December 05, 2023
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David Linn started hunting later in life because he enjoyed spending time in the woods and hoped to harvest his own meat. Religiously, David hunted each Indiana season (archery, firearms and muzzleloader) with the goal of shooting the first legal deer that presented him with a clean shot. He endured early mornings, wind, rain and snow. Though he hunted hard and was learning along the way, a good shot opportunity never came together.
That changed on the evening of Dec. 16, 2022. David was hunting with his good friend, Larry, who continued to encourage David that it was just a matter of time before he connected on his first deer. They were sitting in separate ground blinds approximately 150 yards apart, which was adjacent to a harvested bean field. This spot was special because it could only be hunted with an easterly wind, which was rare for that part of the state.
As the sun dipped beneath the treetops, David saw what he thought was an antler moving. Sure enough, a buck materialized from the hardwoods. David quickly pulled his muzzleloader up in preparation for a shot, but just as he was about to squeeze the trigger, the buck disappeared behind a small hillside. David started to relax his attention when the buck walked back to the top of the hill just 83 yards away. With extreme calmness, David lined up his crosshairs on the edge of the buck’s shoulder and squeezed the trigger.
When the smoke cleared, David felt confident his aim was true, but there was nothing to indicate a hit or miss. David waited in the blind while Larry went to find where the buck was standing. Once Larry was at the location, David met up with him to look for blood.
At first, they found nothing. Soon Larry spotted a tiny drop of blood. A few yards further they spotted a few more drops. Then a couple of dollops. When the partners looked up, they saw David’s first buck lying dead just 15 yards away.
Upon assessment of the enormous rack, Larry asked David if he knew what he had done. David’s simple response was, “Yeah. I got some deer meat!” Larry further tried to explain that he did far more than fill his freezer with steaks and burgers. He exclaimed, “You killed an absolute giant!”
David wasn’t convinced that he had killed that big of a buck. That was until his family, friends and taxidermist told him he wouldn’t be able to sleep once he understood what a magnificent deer he had killed. When David didn’t sleep for two nights in a row, he began to realize what he had accomplished.
This Hoosier state mega non-typical gross scores 221 inches and nets 209 5/8 B&C. Though it took David six seasons to kill his first deer, he got off to an incredible start!