The story begins 4 years ago while I was hunting in our river bottom, I noticed a younger buck that had broke off every tine on his main beams but still wanted to fight every buck he could find. I had numerous trail cam photos of this deer from 2015 to 2019 and every year he would add mass to his main beams and his tines would grow but not by much. Last year was the first year we decided that we were going to target Mr. Mass(I rarely name deer but thought he deserved it) and he evaded our attempts but pure fate. I put a good friend of mine in a treestand that makes a great pinch point on November 7th. He sat most of the day with moderate deer movement and decided it was time for lunch, just as he was face first in a PBJ sandwich low and behold Mr. Mass cruises by with him unable to get his bow and a shot off in time. In the mean time I had shot another buck on a different farm so my chase for Mr. Mass was over but I still had my dad with a rifle tag. As December rolls around Mr. Mass is hitting a bean plot everyday and most of those days he is there with plenty of day light. I convinced my dad to make sure his rifle was on and I would let him know when the conditions were right to get to the stand. a few days later we had the wind we needed and we were off to the stand in my little boat(perfect way to access stands in the river bottom). 30 minutes before dark out he steps in all his glory but he's 325 yards away, he never came closer than 275 and my dad has a self imposed limit of 200 yards. Darkness finally set in and that was the last hunt of the year for Mr. Mass.
Mr. Mass had become a ghost in his old age(6) and was rather difficult to pattern but based on previous years information he would always make our area his home for 0ct-March. I had planted multiple food plots and hinge cut a few areas for bedding to help isolate where we could have possible encounters. Early October I was running numerous cell and reconyx cameras trying to track him down and he made another appearance on 8th and remained consistent everyday after that.
I have always been a fan of the red moon and when it coincides with a cold front even better!!! Last Thursday evening the front came in to late in the day to make it to the stand in any reasonable time. I thought Friday could be the day but was unable to hunt due to work commitments, but I had the afternoon off. Thankfully the river was up and I could get across a large gravel bar to access my stand instead of walking a half mile across a bean field. I have always been a fan of boating into my stands when possible, you don't bust deer going in or out and you don't over heat getting to your stand. I had decided earlier in the day that I would take a climber and get as close to his bedding as I thought possible without spooking him. By 2pm I was settled into the stand and waiting patiently for what I though would be a last 15min of light hunt. At 6pm I had a small nine point wonder by but thought I could hear more rustling in the leaves from the same direction that he came, but with so many leaves on the trees I could see very far. I pulled my stocking cap up and over my ears that my hearing wouldn't be impaired. I continued to hear the rustling and finally saw legs appear and then I saw that it was Mr. Mass making his way along the levy to his feeding area. He was on Course to come by at 24 yards, and it seemed like it took forever for him to get to my shooting lane but I'm certain it was only a minute or 2. He hit my shooting lane and paused briefly at 23 yards , I let the arrow fly and he took a step towards me that made it a hard 1/4 to shot. I missed the should blade by 3in and the arrow went towards his last rib. When he spun from the shot he snapped about 9in arrow off and the remainder stayed inside of him, he didn't make it far roughly 75 yards and I watched him crash down!!! The hunt for Mr. Mass was over!
I thoroughly enjoy chasing mature whitetails and the back and forth of him ghosting and and then reappearing only made the success that much sweeter. Thankfully he has passed on his noticeable genetics to several other smaller bucks in the area and I'm looking forward to the next couple years chasing his offspring.
Green score 193 4/8ths
I’m with others above. ^^ How bout another pic or two of Mr. Mass?
All the work that goes into hunting mature deer makes the harvest bittersweet but its the end result for what we worked so hard for.
I appreciate all the thank you’s. I’m glad I was finally able to contribute to bowsite! I thoroughly enjoy reading everyone else’s hunt recaps.
Now you can get after those green heads, Brad!