Brian Herron: 184-Inch Missouri Bruiser

Hunter: Brian Herron

State/County: Sullivan County, Missouri

Score: 184 Gross Score

Gear: Mathews Reezen 7.0 bow, Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak arrows, Rage broadheads

As any veteran whitetail hunter knows, one season typically has enough emotional ups and downs to warrant a ride at a theme park.

Brian Herron knows it all too well because of the 2012 season. He went from elation to despair and back to elation in just a matter of months, first spotting a trophy deer on his trail cameras in July. As the season went on, trespassers intentionally drove four-wheelers through an area where the deer hunkered down at night, erasing any chances Herron had of bagging a monster buck.

But as fate would have it, an opportunity arose for Herron to lease the land where the buck — dubbed "Mister Massive" by his son, Jayden — frequented. On November 9, Herron turned at the sound of what he thought was a squirrel, only to find Mister Massive banging his rack 10 yards away.

"I stood up with my knees shaking and pulled my bow back to full draw. By this time he was standing broadside at 20 yards, and I went to aim but my peep sight was twisted," Herron recalled. He stealthily turned the peep sight with his teeth, then touched off a memorable shot.

"I saw his split G2 and the kicker off his brow tine and literally almost fell over. I grabbed his massive antlers, and with tears in my eyes I started saying "I got him! I got him! I got the big one!"

Reflecting on the patience required to endure a season filled with setbacks, Herron said he gives the thanks to God.

"This was one of the best days of my life, and a true testimony that when you trust in God to handle things, you never know what you might get in return."

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