The Jason Brooks Missouri Buck of a Lifetime
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Jason Brooks was down to the last evening of the Missouri firearms season and he still had his tag in his pocket. He had hunted hard all season but as most hunters agree, some seasons go by faster than others and this season was one of them. As any trophy hunter will attest, as long as the season is open then a person still has a chance. Trophy whitetails seldom come easy and Jason knew that one final hunt may be all that was needed to land the buck of his dreams.
He had decided to watch over a “green field” for his final hunt. Knowing the rut was still going strong, and knowing there would be several does feeding in the field that evening, he hoped that one of them would lure a big buck into the open.
By sundown there were about a dozen deer in the field including a couple young bucks that were harassing and chasing the does around. Another mature doe had just jumped the fence and entered the field, and right behind her was a monster buck! There was no question in Jason’s mind that this was a shooter and just the type of buck he was hoping for. Without hesitation, he lifted his trusty .243 to a solid rest and took the 100 yard shot. At the crack of the rifle the big buck dropped in his tracks.
Jason Brooks Missouri Buck: From Elation to Despair
Jason Brooks had just experienced a classic trophy hunt; he hunted hard during the allotted eleven days and had taken a buck of a lifetime at sundown on the last day of the season. His dream had just become reality. However, as many hunters have experienced, fortunes can change quickly. In an instant, Jason’s dream turned into a nightmare. He watched as the buck kicked a few times then suddenly regained his legs and ran off, exiting the field and out of sight!
Jason was dumbfounded to say the least. What could have went wrong? The shot looked good, his aim was steady, and his rifle was zeroed in. As he replayed the scenario in his mind, he couldn’t come up with a logical explanation as to why the deer was not dead? Although he was assuring himself that the shot had been good, it was obvious it wasn’t. He decided to wait a couple hours taking up the bucks trail. But it wasn’t meant to be. Despite spending several hours searching for the buck that night and into the next day, the big deer wasn’t found. Adding to the misery was the fact that several trail cameras in the area didn’t show the buck either. Jason felt the buck was no longer around, either having left the area for good or possibly having been taken down by the local coyotes. It was a hard reality to accept.
Many hunters have felt the sting of losing a deer to a missed shot, but it’s different when the deer is actually hit and not recovered. It’s easy to be overcome by self-doubt and waning confidence. I’ve lived it myself as have many others; it’s a sickening feeling that can overwhelm your entire being. The entire hunt gets played back in your mind several hundred times. The scene, the sights, the smells, the position of the buck, the instant the shot is taken, it consumes your entire life. Your thoughts, your mental images, your conversations, are all dominated by that single moment. It’s easy to slip into temporary depression, and it can literally take weeks or months to recover.
For some, the memory and bite of the loss may never fade, but all a hunter can do is pick up the pieces and start hunting again. Jason did just that. With the memory of the buck foremost in his mind, he was determined to never again go through the emotional turmoil he had just experienced. The late archery season would be a great time for redemption and to build back the confidence he had lost.
A New Beginning
The first week of January found Jason Brooks in the same stand overlooking the same field where he had lost the big buck two months earlier. With his bow in hand, he couldn’t help envisioning the buck standing in the field as his subconscious mind kept returning to that fateful day in November.
As the field began to fill with deer, Jason’s eye caught movement to his left. As he turned his head ever so slightly for a look he was caught off guard by what he saw. There, standing and feeding peacefully, was HIS buck! The very buck he had wounded two months earlier! At first he thought he was seeing things, that his mind was playing tricks on him. But this was real, there was HIS buck, the Jason Brooks Missouri buck was alive and well and he was contently feeding while standing broadside at 45 yards!
Jason slowly drew his bow, taking careful and steady aim, determined there would be no mistake this time! He released the arrow and it was a perfect shot, passing completely through the vitals of the giant buck! Jason watched as the buck made his final dash to safety and away from the field. Another flood of emotions overcame him but this time it was pure elation! He couldn’t believe what had just happened; he couldn’t believe he was given a second chance at the same buck! This time he knew the buck was his!
When the buck had made his dash out of the field he had run headlong into a fence which had caused the left antler to fall off. Jason watched as the buck ran from the field and he seen the buck hit the fence so he knew right where the antler was laying. Climbing down from his stand he retrieved his arrow then walked over to the fence and picked up the antler. He then walked up to the biggest buck he had ever taken! Once again a flood of emotions washed over him. After two agonizing months of worry and self-doubt, the majestic whitetail was finally his.
Fortunately, the antler had popped off in a way that the pedicel fits snuggly and perfectly back into place on the skull. The final score of Jason Brooks Missouri buck is 170 2/8 inches. However, the antlers aren’t record book acceptable because of the fallen antler, but it does tell just how big this buck truly is. No doubt it’s a buck of a lifetime for any hunter.
An interesting side note: It was two months from the time Jason had wounded the buck with his .243 and he had taken him with his bow. During those two months the buck was nowhere to be found as there were no local sightings. However, Jason would later learn of and receive trail camera photos of the buck that were taken on a farm over eight miles from the field he had killed the buck in!
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