December 18: Bart Goins

The Season

One word to describe our first season as official Drury Outdoors Prostaff: HUMBLING. When the season first started back in September, Blair and I had some very promising hunts ahead for this fall. With the task of filming for the new series of Dream Season (airs Summer 2012), we knew we had to do everything we could to compete and produce. With the kind of hunts we had lined down, I didn’t think that laying four or five mature whitetails down would be much of a problem. That’s where I was wrong.

True hunters have had a tough season at one point in their lives. The type of season that you can’t even catch a cold much less a break! December 19 was my 82nd day in a deer stand since the season began in early September for us. The last buck I shot was Oct 17. In between that period I had traveled over 4000 miles and logged countless hours in a deer stand. I had spent over 20 days in Kansas and over 20 days in Illinois. Blair and I were just a few inches away from having another stellar season. Humility is something that this great sport will give you when is needed.

Early Christmas Present

This past summer I was fortunate enough to meet Neill Haas at an outdoor show in Birmingham, AL. Neill Haas is Toxey Haas son. He and I hit it off real fast; Neill is just a good old country boy who loves the outdoors just like us. One day I got a text from Neill that invited Blair and I to come and hunt some of their personal farms. I jumped at the opportunity. Blair and I getting to hunt one of Toxey Haas’ farms in Mississippi? HECK YEAH! The date was set for the weekend before Christmas weekend. We arrived at the Mossy Oak office to meet Neill on December 15. He led us out to their cabins and farms. With a quick change of clothes, we were off and running for the first evening. First evening we saw several does, but were cut short due to the rain. The next morning was a rain out. As soon as the rain subsided, we were headed to stand for the evening hunt. The movement that evening blew me away. We had seen over 30 deer including three big southern shooters! I felt very confident in killing on this trip the evening we had in a tree. The next morning was a little slow. Toxey had taken us into our stand from the HuntVe. Now that was cool! The evening found us sitting in the same spot we had sat the evening before. The rut was definitely hot! We watched bucks chase does for three hours that evening. The next day around lunch we decided to hang a set a little closer to where we had been seeing those bucks every evening. One of the bucks that we had seen was a beautiful main framed 9 point with a kicker. December 19 was the last morning of the hunt and we were headed early to the deer stand. We had come so close to killing the last few evenings but just couldn’t make it happen. I was beginning to wonder if its just not meant to happen at all. I even thought about sleeping in that morning then heading home. But anybody who knows me knows I may not be the smartest deer hunter out there but I am persistent. I’m not going to quit. When you log the kind of hours that I have in a deer stand, the kill is going to come; it’s just a matter of time. We climbed in the stand early that morning and watched another beautiful sunrise. At 7:45, I looked up and there was that beautiful 9 pointer. He was 150 yards down the field line from us. After a few minutes, he disappeared in the woods. I immediately grabbed the Hyper Growl and grunted several times at him. Within minutes he was at 50 yards behind us and closing. I grabbed the TC Dream Season Omega muzzleloader and prepared for the shot. The buck was coming in behind us on my cameraman’s side so I knew the cameraman was going to catch a lot of smoke from the TC. I stopped the buck at 40 yards and let it roll. There was so much smoke from the TC. I had no clue what had happened after the shot. We looked at the footage, but still couldn’t tell where I had hit. After an hour, I climbed down to look for blood. There was blood everywhere, but I decided to just back out and give the buck a few hours. At noon, I had rounded up a whole pack of Mossy Oak boys and we were going to find my deer! After a little over an hour of searching, we found the big 9 point a couple hundred yards from where I had shot him. What a feeling! That feeling I hadn’t felt since October 17. Emotions hit me all at once like a ton of bricks. I am not saying that I deserve that buck at all. Truth is, I don’t deserve anything God has blessed me with the last few years. But I had worked hard for this moment. I had logged countless hours on the road and in a deer stand.

I would like to say a big thanks to Toxey and Neill Haas for invited us down. I would also like to thank all the boys from Mossy Oak that shared camp with us this week. Them boys can cook and have a good time! Mossy Oak is a big part of Drury Outdoors and vice versa. If you would have told me a few years ago that I would get to do a hunt like this, I would not have believed you! The monkey is now off our back so lets see if the Bama Boys can put another one down for Dream Season Journey. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!