Tim Lurk finally got the proverbial cigar when this 19-pointer came right to his lap on the final day of his 2011 bowhunt in northwestern Missouri.
When my favorite time of year finally arrived in 2011, my dad, brother and I headed north of Ste. Genevieve, Mo., for some bowhunting. There’s nothing like those first 10 days of November.
We’d been hunting that same farm for a couple of years, and we’d had a lot of luck there.
The trip got off to a good start. Upon arriving, we had enough time for an evening hunt, so we got suited up and headed afield. I was hunting in a spot where we’d seen a lot of big bucks, where my brother took a nice one the previous season.
It didn’t take long to realize this stand was in a hot spot. A group of deer with one a very nice buck followed the fence line in front of me. The buck was an 8-pointer that might’ve scored 150 inches.
The deer, however, was just out of range, and I never got a chance to draw my bow.
That same evening, my brother also had a close encounter with a big buck. We all were excited to get back in the stand the next day.
We hunted mornings and evenings for the next few days and saw lots of deer. None, however, wandered close enough to shoot.
My dad saw a couple of bucks that were really nice, but he wanted something bigger and kept passing on them.
I told him that I would gladly shoot either of those deer because I had never taken a buck with my bow, so he offered to let me sit in his stand.
The first evening I sat there, one of the nice bucks my dad had been seeing — a 13-pointer — stayed about 60 yards away and I never got a shot.
It was slow the next morning, our last, until 8:45. That’s when I spotted a monstrous buck in the CRP at 75 yards. I could see sticker points and kickers everywhere on its rack.
As soon as I realized it was heading toward me, it felt like adrenaline was about to boil out of my radiator. I also began shaking like crazy.
The deer came straight to within 12 yards of my tree, and then it stood facing me for what seemed like an eternity. I was doing everything I could to remain calm and not to vibrate off the stand.
The deer was quartering to me, so I didn’t want to shoot. While I was waiting for it to turn one way or the other, I got a real good look at those antlers. They were tall, had points shooting out everywhere, and there was an extra beam on one side.
I had to keep my composure!
When the buck finally turned and gave me a wide-open shot, I buried a broadhead in its vitals. Afterward, it ran about 40 yards up the hill and stood there — out of range — for about two or three minutes before slowly lying down.
That’s when I started texting my dad and brother.
When I looked back up, I saw, to my horror, that the deer was back on its feet. It stood there for another minute or so, and then turned and slowly walked over the hill. I couldn’t believe it!
Second-guessing my shot, I got down and headed back to the truck to meet my dad. After looking at my arrow, which was soaked in blood, we agreed to go and pull all of our stands for the trip home. When we were done, we’d start the search.
After we’d collected everything and had some lunch, the three of us took up the trail. There wasn’t much blood on the ground, though the arrow was drenched. So we went slowly, drop by drop, taking our time so we wouldn’t spook the deer if it were still alive.
But we needn’t have worried.
As soon as we topped the hill where I’d last seen Mr. Gnarly, we saw his giant rack sticking up out of a nearby ditch. I’m sure none of us will forget that moment.
The best part of the whole hunt was that I got to share it with my dad and brother.
Hunter: Tim Lurk
BTR Score: 200
— Photos Courtesy of Tim Lurk
This article was published in the August 2013 edition of Rack Magazine. Subscribe today to have Rack Magazine delivered to your home.
Read Recent RACK Articles:
• Black Thursday: Colton Lowry’s 17-pointer from Norton County is the 30th largest Irregular felled by a rifleman in Kansas.
• Double Blessing: John W. Konkel / BTR Score: 177
• Trail Cameras Zoloft Dispenser? Scott Rawlings / BTR Score: 194 6/8