Mr. Heavy: Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Growing up in South Texas I have always enjoyed the outdoors from fishing to my passion, hunting. Being from a middle class family, my hunting opportunities have been limited, so with every chance I got to hunt, I took it.

My employer at the time had a ranch that needed help managing it. He asked if I could age and score deer, and with a quick response, I said yes.  Soon after that, I was in a blind watching what I called trophies only being allowed to shoot old barren does. The following year, I was able to shoot cole bucks and does.

It got to the point where I only wanted to sit in a certain blind because of a monster mature buck that hung out there. He was a main frame 10 point with about eight inch tines and a 20 inch spread. What made him so impressive was the mass. He had bases as big around as a soda can. Coming into camp late was getting to be normal for me because I loved watching this buck and he never came out until later in the morning, usually around 10:30 AM and never closer than 200 yards.

The first time I saw him, I could not take my binoculars down. I was so nervous I got what some would call buck fever, even though I knew I could not harvest such a majestic creature. Never telling my boss I had seen him, mainly because I was afraid he would laugh at me for what I was calling such an interesting deer plus I was afraid he would go to that blind and shoot him. As the season ended, I wished I had gotten the courage to ask him if I could shoot him. Not being a management buck and not having the money that a 170 inch B&C white tail deer cost, I stayed quiet.

Two summers later, my boss, fellow co-workers, and I were working cattle on the ranch where I had seen this buck. We just came into the ranch house around noon to rest and eat a bite for lunch. After a warm bologna sandwich I had left in the truck and a glass of iced tea, I left the table and sat down with the others. My boss was deleting pictures he had gotten from the game camera when he stopped on a certain buck that caught his eye. It was him, it was my buck. He was going downhill and needed to be taken as a management buck. The workers around me were all talking about him when I blurted out, that I am going to shoot him if I get the chance. Suddenly my boss started laughing and told me the buck was nocturnal and never came out during the day. He said no one had seen the buck in 3 years except for on the camera at night. Little did he know, I had seen him.

The weeks went by so terribly slow that I could not stand it. I did not think hunting season would ever come, when it finally did! I had been practicing with a new gun, fine tuning it so I could make a farther shot if I had to. It was a 300 Weatherby Magnum. I reloaded bullets for it and was sure it had the knock down power for shooting my buck in the shoulder. I would not dare take a chance of losing a buck this good and I did not want to shoot him in the neck because I was planning on having him mounted. The years before I had hunted with a smaller caliber gun that everyone made fun of every time I took it out of the case. My boss told me I could not kill a deer with such a pea shooter until I killed a doe with it at well over 250 yards. My remarks were - It is all about bullet placements as I walked away with a smile.

The season started off with a bang and I had culled many deer but had not seen my buck. The days were getting shorter as so was my patience. The other hunters were laughing at me because I was staying in the blind so long. They all thought I was sleeping instead of hunting. With two weeks left of hunting season, the rut had things really messed up. I was worried the buck I was after was either dead or going to be shot by someone else. Knowing that I had been seeing deer that I had not seen all season, I figured the buck had moved out to a different spot. I was growing restless wondering if I should choose another deer blind that was close by, but I had not seen the buck in any other spot.

Leaving early to the blind was getting old and hunting late was getting even older. Being so late in the season, rut was slowing down some and the morning hunts were getting warmer. That is when I was hoping to shoot him, just in case he ran off; I did not want to trail him in the dark. I hunted late one evening because the deer were very skittish and staying further from the blind than usual. After it was too late to shoot, I saw a big bodied deer about 300 yards away. The whitetail deer was chasing another back and forth across the right of way. I could tell it was a buck but was not sure how good he was.

With it past legal hunting time, I left trying to be quiet so I did not spook anything. The next morning, tired, I left for the blind. Between the temperature and the humidity, fog had already started rolling in. I was not very worried about it because I figured the sun would burn it off quickly or the northern that was supposed to blow in would push it away. About an hour after sun up, the northern blew in. The deer were acting the same way they had the evening before, running all over the place and throwing their head up at every bird that flew by.

By late in the hunt around 10 AM, it started to rain just enough to make the drive back to camp unpleasant. I watched a doe walk through the creek on the same right of way where the buck was chasing the doe the evening before. She stopped in the bottom of it where all I could see was her back. She then threw her head up and with a flash, she was gone. Before I could pick up my binoculars, I saw a big buck run across into the brush. I thought it was him so I picked up my gun and stuck it out of the window. After waiting for about 20 minutes, the doe came out about 50 yards pas the creek. I got my gun ready and there he was. It was him!

Clicking my gun off safety, I quickly decided he was about 250 yards out. He stopped broadside and through the scope, I could see what looked like smoke as he exhaled. I squeezed the trigger and dropped him in his tracks. By this time was I shaking like it was the first time I had shot a buck. Very excited, I cocked another shell in the gun and waited. After deciding he was not going to get up, I walked down to him counting every foot step. At 239 steps, there he was. Time had shrunk this bucks horns but still made the biggest buck I had taken. His tines were shorter, barely making him a ten point and his base had shrunk down, but he still scored an easy 150 B&C. Bringing him into camp with my chest swelled, my boss came up to me and told me I had shot the wrong one. Before I could tell him he was wrong, and that I had watched and studied this deer in the past, he pulled his cigar out of his mouth, laughed and said - Yep, that is Mr. Heavy.  My boss has sheds of that deer before he went downhill and I have tried to get them from him, but he will not give in. That was the best hunt of my life!

Brandon Broom