Tag Archives: buck

The Jason Brooks Missouri Buck

The Jason Brooks Missouri Buck of a Lifetime

Thank you for reading The Whitetail Shooters Big Buck Blog and the story of Jason Brooks Missouri Buck.

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.

Jason Brooks Missouri Buck
This trail camera photo of the Jason Brooks Missouri Buck was taken over eight miles from the field he was taken in!

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!

Jason Brooks Missouri Buck
The Jason Brooks Missouri Buck knocked an antler off which makes it ineligible for record book entry. But that doesn’t take anything away from the giant buck.

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.

Jason Brooks Missouri Buck
The Jason Brooks Missouri Buck scores an impressive 170 2/8 inches!

Final Thoughts

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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I hope you enjoyed the story of Jason Brooks Missouri buck? If so, please leave a comment below the article. Thank you for reading The Whitetail Shooters Big Buck Blog!

A Giant Saskatchewan Drop Tine Buck

Two Year Quest for a Giant Saskatchewan Drop Tine Buck

Thank you for reading The Whitetail Shooters Big Buck Blog and this story about a giant Saskatchewan Drop Tine buck.

When you spend two years after one particular buck the hunt takes on an element of personal challenge. As many of you know from similar accounts, the story doesn’t always end in the hunters favor. However, when the pursuit of a particular buck reaches the level of obsession, the hunter seldom quits before the very last minute of legal hunting season.

It doesn’t take long, or much pressure, before a mature whitetail realizes he’s being hunted, and once they make that realization they become almost impossible to harvest by legal means. In most cases the deer will relocate to a quieter area with little or no pressure. Or they may become nocturnal, which is a natural occurrence among mature bucks; the cover of darkness becomes their greatest ally.  However, when a buck uses both tactics, relocating and becoming completely nocturnal, it suddenly becomes all but impossible to even find them within the limited allotted time of a fall hunting season. These are two of the toughest obstacles a deer hunter can overcome, and each of these tactics within itself has been the reason for many mature bucks to survive another season. It takes a seasoned and savvy hunter to pick up on these bucks and more times than not they are only setting themselves up for failure.

John Moore is just the type of hunter that will take up that type of challenge. John grew up on Cape Breton Island where he punched many of his whitetail tags while chasing bucks through the hardwood ridges, swamps and thick Spruce forests of the island. John now lives in northwest Saskatchewan and hunting here is a little different than what he was used to on Cape Breton.

John knows the importance of being within the game 365. He spends countless hours glassing fields, looking for sheds, and running trail cameras. This dedication has paid off with a wall full of above average deer, both whitetail and mule deer. Not being real keen on road hunting, John enjoys spending time glassing an area. Knowing full well that in Saskatchewan a hunter usually doesn’t have to go far before finding a shooter buck.

In 2014 he had permission to hunt a particular area for Elk and while spending time watching the fields for a good bull he kept seeing a decent number of whitetails. A couple of these bucks were of pretty good size and his attention was soon focused on a large Saskatchewan drop tine buck. After the Elk hunt was over he placed a bait and camera within the area in hopes of capturing daylight photos of one of the bigger bucks that were in the area. However, after a couple card pulls it became obvious the bucks were almost completely nocturnal. Not one to give up, John looked closer at the area and after studying a topographical map he found an area a couple kilometers away that seemed like it should be quieter for the deer. He relocated his bait and reset his camera.

Three days later he checked the camera for the first time and was shocked by what he saw. There, in all his glory, was the kind of Saskatchewan drop tine buck that fills most hunters’ dreams. He had it all; tall, chocolate antlers, good mass, long points and great character including a nice drop tine. It took John all of one second to know this was the buck he was going to focus on during the  2014 season. But there was one minor problem; he had to wait three weeks for the season to open!

A Saskatchewan Drop Tine Buck Appears

Saskatchewan Drop Tine Buck
The Saskatchewan Drop Tine Buck in 2014

John kept the buck fed very well, adding more peas every five to six days as well as checking the camera. The buck was like clockwork, showing up regularly every night, but therein was another problem; the buck was only showing up at night. In typical big buck fashion, the wise veteran made one daylight appearance at 11am on November 14th, but 2kms away at the original bait site! Then, once again being true to mature whitetails, the big Saskatchewan drop tine buck completely vanished!

John hunted that first bait site for several days but the big buck never showed and the camera indicated he wasn’t around after dark either. He decided it was time to move back to his second site. Bingo, the buck was using the second bait site! Despite the camera showing only night time appearances John still put in his time hoping the big buck would make one mistake. But it wasn’t meant to be; despite sitting several days straight from daylight until dark, the season ended without a daylight sighting of the buck.

John decided to keep the bait active in the hopes of keeping the buck in the area for shed hunting. On the days of December 9, 10 and 11, the great buck was making two daylight visits to the bait, undoubtedly driven by post rut hunger. December 11th would be the last picture John would get of the buck that winter and he was worried the monarch had been lost to winter stress or possibly pulled down by wolves or coyotes. John covered the entire area during spring shed hunting hoping he’s at least find the buck dead. But there was nothing, not a single trace the great buck had ever been in the area.

A New Year and a New Plan

The thought of the buck was haunting John, he couldn’t accept the idea that the big deer was dead. As most vertebral trophy whitetail hunters know, mature bucks don’t die easy. Just because they disappear doesn’t mean they are dead. John was well aware of this fact and it’s what kept his hopes alive.

It took until October first for the big buck to finally make an appearance. He was now bigger, with even more character and he also added a huge drop tine to his left antler! To say John was excited and relieved would be an understatement. He was now more determined as ever before to add the great buck to his wall of honor.

Saskatchewan Drop Tine Buck
Imagine Finding this Saskatchewan Drop Tine Buck on Your Trail Camera!

John kept baiting within the bucks home range but due to work commitments was only able to hunt three days in October. It didn’t really matter anyway as the buck was living up to its reputation and living life under the cover of darkness. But John had a different game plan this year. After an entire year of thinking about the deer and its patterns, he decided to abandon the ground blind and instead he built a 14 foot tall elevated stand. He hoped this would help keep his scent away from the deer and also allow him better visibility of the entire area.

The Saskatchewan weather was warm during November of 2015 and warm weather at this time of year usually means nocturnal deer. Sure enough, the buck was almost completely nocturnal. But the key word is almost; the deer had made two daylight visits in November, once on the 9th and again on the 14th. Two daylight photos of the buck in two months was all the hope John Moore needed.

The Hunt for the Saskatchewan Drop Tine Buck Begins

On November 22nd, John left the house telling his wife, “Today’s the day he’s gonna die”. He was in the stand and comfortable by 8:30 am. At 4:00pm a small buck walked into the bait. Normally a little buck would be of no interest to John but this one was often seen with the big drop tine buck, so his appearance immediately put the hunter on high alert.

Suddenly John heard the leaves rustle but thought it was just a doe walking through the high grass. He decided to look below him anyway and when he did he almost had a heart attack, standing directly below him was the drop tine buck! Having forgotten to turn the magnification down on his rifle scope, when he first pulled his gun to his shoulder all he could see in the scope was hair. John reminded himself not to panic, and with trembling hands he managed to adjust the power ring down to six. By now the buck had taken a few steps away from the stand, he was a mere 14 feet away when the 300 Weatherby barked; the buck died instantly.

After he calmed down a little and realized the buck would never move again, he sent a text message to his wife, “He’s down!” is all he sent. Then he sent a text to his Son telling him to bring the pickup. He then climbed down from the stand and finally, after two long seasons and hundreds of hours invested, he was able to put his hands on the monarch. “What a rush!” John told me. To hunt exclusively for two years after one particular deer, not once seeing the animal in the daylight, after the constant roller coaster of highs and lows, the disappearing acts, and to finally be successful on that particular buck, is something very few hunters will ever experience. It takes a special hunter with a specific mind set to pull it off.

Saskatchewan Drop Tine Buck
John Moore and his Saskatchewan Drop Tine Buck

When John’s wife and son finally arrived the first thing he said to them was, “Now what am I going to do? I have to find another one for next year!” John Moore has a Whitetail Obsession!

Some deer are built for scoring well and some deer, while being bigger, just don’t do well under a tape. But score isn’t everything. Johns buck taped out at a very respectable 164 inches. However, that number is no indication of just how big this deer really is. Great mass, width, height, and great character topped by a huge drop tine, make this deer an envy of any trophy hunter.

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