December 11: Dustin Shaw

The Madness Continues

What an amazing year we have had. Opening morning started with a BANG… My father in law (David Lindsey) had an encounter with a massive 9 point first thing on opening morning but couldn’t seal the deal. Good thing for me that it didn’t come together for him because I wouldn’t be writing this entry. Spring forward to second shotgun season, snow on the ground, temps in the single digits, and the wind is howling. Most people wouldn’t think of getting out much less hunting. We didn’t hunt the morning hunt as mornings have been really slow but the evenings are quite different. We hunted a box blind between heavy timber and a huge bean/corn field. We get to our stand around 2:30 and do our interviews and start shooting the bull, its nice to be in a box and out of the elements. Well we hadn’t been in the stand 20 minutes when the does start moving. We actually didn’t expect anything to happen when all of a sudden 4 does come right past us, behind them is the massive 9 that David had the encounter with. He storms in, 32 yards and stops, giving me a perfect broadside shot. He didn’t run 60 yards and pilled up. He actually looked like he was climbing the tree that he RAN INTO!!! He scored 149 with a broke G2 on his right side, which was originally at least 10 inches and had a split!

I wish that every hunt went as smooth and perfect as this hunt did. Back up to bow season. I hunted every day straight from October 1 until November 16. We had amazing encounter after amazing encounter. We saw shooter almost every hunt but could never seal the deal. Our spirits were easily held high with the activity we experienced.

I have hunted this one deer, Kickers, for 3 yrs straight. My first encounter with him was on a windy day not 50 yards from where I shot the above-mentioned 9. Kickers snuck in on me an started rubbing my tree. As soon as he came in he vanished. This deer has always had the ability to give me the “slip” no matter what I did. The year I had the first encounter with him we all had many encounters with him. After much discussion we all decided that we wouldn’t kill him unless we could do it with a bow. We all knew that this deer had the ability to reach 200 if given the chance to grow. Well November 16 was a nasty morning. I actually told my cameraman that if the predicted rain moved in we would get down early. We climbed into the stand way before daylight and got ready. We didn’t have a single deer until 8:30. Our first deer was a small doe trailed by a yearling buck…and KICKERS. Man this buck is HUGE. Our efforts to let him grow paid off. He’s every bit of the buck our trail pictures showed him to be, easily pushing 200! The next 4 hours was the most exciting and challenging hunting I’ve ever experienced. Kickers kept this doe within 100 yrds of my stand. I came to full draw 4 times but couldn’t stop him for a shot. The rain started around 9:30 and we had to try to keep our camera dry…. without much luck. Well about 12:00 the doe ran 30 yrds behind our stand and bedded down, kickers was right behind her. “Doodlum” my cameraman pulled the camera out knowing that it was about to happen. Well Kickers didn’t think so, he stopped. It took the next 20-30 minutes to get him in range/shooting lane. He finally walked into an opening, the rain was pouring down at this point and I let the rage take off! 30 yrds doesn’t take long to cover with the PSE and I hit him right in the heart! He ran down the hill out of sight.

Unfortunately, my rejoicing was quickly brought to an end when Doodlum informed me that the rain had fried my camera! We have everything up to the kill shot and then nothing. We were unable to get the camera back working.

We ran to the house and got a second camera and filmed the recovery! I really wish I had this kill on film but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. He scored in a 197 3/8" with a broke kicker on his right side that would have pushed him over 200!!!! Kickers was the deer of a life time and I couldn’t be more excited to have had the opportunity to hunt and harvest this AMAZING ANIMAL!

Thank you Jesus!