Is there a more appropriate way for a young whitetail addict to spend his 16th birthday than bagging a monster, 199-inch buck?
You’ll be hard pressed to find a deer hunter who thinks there is.
Last November, Nick Drake was hunting with Bradley Benfield of Cherry Tree Outfitters in Kahoka, Mo., for a Sweet 16 that he would never forget after bagging a monster 16-point buck.
Favorable conditions played into Drake’s hunt. First, Kahoka, a small town in northern Missouri’s Clark County, is essentially a stone’s throw from the Iowa state line. Anyone who knows whitetails is well aware of Iowa’s reputation and potential as a big buck state. Another favorable aspect of the hunt was firearm season coinciding with the peak of the rut. This potent mix of location and timing certainly aided Drake, but he still had some work to do.
Drake was posted in a blind overlooking a lush food plot surrounded by a dense cedar thicket. The position was perfect, as it allowed Drake to watch the action unfold while deer funneled in.
The action was fast and furious right from the get-go. At daybreak a doe busted through the cedar thicket with an eight-point suitor following close behind. The doe, however, wanted nothing to do with her pursuer and jumped into a nearby pond in an attempt to flee the buck.
This, however, wasn’t the last of the action. Nick continued to watch several bucks harass does throughout the morning, but chose not to take a shot at them.
Drake was not waiting long, though, before a doe appeared from the thicket, towing a huge buck in pursuit at only 50 yards. At that point it was just a matter of making the shot. Drake calmed his nerves and made an excellent shot with his .270.
Nick texted his father after the buck went down, telling him that he shot a big buck. Of course his father’s response was, “How big?”
“I don’t know but he had a huge drop tine sticking out!” Nick replied.
Just to get an idea of how big the rack was, the drop tine measured in at an impressive 11 inches long.
The impressive Missouri Monarch grossed 199 B&C with 16 scoreable points. Maybe 16 is Drake’s lucky number.
It doesn’t take news long to spread in a small town like Kahoka. Multiple hunters in the area were also hunting Drake’s buck and produced several trail camera photos when they caught wind of the news.
Based on the photos, Drake’s buck was estimated to be about 6½ years old.