September 17, 2021
Breaking News Bucks 2021
Back in May, Mike Beadle, his son, Logan, and a friend headed to the property Mike hunts to hang some trail cameras. Normally, the South Dakota hunter doesn’t hang his cameras that early. However, Mike’s love for all-things hunting pushed him to get out and do some pre-season work earlier than usual.
“I live for this stuff,” Mike says.
After hanging those cameras, Mike went back to his usual summer routine, working hard and running his own business. All through May, June and July, he had no idea that the deer of a lifetime was in his area.
When Mike went back to check the cameras in early August, he found that a giant buck had been frequenting the area. The buck first showed up on May 29, and Mike never had another picture of him until July 22. However, after the buck returned in the late summer, he never left.
“He came through every night, but there was no rhyme or reason as to when he came through. Sometimes it was 9:00 p.m., and sometimes it was 3:00 a.m. No matter what, it was in the dark,” says Mike.
After noticing the buck’s consistency, Mike went to the area in mid-August to move his stands around and do enough work so that he could get a shot at the deer; however, he tried to keep his intrusion as minimal as possible.
“I made sure to spray down and be as careful with my scent as possible. I wanted to make sure I didn’t disturb the deer at all.”
When the South Dakota archery opener arrived on Sept. 1, Mike decided he’d step away from his business as much as possible to hunt this deer. For the first 11 days of the season, he hunted the buck relentlessly. But he never had a daylight encounter with the giant. Then, on Sept. 11, Mike stayed out of the woods because of high winds in his area. That evening, Mike received a notification from his Tactacam Reveal that the buck showed up just five minutes before legal shooting light ended, marking the buck’s first trip by the tree stand during legal shooting hours.
The next day was Sunday, Sept. 12, so Mike spent the morning going to church and grocery shopping with his family. When he arrived home, he spent extra time scent-proofing his hunting clothes and decided to head to the stand at 3:30 p.m., earlier than usual for his early-season evening hunts.
After only seeing a doe and a fawn, Mike stood up and held his bow with just 20 minutes left in legal shooting light, something he always does toward the end of each hunt. Just minutes after standing up, Mike heard a twig break to the east.
Mike recounts: “I looked toward where the sound came from, and I thought, Oh my gosh. Are you kidding me? It’s him!”
Mike came to full draw, but he was so excited that he couldn’t bring his bowstring to his face and anchor for the shot.
“I thought to myself: Just anchor the bow and shoot the deer! So, I turned, put my pin on his shoulder and sent it. I hit him perfect,” Mike explains.
Mike waited before taking up the blood trail, and when he did, he found himself wanting to rush. So, he forced himself to calm down and meticulously follow the blood trail. After tracking a short distance, Mike looked up and saw antlers sticking above the grass.
“That moment is what dreams are made of,” Mike says. “At that point, I was at peace more than I’ve ever been at peace. After years of whitetail hunting, that was the pinnacle.”
Mike’s South Dakota giant has a gross green score of 218 7/8 inches and a net green score of 209 7/8. After recovering the buck, Mike also noticed the deer had electric fencing tangled in its antlers. This is Mike’s biggest whitetail ever, and he says that he’s humbled by the unique opportunity to harvest such a big deer.
“I don’t believe I deserve anything; I just work hard and do my homework when I hunt these bucks,” Mike says. “But I’m very fortunate to have even had the opportunity to get a shot at this deer, let alone actually harvest him.”