Jared Robinson is an avid bowhunter, but he's also a hard-working farmer, and as such he always has to put work ahead of hunting. But when the skies open up and it's too wet to work, Jared grabs his bow and heads for the woods!
As the 2007 archery season got under way in Iowa, 25-year-old Jared Robinson of Lenox hoped to see the huge double-main-beam buck that he'd captured on trail camera photos in mid-July. However, since he hadn't seen this awesome buck for nearly two months, he was sure the deer had pulled a disappearing act in early September.
Jared Robinson is the first to admit that if it hadn't rained on Oct. 16, 2007, he never would have been hunting in his tree stand. He knew this 207 4/8-inch monster was in the area, through trail camera photos and one previous sighting, and everything seemed to fall into place on that magical rainy afternoon!
Since mature bucks often go totally nocturnal after breaking away from their bachelor groups at this time of year, Jared wondered if he'd ever see the monster again. The thought of actually putting an arrow into this Iowa brute was almost more than he could think about.
THE EARLY YEARS
Jared began hunting deer at the impressionable age of 12 with his father, Pat. What a year that turned out to be. During the first morning of the Iowa firearms season, the young hunter dropped a 150-class 9-pointer. Two days later he bagged a second buck, a 12-pointer that grossed 160 inches.
Jared's father had been bowhunting for most of his adult life, and he'd taken several nice deer over the years. No doubt Jared had heard plenty of exciting war stories about hunting whitetails with a bow from his father, but for some reason Jared never developed an interest in archery while he was growing up. But all of that changed four years ago.
At the time, Jared didn't even own a bow. Nonetheless, he decided one evening to sit in a stand that his cousin Jeremy Robinson had left up. It was late December. The gun season had just closed, so the deer were still quite skittish. However, Jared had deer all around his stand. And even though they were within very close quarters, they seemed to be clueless that he was perched in a tree nearby. As it turned out, that one incident was solely responsible for planting the seed. Since then, Jared's interest in bowhunting has turned into a full-blown addiction.
Living in a part of the country where farming and green agricultural equipment are a way of life, Jared's career path was set at a young age. After high school, he attended Iowa State University, where he majored in Ag Studies. Upon graduating, he teamed up with his father.
"My dad and I have a fairly large farming operation," Jared said. "We typically raise about 150 head of cattle, but our primary business revolves around agricultural crops. Naturally, the harvest season begins about the same time as deer season. Like any other business, farming comes first and hunting has to come second. Unless it's raining, we're usually in the field getting out crops.
"2007 was actually the first year I had gained permission to hunt this particular piece of ground," Jared continued. "Naturally, I really didn't know much about the property, and I really didn't get a chance to look the place over until sometime in April. The turkey season had just opened, so I took the opportunity to hunt turkeys and scout the area for deer sign as well.
"With the exception of a large block of timber and another small section of woods with a brushy creek bottom running between the two, the property is pretty much flat crop ground that parallels the banks of a nearby river.
"While scouting that first day, I found several trails in a narrow strip of timber along the river, but one in particular really caught my eye. The trail was beat down to such a degree that it looked like a herd of cattle had been running through it. At the time I remember thinking it would be an excellent place to set up a trail camera.
"With that in mind, I went back in early June and set up an infrared trail camera along the trail. For the most part, I checked the camera about every week or so. By the end of the month, I had photos of several small bucks in velvet. Most of them were yearlings and 2-year-olds.
"Sometime in mid-July a buck showed up on the camera that I hadn't seen before. The deer wasn't exceptionally wide, but he had a lot of points, good mass, and what appeared to be double main beams on the right side. That had me pretty excited, so I called Dad right away to tell him about the big buck. At first I think he was somewhat skeptical of my judgment of the deer's size. Then he saw the photo! Other than Dad and a couple of close friends, I kept the whereabouts of this deer to myself. To avoid disturbing the deer later on, I went back the following morning and hung a stand within bow range of the trail."
Jared continued checking the camera every week or so and each time found two or three pictures of the big buck. Then, in early September, the deer seemed to drop out of sight, as mentioned. He never showed up on the camera again after that. Based on the sign in the area and the heavy usage of the brushy creek bottom, Jared hoped the buck was just "holing up" in one of the smaller surrounding timbers, and he hoped the big whitetail hadn't been bumped off to parts unknown. With that in mind, Jared stayed clear of the area until archery season opened.
THE SEASON GETS UNDER WAY
"It was exceptionally warm and rained nearly every day the first week of bow season," Jared said. "Naturally it was too wet to get in the fields, so I managed to get out and hunt three or four times. With it being so warm, however, I stayed clear of the river bottom stand for fear of leaving too much scent and spoiling any chances I might have if the buck was still in the area. Instead, I hunted an entirely different piece of ground that first week.
|THE JARED ROBINSON BUCK|
|Scorable Points:||22 (14R, 8L)||TOTAL LENGTH OF ABNORMAL POINTS: 72 4/8|
|Tip-To-Tip Spread:||6 7/8|
|Greatest Spread:||20 6/8|
|Inside Spread:||15 6/8|
|Main Beam||22 4/8||25 0/8||2 4/8|
|1st Point (G-1)||5 4/8||4 6/8||6/8|
|2nd Point (G-2)||8 5/8||10 4/8||1 7/8|
|3rd Point (G-3)||6 6/8||9 2/8||2 4/8|
|4th Point (G-4)||--||3 6/8||3 6/8|
|1st circ. (H-1)||5 3/8||4 6/8||5/8|
|2nd circ. (H-2)||4 2/8||4 4/8||2/8|
|3rd circ. (H-3)||4 6/8||7 7/8||3 1/8|
|4th circ. (H-4)||3 2/8||5 4/8||2 2/8|
|TOTALS:||61 0/8||75 7/8||17 5/8|
|Gross Typical Score:||152 5/8|
|Subtract side-to-side differences:||-17 5/8|
|Add abnormal points||+72 4/8|
|FINAL NET NON-TYPICAL SCORE:||207 4/8|
|TAKEN BY: Jared Robinson, DATE: October 16, 2007, LOCATION: Adams County, Iowa |
"The following week it cooled down a little, but we were in the field getting crops out most of the time. I did get out to hunt twice, however, and both times I hunted the stand near the river where the photos had been taken. A few small bucks came through, but the double-main-beam buck never showed himself either time. My friends and cousins were calling nearly every evening to find out if I'd seen the deer. Unfortunately, I hadn't seen any sign that would indicate the deer was still in the area, so my answer was always the same.
"On Oct. 13, it rained on Saturday afternoon, so we finished up with our work early. I took the opportunity to grab my bow and headed for the stand. About an hour before dark, I spotted a deer in the distance coming down the trail. As it got closer, I realized it was the double-main-beam buck. That was actually the very first time I had ever seen the deer on the hoof alive.
"The buck kept coming. There was a clearing 30 yards away that I hoped he would step into. When he got within range, I drew back my Mathews and waited. When he stepped into the shooting lane, I mouthed a grunt to stop him. Evidently the buck didn't hear me, and he passed through the opening too fast for a shot.
"He walked another 20 yards or so and began making a scrape. I tried everything imaginable to call the buck back, but nothing worked. The buck moved a little farther down the trail and made two more scrapes. He taunted me for 20 minutes, making scrapes and rubbing trees. Then he meandered off and out of sight."
Jared called a friend that evening and expressed his concern that he might never get another chance at the deer. After talking it over, however, the two hunters came to the conclusion that the buck was indeed marking his territory. Because of the buck's behavior, Jared's friend reassured Jared that the odds of getting another crack at the buck were certainly running in his favor.
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
"I didn't get another chance to hunt again until Tuesday morning, Oct. 18. It rained the night before, so I knew we wouldn't be in the field the next day. With that in mind, I set my cell phone alarm to go off at 5 a.m. The morning didn't get off to a good start. After shutting off the alarm, I dropped the phone in a glass of water sitting on the table.
"I arrived at my stand about 30 minutes before daylight. After spraying down with a scent eliminator, I headed for the stand. Before climbing up, I put out a couple of Tink's Scent Bombs to cover my scent. Two small bucks came through shortly after sunrise, the same young bucks that always seemed to hang around the stand. From a distance I watched them for over an hour. Before that particular day, I really hadn't done much calling. Out of boredom more than anything, however, I decided to try grunting at them a couple of times just to see how they would react.
"After grunting, I had no more than sat down when I spotted a big deer coming around the corner. Much to my surprise, it was the big guy, and he was walking straight toward me. The buck looked like a tank walking aggressively through the timber, hooking trees along the trail with his antlers. As he continued to close the distance, it became apparent I was going to get a shot, so I drew back and waited. Unfortunately, when the deer got within 15 yards he stopped quartering toward me.
"The shot was too risky, so I continued to wait at full draw. It seemed like forever, but eventually he started to move. He walked right beneath the stand. As he passed by, I settled the pin and punched the release trigger. The arrow hit between the shoulders and sank deep into the vitals.
"The buck took off running, but he only went about 15 yards before stopping. At that point I didn't want to take any chances, so I nocked another arrow and prepared for a second shot. Thank goodness it wasn't necessary. He bedded down and expired shortly after that!
"Words can't explain my emotions when I walked up to the deer. Until then I had been fairly calm, but I got pretty excited after I realized how big he was. I wanted to call my dad, but since my cell phone wasn't working I rushed back to the truck and called him on the two-way radio. Of course, he had known about the deer all along, but when I told him the news he couldn't believe I'd actually killed the deer.
"Dad and a friend, Duane Dougherty, arrived a short time later. It was pretty muddy that day, so it took awhile getting the deer out and loaded in the truck. After snapping a few pictures, we drove around town showing him off. Lenox is a small town, so you can imagine how fast the news spread. By 5 p.m. I think everyone in town had been out to see the deer!
"There is no doubt that the 2007 season will be one that I'll remember for a lifetime," Jared said. "I'm happy to have taken the deer, but in all honesty, if it hadn't rained I wouldn't have been hunting that day. So in a way I guess you can say that I got lucky!" In March 2008, Jared Robinson took his big non-typical rack to the Iowa Deer Classic in Des Moines to have it officially measured. With 14 points on the right side, and 8 on the left, the Adams County giant grossed 225€‚1/8 non-typical inches and netted an impressive 207€‚4/8. Jared's incredible buck was the fourth largest taken in the state by an archer during the 2007 season!