It was a wild and entertaining rut this year in MO. The double beam buck was one of the bucks near the top of my hit list. I was getting him on several trail cams in hard horn up to 1.25 miles apart. During an early October hunt I got a good look at him at ~75 yards. Too say the least, he sure looked impressive on the hoof. On Nov. 3rd a friend of mine saw him about a mile from where I saw him in early October.
On the afternoon of November 9th I had the wind perfect for a stand I hadn't had the chance to hunt yet this year. It was close to a creek in a timber bottom below the end of a ridge. It also appeared to be where I thought he might be traveling back forth between the 2 general areas where I was catching him on cams. With it falling down to 20 that evening and a strong wind blowing, I dressed for a long cold sit. The walk to the stand had me perspiring so, once in the stand, I opened my jacket and bibs to cool off & dry out before gearing up to bowhunt. I set out my mask, gloves, release, etc. and put my binocs on first. About 3:15 I see movement of the 1st deer of the afternoon coming off the end of the ridge toward me. I raise my binocs to glass him...OMG it's the double beam buck. Caught with my pants down (so to speak), I quickly put on my release and ease my facemask on. He comes down, goes down the side of the creek bank and starts drinking. Although he's inside 30 yards a leafless bushy tree offers no shot. If he goes to my right...no shot. I decide I have to do something to coax him toward my left. I ease out my grunt call & deliver a single grunt. He whips his head up looking to my left. A stoke of luck was a doe and fawn followed by an 8 point is heading down the ridge toward me at the same time the double beam buck looked to my left. He walks up the creek bank to check out the new arrivals. Still behind the bushy tree, he stares down the 8 point that backs off. He then moves to a tree & starts tearing it up I guess to further intimidate the 8 point. As he's rubbing the tree the doe & fawn walk past my tree at ~10 yards. After finishing whipping up on the tree, he starts walking right at me. In the open now but still no shot. He closes to 20 yards...15...10...coming right at me. Finally he turns to go around the left side of my tree. Having the stand in the right fork of a double truck tree has me watching him pass by the left truck. I moved my bow between the left truck and my stick when he went behind it and come to full draw. He eases by at 5 yards...quartering away. My pin goes to his heart...release the arrow and it smacks him there. He went about 40 yards past where I last saw him at ~75 yards leaving a blood trail Ray Charles could have followed. Gross score 158 2/8"...nets are for fish.
He was such a regular at one of the cams I set up on a mineral lick from early July to mid September, it was easy to watch his antler growth. I'll share some of those pics later. Playing catch up now.