January 03, 2022
By Sam Forbes
Breaking News Bucks 2021
After messing up an opportunity at this buck last season, Jeremy Ison was more determined than ever to tag the giant. But Jeremy’s wife wasn’t as concerned about the missed opportunity. She named the buck Arnold and assured Jeremy that he’d be back.
“I watched him all summer trying to get him patterned, and I stayed out of the woods,” says Jeremy. “I’d go in, do my business, then get out.”
Lots of farmers in the area kept telling Jeremy of the buck’s sightings. With trail camera intel and a bit of local knowledge, Jeremy determined that the buck was living in a particular thicket that was not much bigger than 100 yards by 100 yards.
“I call it the honey hole,” says Jeremy. “It’s where all the deer go and bed down. But it’s too thick to hunt, so I tried hunting the edges by hunting the wind.”
Unfortunately, HVAC work kept Jeremy from going hunting as much as he would’ve like to, but he did manage to have a few encounters during the early season with a bow in hand.
“I had him at 80 yards, but I never really had him pinned down,” remembers Jeremy. “I was always behind him. He kept outsmarting me.”
So, during the last week of bow season, Jeremy took the time to step back and reevaluate what was going on. With the rut coming on, he knew his chances were about to improve, but he also knew things were about to get even less predictable.
On Nov. 13, 2021, Jeremy began his day by debating with himself on what to do. His plan was to hunt all day, but it was highly windy, and he didn’t know what to do.
Eventually, Jeremy headed to one of his stands. He got in about an hour before daylight, said a prayer and simply waited.
That morning, Jeremy spotted a doe that seemed like she was in heat. Sure enough, Arnold came following behind the doe. And Jeremy was right, the rut made him slip up!
“He gave me a broadside shot, and I instantly pulled my rifle up and took him,” says Jeremy.
But when Jeremy looked up from his scope, he didn’t know if he had hit the buck. The cover was so thick he couldn’t see if the buck had crashed from the impact of the .308. But once Jeremy did climb down and ease over the hill, he found the buck lying dead.
“It was a moment! I had to take a moment and catch my breath,” remembers Jeremy.
Jeremy then called his father to tell him of the news. Soon, the father and son were celebrating together and crying tears of joy! Jeremy also called his wife and girls. When Jeremy’s 9-year-old asked him how many points the buck had, he began to count out loud over the phone. When he reached 17, she proclaimed, “Mommy come on, let’s go, let’s go!”
“I have to give special thanks to my family, my wife Kristi and my two girls Larissa and Brooklynn,” says Jeremy. “These three girls help me with everything. And of course, thanks to my dad for teaching me everything I know about hunting. I am truly blessed and thankful for this buck of a lifetime.”