Remington 870 with Hastings slug barrel and Bushnell scope
Rack Report reader Scott Tidd recently e-mailed us with his own story about shooting the Clinton County, Indiana record non-typical during the 2009 shotgun season. We’re certainly glad he did!
The morning of November 14, 2009 started just like every other opening morning of shotgun season. The anticipation of the big day limited the amount of sleep I got the night before. A couple cups of coffee were necessary to get me started, even as possibilities of getting a shot at a big buck ran through my mind.
The 20-minute drive to my hunting spot gave me plenty of time to think about the layout of the property where I was hunting and the different directions the deer would be traveling. But then, I got a phone call from a buddy of mine, who hunts down the road. He’d seen two other hunters headed to the spot where I was planning on going. I knew there wasn’t enough room for all of us, so I had to think up a different game plan.
A stand that I had put up for my dad in a creek bottom on a different part of the property was the first spot that came to mind. Dad had decided not to hunt that day, but he had shot a really nice buck from it a couple of years earlier. So I decided to hunt it and see what might come through.
I settled into the stand about a half hour before light. As it began getting light, I looked to the field between me and the back 10-acre woods and noticed one of the other hunters had parked his truck in the middle of the field about 150 yards from the stand I was hunting. My optimism turned to disappointment. But I knew on opening morning of shotgun season, with so much activity from other hunters and the rut in full swing, anything could happen.
It had been light for about 40 minutes when I noticed a doe standing on the edge of the wood line about 100 yards behind me. The doe stared into the open grass field next to me for a couple of minutes and finally took a couple steps out of the wood line. That’s when I caught a glimpse of a rack about five yards in the wood line just behind her. It looked to be a mature buck; maybe a shooter.
Knowing he would follow the same trail as the doe, I got my shotgun ready. I stared through my scope, waiting for him to give me a shot. About that same time the doe took off running across the field with the buck right behind her. I followed his shoulder with the crosshairs of my scope, praying he would stop. The grass field is about 150 yards long and I knew they would have to run past me to get to the next wood line.
When the buck was about 70 yards away, some shots on a different property caused him to suddenly stop. I quickly settled the crosshairs and pulled the trigger. The buck kicked his back legs straight in the air and took off. Within a matter of seconds he made it across the grass field and into the edge of the woods. Then I saw him crash.
The anticipation was nearly more than I could handle as I climbed down from my stand and started walking through the 4-foot high grass on the edge of the wood line where he’d fallen. A rather large drop tine coming off of his right main beam was the first thing I noticed. I dropped to my knees in disbelief that I had finally shot a drop-tine buck! I was so excited the first thing I did was grab my cell phone and call Dad to tell him about the deer. He was just as excited as I was and asked how many points it had. It wasn’t until then that I realized I have not even counted the points.
I was amazed at all of the character the buck had. He had the longest brow tines I had ever seen; kickers coming off both brow tines; kickers coming off his left G2; monster mass all the way to the end of his main beams; all of those points and then of course that gnarly drop tine. Processing all of that, I counted 17 points. What a buck! I loaded him in my truck and took him to show him to my friends and family. It was an awesome experience.