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Another season is in the books and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to put my tag on one of the oldest bucks I have ever known. In deer management it can be painful to burn a coveted buck tag on a deer that is not going to look real good on the wall but sometimes it can be just as important as shooting the does and planting food plots. However, I do believe every hunter’s goal is to shoot a fully mature buck and this buck was fully mature but he just wasn’t pretty, that’s how he earned his nickname “Bad Day”. He had a broken ear, 2 broke tines and just appeared somewhere along the way to have had a bad day run in with another buck or two.

In the last few years we had pictures of him in our timber, but nothing outside of the timber that we know of but he didn’t really have any distinctions to his body or rack until this year. Between me and my Dad, we observed “Bad Day” 5 times this fall, and only once in the previous 5 years, so he must’ve had a strong desire to rut and eat knowing he was on the downhill slide of his time on this earth. He made the mistake coming out in good filming light on the last day we had to hunt of the 2011-12 Iowa deer season and the Thompson Center made him pay. I had been hunting this deer since Thanksgiving and the chase was over, my Dad was with me that afternoon and capped off a Dream Season for the both of us. It never gets old dragging them out and I’ll never take it for granted that the good Lord lets us do every now and again. - Jeff