The story of “Tuner” began back in mid-July when I filmed a buck behind my house that I quickly nicknamed “Tuner” because of the inside “forks” on it G-4’s. At the time, I figured he was a shooter, but it’s always difficult to tell when they are in velvet.
This is what “Tuner” looked like back in mid-July. The footage was a little on the dark side as he entered the bean field just before dark. This is just a picture taken of my TV set (quick and dirty) – but it shows what he looked like in-velvet. I had yet another encounter with “Tuner” the following night, but again, he came out right at dark with two other bucks and I wasn’t able to get the footage I was looking for. This is a picture of Tuner and the other bucks that night (he’s the buck on the right).
The “Tuner” story continued the second week in August when I captured him once again, but this time hard-horned. He was one of the largest bodied whitetails I’d ever seen. I filmed him for about 30 minutes, as close as 40 yards from my location. He was beautiful, and the buck I was going to be setting my sights on come October!
Here are a couple pictures of “Tuner” from that evening. He literally posed for me, giving me the opportunity to film him from every angle in beautiful lighting conditions. The stuff I LIVE outside for in the summer! His belly was so big; it looked like it was going to burst!
After setting my stands in my “sanctuary” in late August, it was a long 2 month wait before I would be ready to make my move. Unfortunately, my stupidity landed me in a bit of a predicament. I had tried jumping a creek while putting trail cameras out; and well, I missed. I landed with all my weight on my right ankle, and well the picture says it all!
I thought I broke my ankle, just as the best cold front in Late October was landing in SE Iowa. My cameraman went out with Dallas that afternoon as I sat on my couch, literally crying because I was in so much pain and couldn’t believe my season was over. The worst feeling I’ve ever had to experience. The next morning, the pain felt different than any “rolled foot” I’d ever had. I was scared to death that I broke my ankle and they would put a cast on it. You see, in-order to get into my sanctuary, I have to get into waders to get across the waste-deep water!
Reluctantly, I went-in for an X-ray, and on the morning of October 27th, I was in the worst place a bowhunter could imagine - THE HOSPITAL! Thank the lord above; the X-Ray’s came back “not broken”. I asked the doctor if it was possible to do any further damage if I were to walk on it. The answer was “no”, so long as you can take the pain and keep the swelling down.
2 hours later, Kyle and I were crossing the creek, going in after a buck called “Tuner”. I could barely get the boot over my ankle, but with a few choice words and some heavy breathing - I was on the other side.
Kyle and I headed into a set that I’d literally been DYING to hunt. 30 minutes after getting set-up, I caught movement in-front of us - and as my binoculars focused onto the movement, at 3:30 in the afternoon - my dream just became a possibility!
Tuner straight-up read the script for us and came strolling on-past our stand at 40 yards where the arrow was released. At the end of the blood-trail lay the buck I’d been dreaming of for 4 months. I’d previously believed he was the biggest bodied whitetail I had ever seen. The scale proved this. Tuner tipped the scale at a field dressed weight of 270 pounds, and had an estimated live weight of 325 pounds. Score wise, his 13 points would probably gross score in the upper 160s, maybe push 170. Not sure, don’t care as I don’t measure any of my bucks. It’s just not important to me.
The following pictures are a few of my favorites. He is my biggest whitetail to date, and to have the opportunity at killing this buck my first time into my prime area - well, I’ll take luck over skill any day!
The man behind the scenes of “my world” is my cameraman Kyle Reenders. As I’m getting pretty used to by now, the footage of the encounter and killing of “Tuner” is flawless! Thanks again Kyle for capturing my dreams as they come-true for me to enjoy and share for the rest of my life!
There is a TON more awesome stuff and some unique twists in this story, but you will have to wait to see it on our next video that will be released in February of 2010. I’m pretty confident this will be the best story of a buck I’ve ever been able to share with y’all.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful season, I’ve got another tag here in Iowa, and I’ve only just begun my season! Be safe - wear a harness!