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Christmas Morning Surprise! Tennessee Man Downs Unexpected Big Buck

Nikolas Oden had a never-before-seen giant show up on his trail camera on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, he missed the deer that evening, but he redeemed himself just two days later.

Christmas Morning Surprise! Tennessee Man Downs Unexpected Big Buck

A mammoth buck picture transmitting via cell camera knows no boundaries. It can happen at the most inconvenient time, interrupting sleep, work or even a holiday celebration. Late in 2022, Nickolas Oden got a double whammy from his Moultrie!

Middle Tennessee was celebrating Christmas when a winter storm pushed in and dropped temperatures. Below-zero conditions inbound! This triggered local whitetails to respond without regard for the holiday, moving to feed heavily before the tough days that would follow. For a hunter in the plumbing business, like Nikolas Oden, the timing could not have been worse.

Nickolas woke up early Christmas morning, expecting to open presents with his family. When he checked his phone, he received a notification. A monster buck had walked across his food plot during the night. This wasn’t just any buck either; it was a true Tennessee giant! Imagine the dilemma…

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When Nickolas received pictures of this buck on Christmas morning, he knew he needed to hunt the deer. Photo courtesy of Nickolas Oden

Nick came up with a plan. “I told my wife: ‘I have to go hunt this buck!’” Later that day, he and his son headed out to a shooting house near a patch of standing corn, which a local dairy farmer had planted for silage.

Not long after, the big buck stepped out, but he was far enough away that Nickolas needed to use binoculars to confirm it was the right deer. Then, he faced a 250-yard shot. Unfortunately, he missed!

When he checked to confirm his miss, he noticed that the buck had been standing only 20 yards from his two-man ladder stand. If only he had been sitting there instead!

Conditions worsened on Dec. 26, and Nickolas spent the day trying to help folks with frozen and busted pipes. He was very busy, but the sting of the miss was almost as bad as the biting wind, so he came up a plan for the next day.

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Nickolas missed this buck on Christmas evening. Fortunately, he redeemed that miss two days later. Photo courtesy of Nickolas Oden

He headed to the ladder stand, arriving at 5:30 a.m. Soon there were three does feeding just a few yards away, as he conducted business over his cell phone. It was bitter cold, but Nickolas planned to stay out as long as he could stand it, hoping that the buck would reappear.

A little after 8:00 a.m., he spotted his target making his way out of the corn; he was on the same path as before. The does had fed off earlier, so Nickolas had the green light to set up for another shot as the buck came closer.




When the giant got to 60 yards, Nickolas sent a .270 Win. round at the buck, and he watched that enormous rack crash just a few yards away! “I started calling everyone to tell them I had killed the big one,” he recalls. “And they all wanted to know how big it was!”

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Nickolas’ buck scores 184 B&C. Photo courtesy of Nickolas Oden

Nickolas’ buck scores 184 Boone and Crockett. That made him the new Robertson County record. “I couldn’t believe the measurements,” Nickolas says. “It was bigger than the buck I had killed in Kansas!”

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