Jerrode Jones and his fiancée, Kayla, like to spend summer evenings videotaping bucks in the bean fields of southern Ohio.
In August 2011, the couple was sitting in a fencerow at dusk. They had just recorded several minutes of footage of a 150- to 160-class buck, and it was almost time to go.
Jerrode was putting up the camera, when his sweetie, who was still ogling the big deer through binoculars, gasped, “There’s a bigger one behind him!”
Jerrode grabbed the glasses, and a real dream buck filled the lenses. The bruiser had bunches of points, including several drop tines, and Jerrode was astonished.
That was the last they saw of it, too, despite several more trips to the field.
Jerrode and Kayla put in a great deal of time managing their hunting properties. They plant food plots and run multiple trail cameras. The bruiser buck never once triggered their cameras’ sensors.
Another great buck with a somewhat deformed rack posed frequently, however, and it soon became their most wanted, or at least a more attainable goal. They named him Goofy Horn.
On Monday, Sept. 26, just two days after the Ohio opener, the Goofy Horn Buck walked into Jerrode’s shooting lane. He took the shot and watched the buck race into Never Never Land.
Although they looked long and hard over the next several days, they never found it. They discovered why — that he was still very much alive — when the Goofy Horn Buck’s photos reappeared on a trail camera.
Five weeks later, on Nov. 2, Jerrode went to some property in Brown County. He was en route to a stand for an evening sit over a food plot when he looked to his left and noticed a ridgetop stand. He thought it might be a good place to hunt, but he kept on going.
Jerrode slowed as he approached his food plot stand. A doe and buck were already in the patch. Rather than bump them off the field, he simply retreated and headed for the stand on the hill, which overlooks a stream.
He says the vigil was pretty boring until around 6:00, when the first deer of the evening, a large doe, approached from his right. She crossed a ditch and browsed her way over the hill and out of sight.
Jerrode waited a few moments for the doe to move away, and then he flipped his bleat can three times and grunted. He soon heard another deer approaching. When he heard grunting, he stood and readied his bow.
Unable to see anything, Jerrode reached inside his pocket and flipped his can again. He also grunted twice. And then he saw the buck.
The animal made its way to the spot where the doe crossed the ditch, and then it followed the trail she’d taken. Fully aware the buck was a good one, Jerrode frantically scanned the woods for an opening.
He found one at 32 yards in front of the moving deer, and when the buck stepped into it, Jerrode grunted and released his arrow.
The buck flinched at the shot, but then just walked away, the arrow protruding.
Not wanting to push his luck, Jerrode stayed aloft well past dark. He also decided to wait until the next morning to pick up the trail.
Kayla was with him when they returned at 8:30 a.m. They followed the trail for about 40 yards until it disappeared, which worried Jerrode.
The couple eventually came across and decided to follow a well used trail that led back over the ridge. Twenty yards after they crested the hill, Jerrode saw a white belly 60 yards to the right. He had found his buck!
When he took off running toward it, the move caught Kayla off guard. She initially thought they’d jumped the buck.
Bucks, however, don’t shout “Oh, my god!”
Hunter: Jerrode Jones
BTR Score: 211 6/8
— Photos Courtesy of Jerrode Jones
This article was published in the July 2013 edition of Rack Magazine. Subscribe today to have Rack Magazine delivered to your home.
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