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John's Journal... Entry 147, Day 1


Beatty's Buck of a Lifetime

EDITOR'S NOTE: Avid deer hunter Mike Beatty from Xena, Ohio, has been hunting since he was 12-years-old. In the 2001 hunting season, he took the buck of his lifetime -- a monster buck that scored 304 6/8 Boone and Crockett points -- while wearing Mossy Oak's new Break-Up camouflage. This week, Beatty will tell us about his hunt of a lifetime and share his passion for bow hunting whitetails and enjoying the outdoors with family and friends.

QUESTION: Why did you attend the 2002 Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas?
ANSWER: I attended the SHOT show because on November 8, 2000, during archery season in Xena, Ohio, I shot an extremely large white-tailed deer. The deer scored 304 6/8 Boone and Crockett points, which makes it the first whitetail measuring over 300 inches ever taken by a bowhunter. There are only two deer bigger than this one -- the Missouri Monarch, which scored 333 points, and the legendary Hole in the Horn, which scored 328.

QUESTION: Tell me about the hunt.
ANSWER: I hunted in the afternoon. I spotted a few does on the edge of a corn field bedded-down. The does jumped up and ran down into the corn. I got into my stand. The rain was pouring down. I sat there for maybe an hour without doing any calling. Then, I took a can call and made a couple of doe bleats with it.

QUESTION: Had you hunted this area often?
ANSWER: Yes, I hunted it the beginning of the season from October through November 8. At the time I shot the deer, I'd hunted about every afternoon or every afternoon night as much as I could. I'd seen a large deer from a distance two weeks prior. I put binoculars on him, and I used a grunt call. The deer stopped, but I didn't get a good look at it -- although I think it was the big deer I finally took.

QUESTION: What brand of call did you use?
ANSWER: I used a Primos bleat call. I took the can and tipped it up three times -- spacing out the calls a little bit. I turned around and saw a deer about 40 or 50 yards behind me working a scrape. The large 8-point buck came within 15 yards of me, stopped, turned around and walked in the other direction. That was the biggest deer I'd ever seen in the woods in my life. I sat there for a few minutes trying to get him to come out of the corn. I took a set of antlers and rattled a little bit, but nothing happened. I used a Primos grunt call, but nothing happened. Then, I hit the can call again. I turned around and saw another deer at the same scrape, but he had his head up in a tree working the branch. I thought it was the same deer, so I stood up, grabbed my bow and got ready.

A few minutes later, the big deer came down the fence row. At about 40 yards, I could see it. He had a big rack. He came in behind me, and I positioned myself so the tree my stand was in was between his head and mine. I watched him walk all the way in front of me. He stopped where the 8 point stopped at the 15-yard marker, turned around and walked toward me. He ducked down, and I drew my bow. I knew he would duck under a low-hanging branch. He came in at about 12 yards and started quartering toward me. I lost my shot opportunity at the vitals because the buck kept quartering toward me, so I had to shoot him down through the neck into the vitals. I ended up getting a fairly good shot at him. He was at 10 yards when I made my shot. He spun around and took off, and I got down from my stand right away. I was pretty nervous at that point. I went over and checked out the area where I shot the deer and found some blood.

Then, I sat down for about 45 minutes or an hour. At that point, by the time I got up to go look for him again, the day had started getting dark. I took the flashlight and went looking for him down the blood trail. I ended up not finding him that night because another deer was blowing and snorting at me. I thought it was the deer I'd shot, so I just turned around and walked out of the field. I placed an arrow where I stopped looking. The next morning my son and I searched for the downed deer. He looked on one side of the field, and I looked on the other side of the field where I'd placed the arrow. He tugged on my shirt, "Dad, there he is!" The buck was lying on the left side of the field, and I was looking on the right side where I left the arrow. My son had found my trophy buck for me.




Check back each day this week for more MIKE BEATTY'S BIG DEER ...

Day 1 - Beatty's Buck of a Lifetime
Day 2 - After The Kill
Day 3 - Life On The Mossy Oak Pro Staff
Day 4 - A Passion For Bow Hunting
Day 5 - Bow Hunting -- A Family Affair

John's Journal