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November 28: Bric Steward

Most food plots have a “king”, a dominant mature whitetail that rules that domain. Bric was banking on that theory held by fellow DOD team member Tom Ware.

Tom had extended Bric an invitation to come hunt his Iowa farm. If you didn’t already know, Tom is a bit of a wizard when it comes to land management and growing big bucks.  His idea of a management buck is what most would consider a deer of a lifetime, so Bric was anxious to get hunting.

The plan was to hunt a small BioLogic plot being frequented by a deer Tom identified as that field’s king, a deer nicknamed “Big Whimp.” DOD team member Scott Manifold would shoot video for the adventure.

The first night in the blind Bric passed on a 165 inch deer along with three other good bucks. These were animals Tom was watching and believed to be giants in the making. Night two, a 150 inch buck came out with a doe and stayed locked down with her.

Night three was when the kill occurred and was the busiest with no shortage of impressive head gear walking around. Deer were on their feet most of the day and Bric and Scott actually bumped deer around 1:30 pm on their walk to the blind. The guys watched intently to see if the king would appear among the other bucks. With about 45 minutes of shooting light remaining, Big Whimp finally showed up after seven other good bucks made their appearance.

Big Whimp worked a scrape at 32 yards, browsed, and then began to walk back into the timber before Bric stopped him at 34 yards. With his PSE Evolve at full draw, Bric took the shot and sent a Rage Extreme into the buck. The shot looked low and appeared to hit liver so they backed out and gave him 16 hours before beginning their search.

A team of guys spent two days looking for Big Whimp. They found multiple beds with good blood, but never the deer himself. Bric hated heading back to Illinois without his deer, but work and family were waiting for him. It wasn’t until two weeks later when he went back to Iowa with his firearm tag that he was able to recover his buck…just 80 yards from where they ceased their search before.

The king of the plot had fallen, but nature abhors a vacuum and during that short time Bric was back home before he returned, Tom had Reconyx images of another mature buck who had taken over the throne.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.