The whitetail world was a flurry of anticipation as a large cold front swept across the Midwest on the weekend of Oct. 13, 2018. Eager deer hunters headed to the woods in hopes that the dropping mercury would elicit mature buck movement during daylight hours.
In northern Missouri, bowhunter Buddy Deville pondered how the weather conditions would influence his quest for a giant non-typical nicknamed “Monster Jam” that he’d been chasing since the September season opener. Buddy was hunting with Joe Ogden and Dane Omohundro of Indian Hill Outfitters, located in Pike County.
The deer Buddy was after was one Joe had kept an eye on all summer. The old bruiser toted a massive non-typical frame with a series of extra-long tines on his right side. Trail cameras revealed the buck was living in a woodlot roughly 50 acres in size that bordered a large cornfield.
When the corn was cut and the temperature dropped, Buddy knew his chances of catching the giant out during daylight were better than ever.
On the evening of Oct. 13, while hunting from a ground blind that was brushed into standing corn, Buddy eyed movement in a patch of tall grass near the timber. Next, Buddy spotted a mature 10-pointer that had just risen from his bed. But the 10-pointer wasn’t alone. Buddy’s adrenaline soared when he saw Monster Jam’s rack moving through the grass.
Hoping the big non-typical would head his way, Buddy’s heart sank when Monster Jam bedded back down. For whatever reason, the two bucks had risen from their beds only for a few minutes before lying back down in the grass.
Buddy didn’t let the encounter discourage him, though. He’d just learned exactly where his target buck was located. That’s one of the most valuable pieces of information you can have when hunting a specific mature buck.
On the afternoon of Oct. 14, Buddy returned to the same ground blind. The evening weather forecast called for temps in the low 40s and a high chance of rainfall. By the time Buddy settled into the blind, the precipitation had already started.
Around 6:00 p.m., Buddy again caught sight of a deer moving in the tall grass. It was Monster Jam. The giant non-typical stood stoic in the evening rainfall. For roughly half an hour, Buddy enjoyed a rare front row seat to watch the habits of a mature whitetail that’d just awoken.
Buddy could only hope the buck wouldn’t bed down again. Luckily, Monster Jam did just the opposite. Opting against bedding in the wet grass, the deer entered the cut cornfield and began feeding his way closer to Buddy’s ground blind.
At approximately 6:40 p.m. Monster Jam finally turned broadside at 35 yards. Buddy touched off a shot and watched the arrow zip straight through the buck’s chest.
While he was confident the shot was true, Buddy knew the blood trail could be tough to follow in the rain. As expected, the recovered arrow was nearly bloodless. However, the surrounding corn stubble revealed a red silhouette underneath the arrow where the rain had washed away the blood.
Luckily, the search was a short one. Once Joe and Dane arrived on the scene, the three men followed the blood trail only 60 yards before finding the impressive buck. Buddy’s arrow hit just behind the shoulder, making for a quick and clean kill.
Monster Jam isn’t yet eligible for official scoring, but a “green” score of 212 3/8 non-typical has been released. The deer is reported to have 20 scoreable points, the most unique of which might be the 15 5/8-inch dagger on the right antler.
For an update on the buck’s official score, and to read a more complete recount of the hunt, stay tuned for an in-depth article in one of NAW’s upcoming issues.