Rack Magazine

The Exception

The Exception

By Lisa Price

This Nebraska couple had agreed not to hang a shoulder mount in their home, but they didn’t chisel it in stone.

Some women recovering from surgery try their hand at knitting or crocheting. Others watch TV or read bestseller after bestseller.

Lori Moore of Arapahoe, Nebraska, spent a lot of time gazing at a new piece of wall art she thought she’d never want or own. She couldn’t take her eyes off the mount of her deer, which the taxidermist finished about the time she came home from the hospital.

It took a couple of weeks for her to realize she wasn’t dreaming. The 21-pointer she shot in 2013 was very real.

“It was a surprise,” Lori said. “My husband Jeff and I have a lot of racks we’re planning to have done as European mounts. But we’d always said we weren’t going to have any regular mounts.

“We had to do this one, though,” she said. “And it’s right in the middle of the living room.”

Lori and her family approach hunting in a laid-back manner. For her, it’s not so much about shooting a deer as it is relaxing outdoors. If it happens, it happens.

“I don’t do any calling or use any scents. I think most big deer know the tricks,” Lori said. “We don’t do any tracking with cameras or chase them around (playing musical stands). We just find a spot and wait for the deer to come to us.”

After shooting this buck, Lori discovered others had been monitoring it on trail cameras for years, trying to pattern it and hoping for a chance at it during hunting season. Lori had no clue such a deer existed until she walked up to it lying on the ground.

Lori began hunting after meeting and marrying Jeff about 30 years ago. They often hunt together, but not on Nov. 20, 2013, the day she shot this giant.

She remembers the weather was gorgeous, and she just wanted to be in a treestand.

“I was by myself because my husband had to go to work. But I knew he would get off at noon and be available if I needed help,” she said. “I got into a tri-pod that is shoved back into a cedar tree.”

It’s a popular spot for the family. They originally hunted from a ground blind there. Then they swapped it for a tri-pod. Although the tri-pod doesn’t get the hunter very high, it’s the right height for the area.

“It’s a small, tight place on a lane that’s only about as wide as a pickup truck,” she said. “Because of the surrounding cover, if you were to get up any higher, you’d have trouble seeing.

“I pay attention to the wind more than scent control,” she added. “It was a good wind for hunting that stand.”

Lori got out early, but after a few hours had seen only a small buck with a doe.

“It had been about an hour since I saw them, and I was thinking I’d get down at 9:00,” she said. “I took a look around before quitting for the day.

“I saw the buck moseying around behind some bushes,” she continued. “It was about 150 yards away, and I didn’t get a good look, which is probably just as well.

“I figured I’d get one of our permits filled,” she added. “I picked up my rifle (a .308) and shot. The deer spun in a little circle and fell right there.”

Lori still didn’t know the caliber of buck she’d shot. After she saw the deer fall and before getting out of the stand, she sent a text to her husband saying simply: I shot one.

“I actually stayed in my stand for a little bit longer, hoping to get a chance at a doe,” she said. “But then I decided to get down and walk over to the deer.”

After gawking at it, she sent Jeff another text.

“The first text I sent him said 7x9. After that, he texted me back,” she said. “I didn’t think somebody could stutter while texting, but that’s how it seemed. He was just texting numbers and question marks.

“I counted again and again. I must have counted at least a half-dozen times,” she added. “I just kept thinking, This can’t be right!”

She sent another text: You need 2 hurry home.

The Moores butcher their own deer, and Lori figured that while she was waiting for Jeff, she’d get things started by field-dressing the buck.

“But it was too big for me to do anything with it,” she said. “I tried different ways, but I just couldn’t handle the buck. The thing’s body was huge, just terribly heavy.”

Even when Jeff arrived and they pooled their strength, the Moores had trouble dressing the deer and loading it into the truck bed.

Later, they noticed the buck had an extra layer of meat on its neck, which extended down over it ribs – something they hadn’t seen on other deer.

“We thought the extra meat and muscle was from the deer’s holding its head up,” she grinned. “That buck’s head was extremely heavy.

“He’s my once-in-a-lifetime buck,” Lori said. “It just feels like it all happened so naturally. I was relaxing, just enjoying the hunt, and the deer was just out for a walk, content and relaxing.

“He came to me,” she said.

The buck wasn’t new to the whole survival game either. It was estimated to be at least 9 years old.

“Its teeth were ground clear down to nothing,” Lori said.

This article was published in the October 2016 edition of Rack Magazine. Subscribe today to have Rack Magazine delivered to your home.

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Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd