My Makeup Buck

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It was November 1st, of 2003. My son and I were hunting out of what we called the big stand. It was a homemade stand with about a 5 foot platform with a soft swivel seat right in the middle of the platform. The morning was cool and damp. I had my bow and my son had our video camera. We had seen several deer but nothing close enough to shoot.

I looked behind us and seen a large doe coming in. We were watching this doe for several minutes when suddenly I seen movement out of the corner of my eye. I slowly turned and seen the largest buck I had ever seen in my life. This buck had to be well over 300 pounds and he had points everywhere. He was high, wide, and heavy and had kickers going every which way. He also had a huge double main beam on the right side. This was the first time we ever seen this buck. I truly believe this buck had 250" of antler and probably more. He was one majestic beast. I got my son's attention and he turned and seen the buck as well. I was so nervous it was unbelievable. If I would have seen this buck even a few seconds earlier I could have had a 20 yard broadside shot. He disappeared behind some shrubs and some trees. I was anticipating he would come out the other side of these trees and present me with about a 35 yard shot. He did exactly that. He came out and I let out a little meep and he turned and looked right at me. I seen the arrow hit a little and it was buried in his chest almost to the veins. I thought I had a pretty good shot on him. Being such a large buck I wanted to give him some time just in case the shot wasn't optimal. We looked at the video footage and in my son's haste the camera was on but he didn't hit record. So, we didn't even get the buck on video. So, we decided to leave and I went and picked up one of my buddies to help me recover the buck and also brought my son and daughter along to help track him.

When we got back it was about one hour later and we went to the point of impact. At the time I was using 125 grain Thunderheads. It wasn't long and we seen blood. The blood trail got heavier and heavier and was a very encouraging bright red. About 50 yards into the trail I found about 6 inches of my arrow. We continued to trail him down a hill into some really thick growth. with the amount of blood we were seeing we began to high five each other and knew this buck would just be down in this next dip in the thick growth. The blood trail began to thin out and soon went to a drop here and a drop there. We trailed this buck up and down hills through thick and thin four hours. I can't even begin to tell you how far we went. Needless to say I was shocked and at the same time down in the dumps. I went out for the next 5 days just looking for this buck to no avail. I looked for crows and buzzards and there were none. I was just sick over this and can't figure out to this day how that buck did not die. I have never seen a deer lose so much blood in my life and still live.

After those horrible 5 days I decided to get back in the stand and try it again. I sat in the same stand and was hoping lightning would strike twice. Right around 7:30am I seen this large bodied deer coming through the woods. I thought to myself could it be? could it be that monster coming back again? No! It was not him. But, it was a very large bodied deer with a spread of about 15 or 16 inches. I decided to take him. I let the arrow fly and the shot looked good. I watched him run until he ran out of sight. I went and picked my buddy up again and we started tracking him after about an hour. It was turning eerily into the same situation we had with the monster buck I couldn't find. We completely lost the blood trail. So we split up and slowly started doing some grid searching. Suddenly I heard something jump up. I could not believe my eyes. There stood the monster buck I had shot 6 days ago looking as big and strong as ever. He stood there about thirty yards away then ran off after a couple of seconds. He was still alive. Two hours had gone by and we met back up still no buck. We started another grid search in two different directions. Another hour and a half later we met up again. We had one last place to look. There was a couple acre field of tall switch grass. We began doing a grid search on the bottom side of the field back up towards my stand. We were almost to the end of the field and Dave said to me, "well it looks like you lost another one". Suddenly up ahead of me I seen where a bunch of the grass was all smashed down. I had a glimmer of hope but wasn't feeling very good about right now. I reached the spot and looked and my eyes beheld the buck I have always called my makeup buck. He wasn't the biggest buck in the woods but finding him really borught me some closure on the failed shot on the monster buck. I got my makeup buck and realized the monster was still alive all in the same day.

The story on the monster buck doesn't quite end there. The next year I did meet up with the big boy once again. Unfortunately for me I was walking to my stand in the early morning hours and I heard something moving up ahead of me. There is a pond ahead and to my left. He was at the pond getting a drink. He turned and seen me and busted out of there light a big old freight train. He was as big and majestic as ever. That concluded my story on the monster buck as that was the last time I ever seen him. My makeup buck did have some pretty cool character on his left side of his rack as you will see in the pictures. I hope you all enjoyed the story and good luck in your pursuits on those monster bucks this year and beyond.


ManOfTheFall's picture

I just wanted to thank all

I just wanted to thank all you guys for your comments.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

That is a great story and

That is a great story and that buck has some crazy looking antlers...congrats.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

That definately is a weird

That definately is a weird looking rack on that thing.  Kinda cool, actually.  I like the unique ones.  Good story, congrats!!

CVC's picture

What a unique buck.  Looks

What a unique buck.  Looks like a mix of deer and elk.  I realized from reading these stories what I am doing wrong.  I am not nameing my stands or the bucks in the area.  Sheesh.....what is wrong with me.  I know how it feels to miss a deer and worry that you've wounded it.  Takes the wind out of your sails.  I wounded one once and couldn't hunt the rest of the season even though it looked like it survived.  Just felt so bad and demoralized.

But I got over it and I am back in the tree.

Critter done's picture

Awesome story

Way to go back and look for the Monster buck. Most people in my area don't spend much time looking and just shoot another one.

The makeup buck has a very neat looking rack.

Thanks for sharing.

ManOfTheFall's picture

I still am haunted by that to

I still am haunted by that to this day. That buck was definitely worth looking for. At least he made it though.

jaybe's picture


That's quite a story. Mano'Fall. Do you think the shot on that monster was low enough to miss the vitals and he just bled a lot of blood from the brisket?

 The unusual antler development on your Makeup Buck shows that there must be some non-typical genes being spread around that area.

Thanks for the good story.