December 17: Steven McBee

Steven’s buck ejected his antlers ten feet after being shot. Some hunts are strange. This one was bizarre.

Bowhunting his north Missouri farm chasing a buck he’d known for four years, Steven had no idea what kind of evening he was in for. The deer he was after earned the nickname “Average Joe.”  Earlier on in his life the McBees thought he’d blow up into a giant. As they observed him over time however, it became apparent that while still a trophy, he wasn’t going to be a monster.

Steven had a Muddy Bull blind on an elevated platform overlooking a green field of oats and clover. The blind made hunting the plot possible since there weren’t any suitable trees to hang a stand in. He intentionally hunted the area very little (only four times) this season, which made it a high potential every time he went out. The deer were using it frequently.

Average Joe began showing up in Reconyx pictures on the food plot in December, so Steven made plans to be in the blind for an intercept. He climbed into the blind around 3:00 pm on the 17th with his Dad who would run camera. They hadn’t sat for long before another hit lister stepped out onto the plot, but something alarmed that buck and he headed back into the timber.  With daylight fading, at 4:55 pm Average Joe entered the field at 60 yards.

The buck walked a straight line towards the blind and at 20 yards. Steven came to full draw on his PSE Evolve as the deer stood broadside. The oddities began at that point.

Steven’s Dad unknowingly double-tapped the record button on the camera…meaning the camera was capturing nothing during this sequence, even though the shot was perfect. Steven placed a Rage Trypan directly through the buck’s heart. The deer wheeled and ran full-steam into a fence as his antlers ejected from his skull and continued on another 10 feet ahead. Average Joe expired the instant he hit the fence strands and lay partially suspended by them.

Did that all just happen?

The story of Average Joe had come to a conclusion, though the circumstances surrounding the event were anything but average. Even the hero shots were bizarre. How many post-hunt photo shoots involve a cordless drill and screws?

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.