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Huge Monster Buck 192'': A Two Year Advent
Bowhunting.com Owner Todd Graf relives the chase for the monster buck he first started hunting back in 2007! This buck is surely a must see!
Unbelievable its October already. Its time to get out there and start chasing some whitetails. I don’t know about you but your probably as excited as I am. I’ve got a lot of new sets that I have hung. I am absolutely ready to go. Guys if you haven’t here d yet about our new DVD. Our all new bowhunting.com DVD is ready its jam packed with 16 100 percent fair chase hunts. Anyone who places any orders on our website between now and Dec. 31st. You get a free DVD. So make sure you buy your gear from us. We have over 14,000 products online now in the cart. So surf, it check it out, good luck this fall, be safe, and most importantly wear your safety harness.
No question about it 2007 was going to be the start of truly one of my best hunting adventures ever. I was lucky enough to capture my first photograph of truly a monster buck. It was only about 150-160 inch whitetail, but he had it all, mass, , he was big, and most importantly, he was living very close to my hunting piece.
What your going to see, is some trail camera photos of what he looked like in 2007. I was so fortunate to get over a hundred plus photos of this whitetail. And some incredible video clip-lets from the different trail cameras I was using. What makes this buck so special, is number 1, he was not trailing very far at all. I knew if he kept the same pattern up, I was going to have a chance at him this season. Or at least I thought. I hunted that buck right out the bat of the start of the season on October 1st in Illinois. I ended up never seeing this deer ever on hoof throughout the entire hunting season. This buck turned into a ghost. All the day time camera shots I had of this buck disappeared . I couldn’t believe it. My whole 2007 season I felt like it was over. I finally got a video of this buck coming through a certain spot that I was hunting. And I noticed that somebody had a shot at him. And there was actually a big bump near his back where someone else had shot this buck. I was grateful to see that the buck was still alive, and more importantly that no one else harvested him. I was fortunate in 2008 to get a really nice photo of this buck in velvet. At this time, he only had about 8 inches of growth, but just by the way the one side was growing, I knew that my favorite buck made it through the season. Sure enough this buck went right to the similar patterns of the year before. The entire summer all I could do was think about this whitetail . I mean each month went by, and I’m telling ya, the trail cameras just kept shoeing i=him getting bugger bigger and bigger. I knew that this was going to be largest whitetail buck that I have ever had an opportunity of harvesting.
My goal was wait until the last weekend of October. I knew for a fact from all my previous hunting experiences, that when they get near that last month of October, and the temperatures start getting a little bit cooler, those bucks are going to begin to getting on their feet, their going to start laying down more day time patterns, and their going to be out there looking for what does are around, and their going to be marking up their territory. And sure enough, my first hunt out of the year, in this particular spot, was incredible. This buck stands up shakes his head shows off his incredible rack. I grabbed the grunt tube, I tried to grunt him in a little bit. He was playing into any of my games on that particular evening. But, you know what, I knew where he was, and I was putting together my plan for the next days hunt. When you find a big buck, you know where he’s bedding, you better stay on him you better hunt him hard. Because, at this particular time of the year, its going to be a matter of 5 to ten days, snap, and their going to be gone. Their going to be up and they could be miles away, looking for does and does on entirely different pieces of property.
The next morning, I set out on my quest. I went back to the same exact stand which I got to tell you is something I generally would not do. You know a lot of times my old philosophy for hunting, you know what, hunt different stands. Move around, don’t go back to that same spot. But, you know what, when something is working, stay on it. That is the best piece of advice that I learned from this hunt. I when right back to that particular stand, on that particular morning, you know what, did not see that buck. Just never showed himself at all. Came back that evening, and I went right back into his bedding area. I mean, I could not have been more than, I would say, 15 – 20 yards from where this buck was bedding down. I went right back in there. Brought my stand in there. I hung it on that particular evening, and I was right, there, waiting for that particular deer. I did see 2 nice bucks that evening, but I did not see the giant. But I did not give up hope at that point. I knew I had the wind right, I knew where he was bedding. And most importantly, I still had the same plan in mind. I knew he was nearby, and I knew, at this point, the buck still wasn’t gone. I got up the next morning, I was right back at it, in the same stand that I saw the buck, on the first time, and sure enough, the buck made the most deadliest move ever. I saw him creeping in, to get into his bed. Which basically told me right where he was at. You know what, I didn’t waste any time at all. I knew where he was bedding. He was going to be there for a while. I had the wind at my advantage. I got out of my stand. And I got the heck out of there. I had my plan of attack. It was the third day at chasing this whitetail. And boy oh boy I I just had this feeling that something was going to happen tonight. That particular morning right where he bedded down. I knew right where he was. I got into the stand plenty early, and the wind was in my favor. Perfectly. Everything was set up for me to have a successful hunt. Now the buck just had to play his part. I was in the stand at about one o’clock, and I got to tell ya, it wasn’t more than five minutes of me being that stand, setting up the camera, did not have a camera man. I had to do everything on my own, and ill tell you what, it paid off this time. I can’t I I I tell ya, I never thought I would be able to film this big of a buck by myself, first of all, get in on film number one, and number two actually get the buck.
I was like, oh boy, this could be the evening. I was so excited, I was just like, wow. This monster is right here, this could happen any single second. My brain is just telling me, man, I am just so glad that I stayed on this buck. I’m glad I didn’t decide to go hunting somewhere else on this particular evening, give the spot a break. I m glad I stuck with my plan, more importantly I had a plan. I think that’s some thing that all us hunters need more of, is have a plan and stick with it. And this plan ended up paying off big time.
I can’t be real loud guys. This is the closest I’ve ever been. To this big of a buck. He’s beautiful. I’ve been hunting him for the past three days. I know that if I don’t get on him in the next couple of days, when this rut starts kicking in full time. He’s going to be out of here. I am in his main bed right now. I saw him this morning at 9:30 bedding down. I got down. Made a couple adjustments. And uh, figures the farmers picking corn tonight.
Here’s just to show you how smart these deer are. You know what, I am in I the stand I’m am replaced. I know the buck bedded back down. Now its kind of a waiting game. And would you believe it, here comes the farmer. I mean this farmer can’t be more than ten or fifteen yards from my deer stand, plowing the fields. Once that tractor got close enough to that buck and then it moved on, sure enough, that buck got up, walked to the edge of the, of the thicket that he was bedding in, literally did a look left, did a look right, and sure enough, he was just checking to make sure that that was the farmer and there was no danger around. Ten minutes later, he found himself back in his bed. Laid down, and he disappeared for another half hour in the thicket. It couldn’t have been 3:30 3:45ish, bam, this buck stands up, and he is heading right for me. I was a little nervous he was gonna come right towards me and I wasn’t gonna have a shot, but I got lucky and he veered off. And all of a sudden, would you believe it, he disappears again. I’m just starting to think, oh my gosh I within 45 yards of this buck, and I’m never gonna see him again. And all of a sudden within about 5 more minutes, there he is eating corn, right on the edge of the field. Sure enough, after about 5 minutes of eating corn, this giant Illinois whitetail, was heading right down the path, to end up right underneath my stand. Every step that that buck took, I just felt like he was getting bigger and bigger and bigger. My heart was pounding so hard, I’ve never had this much adrenaline going through my body at one time, I just couldn’t believe this two and a half year quest of chasing this whitetail monster finally came to be.
(Grunt followed by shot) Oh. Oh, I got him guys. Oh my…
I knew I made a good shot. Of course as all bowhunters know, you know, its its when that arrow goes off, and you shoot that deer, is when the real hunt begins.
Oh. Guys… I have been working so hard for that buck. I don’t think he made it to that corn field. I think he went about 80 yards behind this tree right here, and then I lost sight of him. Oh, I have been playing cat and mouse with that deer for the last 3 days hard. 2 years that I have been after him. I am shaking too much to look through the binoculars.
I grabbed my cell phone, and I immediately called Justin.
I got him! Ha! I got him, Justin! Oh dude, I swear on everything I got. I don’t I know. I think so, dude. I am shaking soo much right now I could fall out of the tree. Dude… Hahahaha! I can’t believe it. Dude, I worked so hard. Oh, dude, he’s been… I saw him run about a hundred and fifty yards. Um west. And… ok. And uh, and uh I lost sight of him. But I think that’s because. Its all over. Dude he’s a giant! Haha. He is a giant, dude. Dude, I… ten. Dude, ten yards! I swear dude. Dude I got I, I, I’m shaking so much right now. Haw.
We immediately went to the spot where I shot these deer. And I’ll tell you what, thank goodness, the arrow was there. There was blood all over the corn, and I knew we had a good trail, and I knew finding this buck was only a matter of time.
There’s blood here. And there’s blood here. There’s blood here.
I can see the path. Yep.
Especially on dark colored grass, you can see it better, huh?
Here he is! Oh god guys. Oh! Ah! Oh my god! Hahaha! He’s a giant. Here help me out, Paul. We got him guys! Oh my gosh, bowhunting.com baby! Look at this trophy! This is what whitetail hunting is all about.
Holy cow look at the body on this thing.
Oh my gosh. Oh guys! Oh! I have been playing cat and mouse for this animal for a long time. He is just an absolute, just, gorgeous, gorgeous whitetail buck. Hunting in Illinois, I’m with my best friends Paul Maser and Justin Zarr, These guys have been with me from the beginning. Um, what, I don’t know what to say. I’m actually a little lost for words right now. I got in my stand today at about 230, um right when I got in the stand, I’m telling ya, it couldn’t have been more than five minutes, look over and there he is. I could see his antlers. Just bedded in the grass, it just goes to show you these giants are out there and you just got to do your homework. Got to put trail cameras out, you gotta be smart about how you put em out, and you will have success in time. Gosh he is just a giant I mean honestly, I mean, I may never ever ever ever ever have a chance in my life to get buck like this again.
Alright Gordon finally! Its here! Justin come on over here buddy. Man she looks perfect. Gordon you definitely do a good job there’s no question about that. This kind of puts full closure on my monster buck that I shot last year. 192, 194. To be quite frank, I didn’t actually get it officially scored, we just rough scored it. About a month after it dried out here in the warehouse at our corporate office for bowhunting.com. I’m with Gordon Sunderlich, my professional taxidermist for the last 3 or 4 years. Um, absolutely Gordon, I I appreciate everything you do, he looks um, he looks absolutely perfect. You know one thing I got to say, you know, before I met Gordon, I was using a lot of other taxidermists, and you know there’s no question about em, when you see a deer that has been 100 percent properly mounted vs. some of the deer that look like they just jumped in front of a car. Like there in from of headlights with there ears sticking forward, um boy. Its just worth every extra dollar to get a professionally done mount. Gordon if you take a few minutes to tell us some of the extra details that you do to give these extra, thing. We aren’t looking for any tricks of the trade. But just some of the things that you do that really make your deer stand out.
Um, for starters you use high grade eyes. Use a light to percept them. Perfect the nasal cavity. Round it out. A little texture on the lower lip to the front. And pay attention to the ears. If you wanted the ears back, forward, one forward or one back. I’ve studied cast and have tried to go off of but the-
How about the eyes, I mean your always doing near, I mean gosh. If you can zoom in and look at these eyes. I mean it looks like s he’s real, it looks like he’s’ alive!
Um, you go off your reference photos. You try to duplicate what you see in the photos, and uh, go from there.
Gordon as usual I totally appreciate all the work. Guys anyone who’s ever wants an absolute top notch high grade taxidermist, there’s no question about it, you know, Gordon is not the cheapest guy in the world when it comes to taxidermists but if you want to get the best and our r care about details, I use him I use him for all my dear heads. And I totally appreciate it I mean it just looks phenomenal.
Thanks for the compliment.
Hopefully I can bring you one more this fall. I can’t say that I have a buck take this on my hit list yet, this year but, boy you just never know when its going to happen, so thank you.