A Buck Named "Curly"

A Buck Named "Curly"

New Jersey native Tom Cook calls November 20, 2011 a day of whitetail hunting he'll never forget and for good reason'¦it's the day he met the amazing trophy buck named "Curly."

"Curly had 12-scorable points and scored 193 inches. He had another point that was broken off that would have put him closer to that 200 mark every hunter dreams of. This was definitely the best day ever in 32 years of hunting whitetails!"
The buck named "Curly" was a massively racked deer that featured several beautiful tines that curved inwards, almost like the long claws of an Alaskan brown bear. The monarch roamed the Calhoun County countryside where Illinois Trophy Bowhunters manage more than 10,000 acres of free-range hunting. Owner Steve Phelps and his guides knew about Curly, but only from trail camera images as the giant buck never showed itself to anyone. He truly was a phantom that every hunter dreamed of putting on the wall while hunting on the property.
New Jersey native Tom Cook was on his third trip to Illinois to hunt whitetails. He killed a 140-inch buck on his previous trip and was hoping to best it on this go around.

Cook\'s first two days of hunting were uneventful, save for the new photos he saw from a trail camera that was located near a small, half-acre food plot, he was going to hunt the next morning. It was his first look at Curly.
"At breakfast I jokingly told the guide I was going to put Curly on the ground that day," shared Cook, "Everyone laughed and told me no one has even seen the buck, let alone get a shot at him'¦I couldn\'t help but wonder, what if?"

An hour and half into Cook\'s morning sit, he noticed a buck sneaking out of the timber and crossing the pasture his stand overlooked.
Congrats on a great buck Tom!
"I saw one really high tine that curled in and as I was centering the crosshairs I thought it could be Curly, but I wasn\'t sure," said Cook.

Cook swung his Savage Model 220 towards the buck that was 100 yards away, held the crosshairs of his Leupold on the front shoulder and slowly squeezed the trigger...

He missed! And to make matters worse, Cook was now dealing with a jammed gun!
The buck ran another 50 yards and then stopped and turned broadside, unsure of what was going on or where the shot was coming from.
Cook finally got another shell in the chamber and with as much composure as he could muster, he got another shot off, only this time, his AccuTip found its mark!

Recommended for You

In blackpowder hunting, details always matter. Don't learn the hard way. Guns

Choose the Right Load for Your Muzzleloader

Gordon Whittington - March 05, 2019

In blackpowder hunting, details always matter. Don't learn the hard way.

Good location is just part of the equation. Scouting

The Best Summer Trail Camera Strategy

Tony J. Peterson

Good location is just part of the equation.

Whether you cook it around a smoldering campfire or over a charcoal grill, this Braai'ed Deer Heart Recipe is a good one to add to your after-the-hunt rituals. Venison Recipes

Braai'ed (Grilled) Deer Heart Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Whether you cook it around a smoldering campfire or over a charcoal grill, this Braai'ed Deer...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Deer Factory: Northern Climate Warm-Season Food Plots

Deer Factory: Northern Climate Warm-Season Food Plots

Dr. James Kroll and Pat Hogan discuss warm-season food plots on this deer factory in Minnesota.

Deer Dog: Puppy Pitfalls

Deer Dog: Puppy Pitfalls

On this edition of "Deer Dog," Jeremy Moore explores the pitfalls of puppy training.

Deer Factory: Minnesota Property Overview

Deer Factory: Minnesota Property Overview

James Kroll and Pat Hogan begin a new Deer Factory project in west central Minnesota.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Improve the nutritional benefits that your land offers local deer. Land Management

No Matter the Season, Deer Orchard Work Brings Big Benefits to Whitetails

Lynn Burkhead - June 27, 2019

Improve the nutritional benefits that your land offers local deer.

Here's how to crack the summer code. Early Season

3 Types of Late-Summer Bucks & How to Hunt Them

Garrett Tucker

Here's how to crack the summer code.

To hear many serious trophy bowhunters tell it, Kentucky must be a figment of someone's fertile United States

Best Spots for Bowhunting Kentucky Trophy Bucks

Gordon Whittington - July 21, 2016

To hear many serious trophy bowhunters tell it, Kentucky must be a figment of someone's...

See More Stories

More Trophy Bucks

The Brewster buck has been confirmed as a new bowhunting world record and the largest deer ever taken by a hunter anywhere in North America! Trophy Bucks

Brewster Buck Gets Even Bigger: 327 7/8 Inches!

Gordon Whittington - March 07, 2019

The Brewster buck has been confirmed as a new bowhunting world record and the largest deer...

North American Whitetail editor Gordon Whittington and Luke Brewster talk about the scoring process involved with his 320 5/8-inch pending world record non-typical buck from Illinois. Trophy Bucks

Brewster's 320-Plus Mega Giant: Buck of the Century?

North American Whitetail Staff - January 10, 2019

North American Whitetail editor Gordon Whittington and Luke Brewster talk about the scoring...

Prior to the official announcement that would tell the world the pending world record numbers, bowhunter Luke Brewster reflected on the wild ride he and his trophy buck have had over the past few days. Trophy Bucks

The Brewster Buck World Record Process

Lynn Burkhead - January 15, 2019

Prior to the official announcement that would tell the world the pending world record numbers,...

See More Trophy Bucks

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.