posted on March 16, 2014 09:53
By Mike Handley
Because Darren Schrock of Elkhart, Ind., had one clear weekend to hunt his state's 15-day firearms season in 2013, he was devastated to learn that rain was in the forecast. Determined not to miss his chance altogether - even though he bowhunts, too, and the bow season extends into January - he arranged with his employer to hunt Thursday morning, Nov. 21.
Darren wouldn't have been so determined if he hadn't encountered a centerfold buck a couple of weeks earlier that was just beyond bow range. He wanted more than anything to see that deer again, when distance wouldn't be a hindrance.
"I couldn't get the deer out of my head," he admits. "It was definitely the biggest, live free-roaming buck I'd ever seen!"
He didn't have much time that Thursday morning, but he headed out to the same swamp stand where he'd seen the buck earlier. It was a 400-yard trek, and he sweetened the trail by applying estrous doe scent to his boots about four times en route.
The guy didn't have to wait long.
He heard the big whitetail before he saw it, and it had come to within 8 yards before Darren was able to pinpoint the source of the grunting. It was following the scent trail he'd left.
It was so close, Darren had to look at the animal inside and outside the scope three times to make sure his aim was true. The deer collapsed after the shot, and then ran full tilt for all of 20 yards.
"I went to work VERY late, but my excuse was more than enough to get me off the hook when the boss saw the picture and sent it to his friends," Darren said.
He told his middle daughter, Melinda, that when he walked up to the downed animal, he exclaimed, "Dear Jesus!" She laughed, and said, "Well, that's his name: DEERJESUS!"
When his taxidermist also ran with the moniker, Darren decided Deerjesus was fine with him.
The deer's composite score is 1/8 inch shy of 200 inches. Darren will share the whole story in Rack magazine this fall.