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Brock Tarr’s 20-pointer

November 16, 2008

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 20

Kill Date: Nov. 16, 2008

County: Jasper

Season: Bow

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here in the words of Newton bowhunter Brock Tarr is the story of his hunt for a monster 20-point buck.

I had asked Amanda, my wife, where I should go hunting before every hunt this year. And she had done pretty well because I had went where she said and had killed three does and a buck due to her intuition. Consequently, when the alarm went off at 5:15 the morning of Sunday, Nov. 16 and I asked, she replied west of the farm.

She had told me to go there because I had planted a food plot west of the farm and had only hunted over it twice, with one of those hunts resulting in my first doe of the year. However, after getting up and calling the local weather check number, I let her know that the wind was wrong and that I was going to go to another farm. 

There is a little woods on the property that has always produced deer for my brothers and I in the past. Needless to say, I went to this particular farm in hopes of finding a rutting buck before the shotgun season began that next week. I climbed in my tree for the morning hunt pulled up my Matthews Switchback XT and began to see deer right away. No big bucks showed up for the first hour or so but around 7 a.m. he showed up. 

He started out approximately 350 yards away but I could tell it was a shooter at that distance without my Leupold binoculars. My eyes were glued to this big boy for the next hour and 20 minutes as he worked his way to 120 yards, where he bedded with three does for 45 minutes. As he came in to bed I could then see that he was an awesome deer and I noticed that he had a split G3.

I had seen a big buck out of the same stand the year before and I knew that a shed had been found in the area that scored nearly 85 inches and I wondered if this was the deer I had been hearing about.  My cousin Brett Tarr had mentioned seeing a huge buck in the area that he had a close encounter with the week before and Brett happened to be hunting just one-half mile away that morning.

So when the buck bedded, I grabbed my cell phone and immediately called Brett and asked him if the big buck has a split G3. Brett let me know that he had a split G3 on one side and a split G2 on the other. I told Brett that I had already watched him for 25 minutes and that he was bedded down 120 yards in front of me. By this time it was around 8:10 a.m. and the buck had been bedded for 40 minutes in from of me. 

I had tried everything I know to get the buck to come in but he stayed bedded, he wasn’t about to leave his ladies. Brett told me he was going to get down around 8:30 and to call him if the buck looked like he was going to head his way. Not long after hanging up the phone the does stood up and began to head north, in Brett’s direction. The big boy then stood up and began to follow them. I knew I was probably out of luck for the morning but I grabbed my phone and called Brett and said he looks like he is coming your way.

Brett said “Yeah, I can see his antlers from here”. As we both watched the buck he began to head west and then disappeared into the grass. Brett called me and asked “where did he go?” I had no idea unless he bedded down again. 

With the buck out of view and nearly 350 yards away I looked at my watch and it was now 8:45, so I decided to climb down and head home to warm up and get some breakfast. I was still excited about what I had seen and called two of my hunting friends, Dennis Helregel and Kevin Radke. They both asked how big he is and my only response was “He is huge, by far the biggest deer I have ever seen.” 

Kevin had killed a giant 238-inch non-typical in 2007 and was excited to hear that I had seen a big deer where I hunt. Some things happen for a reason, because on Saturday evening Dennis called and said you have to come up, he told me that he had seen five bucks go across a field where he hunts and swim a creek and go into some grass that was close to his stand. 

I told him I would try to get some stuff done at our cattle farm and come up. I made it up around 2 p.m. and Dennis said are problem will be getting across the creek. After walking along the bank of the creek we realized there was no place to cross and we needed a boat. Dennis called his wife and asked her to take their ATV and go to a close neighbor and get his twelve foot boat so we could cross the creek. 

We made it across and Dennis went to his stand and I took my climber and found a tree about 250 yards from Dennis where I was about 40 yards from the opposite side of the creek. Around 4:30 p.m. a beautiful 140-150 class 10-pointer came out into the field where Dennis had seen the bucks earlier. I grunted and got his attention. He started my way and was acting as if he was going to cross the creek but just then he crossed where we had walked along the creek and turn around an ran off. 

I was disappointed to say the least. I had shot a 125-inch 9-pointer on Nov. 1 and that 10-pointer would have completed my year. Little did I know it happened for a reason. 

On the way home I called Kevin and we made plans for me to go hunting with him on Sunday afternoon but after calling Kevin after my Sunday morning hunt he told me he thought I should change my plans and just go back to the same stand I was in that morning. Once I got home I told my wife what I had seen and said I have only seen bucks like this, besides Radke’s, on TV. She was excited and asked me if I was going in the afternoon.

“Of course,” was my answer and I told her that I wanted to go out early and that Brett had told me he was going to be in his tree by 1 p.m. As noon rolled around I kept thinking of this huge buck and couldn’t wait to go back out. By 1:30 Brett had called and said you better get out they are moving already. I was still at home watching my little boy while my wife had went to Wal-Mart to do some grocery shopping. 

She got home around 2. I let her get the groceries put away while I played with my son and then I grabbed my gear and took off. I called Brett around 2:30 and told him I was on my way and told him to keep his eyes open when he saw my truck in case I spooked any deer walking to my stand.

I parked my truck shortly and began to spray down with my Hunters Specialty Scent Away, making sure I covered myself really good. As I started walking to my stand I realized that the wind was absolutely perfect for my stand and had high hopes, but I had no idea what was about to happen in the next few minutes.  I made my way to my stand and before climbing my tree I sprayed a scrape and tree with code blue doe estrus. I then went up the tree and again pulled up my Matthews and rattling antlers. 

No sooner than I got my bow up I looked up and a little 8-pointer was running a doe in circles no more than 70 yards from my stand. As I knocked an arrow and took my quiver off, the pair had worked their way within 40 yards. I thought the buck even watched me set my quiver down, but he was too worried about the doe to be spooked by me. As I watched the two run around they came within 12 yards and then back to 60 before the doe brought the little buck within five yards, directly under my tree. 

I had told Brett and Kevin that the only way I would get a good buck in was if I had a hot doe run by my tree, so I was in luck and thought that my Rage broadhead might find a home tonight. At this time the little buck walked directly between the scrape and tree I had sprayed. The little eight was directly downwind and I thought he would wind me but luckily he smelled the doe urine and stopped at 20 yards for a couple of minutes. 

I hadn’t even put my face mask on as I watched the buck motionless. I began to think he would never leave and I looked up and saw another doe running in my direction about 100 yards away. I looked back at the eight still standing in the same spot amazed by the smell of the code blue and when I looked back out toward the doe, that is when I saw the rack that I had watched all morning. 

I immediately forgot about the eight and started shaking as I struggled to get my face mask on in a hurry. I got it on grabbed my bow and thought it might happen. As I watched the brute chase the doe, she darted off in one direction but they had both crossed the path of the first doe and eight pointer that had ran in circles just two minutes before. 

Illinois hunting and fishing

I couldn’t believe it when the big boy left his doe and got on the trail of the doe that came right by me. I then thought it is going to happen shortly and began to think about where my shot might be. The buck closed the distance quickly and came within 18 yards but he was quartering toward me and before I could stop him he was behind a small tree. 

I thought he was going to run off but I thought to myself that was a tough angle anyway. The buck then turned away and I drew my bow and when he was 35 yards away he turned broadside and was moving at a good pace. I knew it was now or never so I stopped him with my mouth and released the Bass Pro supreme light and the rage directed it to the buck. 

I had hit a giant but I hit him plenty far back. I watched the buck spin and run off with my arrow hanging out. He went 50 yards and I lost him in the grass. My immediate reaction was a sickening feeling, thinking I had just injured the deer that everyone in the neighborhood wanted to kill. I was shaking all the remaining leaves out of the tree but I thought I have to call Brett and let him know I hit him. 

I called Brett at 2:59 and told him the news. Brett asked where I hit him and I told him I hit too far back. He asked me I could see that arrow on the ground and told it was still in the buck and he said that is good you probably hit rib and it just didn’t to all the way through. “Oh man, I just injured him, I jerked the shot,” I said. But Brett told me not to count myself out. 

Brett asked me what I wanted to do and I told him I was going to give the deer time and just glass over where I saw him disappear and see if he is anywhere.  Brett said that we could wait until nightfall if I wanted but that he was going to climb down in a half an hour and walk to my stand and we would look for blood and then decide what to do. 

We hung up and then I dialed Radke’s number and told him I hit him. Kevin, for some reason had decided not to go hunting that evening and was driving around looking for deer and he said I am on my way. We then discussed that shot and he said how far forward did you need and I said a good foot. Kevin said I will be there in 15 minutes and we hung up. I then called my brother Travis who I had told about the buck earlier in the day. 

He said good job I hope you find him and then had to get off the phone as he was in Louisville at a National Cattle show and sale. I then called my wife and told her I had hit the big one, she was pumped and wanted to come but I told her I would call if we found him. I told her I had made a questionable shot but she said you will find him with confidence.

I felt relieved to here her say that due to my luck with her intuition so far. As I waited for what seemed like forever I kept and eye on the area and said a prayer to God that the buck would just go down and that maybe my shot wasn’t that bad. When Kevin showed up I was still in my tree and we waited for Brett to arrive. It had been 50 minutes and we decided that I would stay in the tree and direct them to where I shot the buck so they could look for blood and I could see that buck if he jumped up. 

Illinois hunting and fishing

They went to the spot and found good blood immediately and Kevin gave me a thumbs up. They found more blood within 10 yards and could see even more from where they stood and they motioned for me to get down so we could begin trailing him. I let my bow down and climbed out of the tree. Now I was really nervous as we started following the blood it was easy and I thought my shot may have been OK. 

After about 35 more yards I stopped and asked Brett what he would do if he had shot, he said it is up to you. I then asked Kevin and he said the blood looks good. I just didn’t want to push him to hard but when neither of them said they would back out I said lets go find him he has to be here because the blood is too good. The blood trail was obvious but I was still nervous and was taking baby steps as I led the way. 

We had only walked about 20 more yards when Brett said I see antlers. We slowly approached the giant and he was done. I grabbed the antlers in disbelief.  My arrow was sticking up broad head toward the sky. I had hit him in the hindquarter and luckily my wife’s intuition and my prayer had allowed the Rage to hit the femoral artery. The buck had bled to death and laid 60 yards from where I had stopped him. 

We counted 21 points (measurers deemed that 20 of those points were long enough to score) and began to take pictures and send them to friends and I called my wife and told her I found him, she was excited. I was still in awe at the size of my trophy. Everyone who had seen him thought him thought he was a 12-pointer as they couldn’t see all the abnormal points by his brow tines. We dragged him to where I could load him up and then went and took more pictures.

I am a lucky hunter who hunted as hard as I ever hunted before. I made it a point to try harder at staying scent free and not repeatedly hunting the same stand location. In fact this was only the fifth time I had hunted that stand in 2008 with one of the hunts being that morning. I guess it just goes to show that it can happen in the blink of an eye. I had only been on stand for seven minutes when this buck of a lifetime came by. 

It is hard to imagine if I hadn’t left the house when I did or forgot something like I normally do, I would have missed this brute coming by. I took the deer to my parent’s farm where my family met me with camera’s and my nephews Mitch and Nick were jumping up and down as I pulled in. The local taxidermist green scored the buck at 219 4/8 net non-typical. I was the luckiest hunter ever that day. Thank the Lord for being able to hunt every chance you get.

The official score wound up being 214 4/8 inches.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Your CommentsComments :: Guidelines :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)



Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/26 at 01:25 PM

what is the net score of this BIG BOY? it looks to be high.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/13 at 09:32 AM

green right now is 219 4/8

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/15 at 08:34 AM

Awesome deer. Love seeing deer from the county I live in.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/16 at 06:05 PM

Who are you mach1

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/22 at 12:37 PM

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