morning appeared. A 130-inch, three-year-old eight-point came in and worked a scrape at 30 yards. From then until 8:30, we never had a single second where we could not see a buck somewhere around us. They seemed to be in the mood to not move far. They were working scrapes and checking does, but hung in the area all morning.
"At 8:00, a new doe came flying through the draw just north of us. She ran right past a two year old who was just standing there. He immediately turned and looked on her back trail. For the next twenty minutes, the two year old stood there staring. I knew in my mind there must be a buck there, but didn't know anything about him. Finally, the two year old sheepishly walked to the north. His body posture indicated to me he was fearful. Shortly thereafter, I heard the distinct sound of antlers. I couldn't tell if it was sparing or rubbing. All I knew is that it was close!
"I looked up at cameraman Tim Young and confirmed it was definitely antlers rubbing. As he grabbed the camera, I pulled out the final prototype of the new MAD Hyper Growl. I started breathing intensely, hyper growling, growling, and snort wheezing--all in about a 15-second sequence. I put the call away and grabbed my bow as I always do in anticipation of a buck's approach. Seconds after grabbing my bow, and with the cameras still running, I looked up to see a giant headed straight towards us from where the sounds of rubbing occurred. The buck walked in as if he was a year and half. He made his way through a wide-open lane from 45 yards all the way to 25. He turned to give me a dead broadside shot. I must have been a little nervous when I shot because I hit him a little back. The arrow was definitely in the ribs, but I was certain I hit liver.
"We backed out, looked at the footage, and decided to wait. After the appropriate time we went back to track him, and I am glad we waited. The blood trail led to his first bed. We continued the trail to his second bed where we found the deer - and he was still warm.
"This deer got the name "Treat" because I encountered him last year on Halloween morning before I killed Chiquita. I'm guessing him to be at least four and a half, but by all indications, he is likely five or older. Since last year, he blew from about 165 to 195 1/8! This is my largest typical whitetail ever, and ties my all time best."
"The story of Baby-G started in the spring of '09 while I was shed hunting in one of my favorite spots. I found a pretty massive shed on my farm that scored around 70 inches. I knew it was a nice shed off a deer I had never seen but didn't give it much thought until the following summer. I had seen a giant in a bean field that I didn't recognize not 300 yards from where I had picked up that shed. I figured that could be him or a deer we called "Kickers" that lived in the same general area. Then early one morning while I was scouting I caught a glimpse of him going to bed in my timber. "In November of that year Dustin had two encounters with him and it appeared his eye had been put out. We decided with our neighbors that if Baby G made it through archery season alive, he was going to get a free pass during the gun seasons. Well this was the last time anyone saw him and Reconyx photos later proved his eye was fine, we were just hoping he made it through the winter.
"Then in the spring of 2010, Mark found one of his sheds. He was alive and we figured he would've scored in the 190's that year if both sides matched. We seen him once this summer in that same bean field. Never to be seen again by a hunter until one November morning where Terry nearly got an arrow into him. "Fast forward to the end of December, I am sitting in a box blind just hoping Baby G might show his self in that same bean field. I look up about an hour before dark in the CRP and there he is standing there like a ghost 110 yards away. This is my first encounter with Baby G while hunting and he is just too big to believe. He was in the edge of the brush facing us and no way for a shot. After standing there for about 30 minutes he starts to walk toward me, facing me the whole time. He starts to angle and is about to turn broad side at 80 yards for the shot I needed. As if he knew he was about to die as he turns broad side my hammer comes back on my TC and he immediately beds down, I cannot believe this just happened. "I figured I would wait him out, keep my gun on him and when he stands up shoot him (well he didn't read the script). I'm sitting there thinking, "what should I do to get this deer up." I decided to just give him a little bit and see what happens. I can tell you that when you have a 230 inch deer bedded down in front of you, your heart is racing 4 beats a second and your mind starts acting up. Seconds turned to minutes and all I can see is his horns. He is 80 yards away and no possible shot. I elected not to try anything to get him to stand up, I figured he would just head towards the field to feed and with all the other deer around me I was afraid I would spook him and really blow my chance. He finally stood up, but it was too late to shoot. "So I had a 230 inch deer at 80 yards and didn't get him killed! I'm thinking, "what is wrong with me and how could that have happened to me again." I was left to question my decision of not to try and get him to stand. Surely there must have been something I could have done, but at the time nothing seemed right. But the next day I thought of a thousand things I could've should've done. "After trying to work around the wind the next few days, the only option I had to take advantage of the cold weather coming in was to put up a ground blind and hope to catch him coming out of the timber into the field before dark. So I decided to go into the edge of the corn field, put up a ground blind and brush it in really well. That afternoon we got to our blind real early and the first few does that entered the field saw the blind and spooked, this happened a couple of times and me nor the deer were liking this blind. At one point I started to unzip the blind, get out and go somewhere else, but I held tight and things started to calm down. "I had a bow tag in my pocket along with my muzzleloader tag so I took both to my blind with me thinking if a mature buck came in bow range, I would fill that tag first. Later that evening a five year old 8 pointer walked by but I elected not to shoot him with my PSE because deer movement was looking good and I thought with this kind of movement Baby G may be on his feet.
"Right before dark my cameraman said there is a big buck out his window and he thinks it's Baby G, I look and at first glance I knew it was him. We had deer very close and started moving things around trying to hurry for a shot but trying to be as quiet as possible. I had to get in his corner and he had to get where I was. It was a challenge no doubt! Finally I get around on that side and my cameraman cannot see Baby G in the view finder because of all the deer in the field. I am getting impatient and knowing what had just happened a few days ago, I did not want him to get away again. He is 50 yards ground level and moving away. I had the TC on him and when the camera got on him, I shot him. I knew I had made a good shot but with the smoke i didn't see him fall. The thoughts that go through your mind at that moment is totally unexplainable! After calming down we loaded up our gear up and got out of the blind. I planned to go get Jeff, some lights and come back to see if we could find him.
"We got our lights and headed to where he was standing when I pulled the trigger. He was laying right where I had shot him, the ground sloped so much that when he had fell I couldn't see him from the ground blind. As I walk up to him, he keeps getting bigger and bigger! We had him rough scored him from all the Reconyx pictures and figured he was right at 230 inches and now I was really starting to believe it! "We took tons of photos and just enjoyed the moment the next couple of days. After what had happened to me last year on a close encounter with another giant it was like my second chance. Baby G was a once in a lifetime buck that had went from a 150'' ten pointer to a 230'-inch, 21-pointer in two years. I want to thank God for my chance at this deer and to be able to live in an area with awesome deer and great landowners who share the same goals of growing big deer."--David Lindsey
For any dyed-in-wool sportsman, spending a day hunting or fishing with their child or spouse ranks as the ultimate high in outdoor experiences. So imagine for a moment how Mark felt when his 15-year-old daughter, Taylor, lowered the boom on her Missouri Youth Season giant! This is her story... "As I get older, I have grown out of Trick-Or-Treating and always look forward to gettiing in the woods around Halloween time! Dressing up as a hunter is perfectly fine with me :) Plus, this year was my last Youth Season because I am 15 years old so I wasn't going to miss out. I promised my dad I would hunt mornings because I was hitting the weather front just right. We had a real good feeling about my upcoming hunts which was very encouraging. After looking at the pictures of all the bucks I was even more excited!
"Saturday morning I was up and ready at 6:15am and couldn't wait to get out there, a little tired though! We were headed to the "honey hole" of our whole northern Missouri farm so I was anxious to see what would walk out this morning. Our trailcam pictures revealed several shooters in this field that were there regularly.
"We got to the box blind before sunrise and I hear my dad say "There's our big boy!" He spotted our main big shooter we were after, with a doe, but walking the opposite direction. We were just hoping he'd come back before the hunt was over.
"As it started getting lighter we'd only seen two does and knew they were going to move sometime. Then, as my dad and I were catching up since we hadn't seen each other in a while I look up and see this giant buck running straight for the blind. I said "Dad!" and he looked forward and said "That's him!" Our shooter had come back out with the same doe and I could not believe it. It was all happening so fast so I had absolutely no time to get nervous. I just kept telling myself to not mess this up! My dad thinks a coyote or something bumped them, thank goodness.
"I got the window open quickly and made the shot at about 55 yards! He ran 150 yards and died on camera which made for an easy track job. I double-lunged him with my pink Thompson Center .223. My buck scored 167 4/8 and was 5 years old. I never imagined killing this big of a buck at his age in my life. It was definitely a dream come true and made for a perfect weekend! Skipping Halloween, once again, paid off!" For more information of these giant bucks and see more huge whitetails from the Drury's 2010 fall season go to: www.druryoutdoors.com And while you're there, check out Drury Outdoors hunting videos and the Inner Circle.

It's not likely that too many deer hunters on the planet had the type of season that Iowa's Mark Drury had when he took his biggest typical buck ever at 195 1/8!