posted on March 10, 2013 14:18
By Mike Handley
This 45-pointer from Iowa is one of three whitetails from last season with BTR composite scores exceeding 300 inches. I wrote about one of those, an enormous Kansas buck that succumbed to EHD, last week.
This buck, which succumbed to a bullet wound, grosses 309 2/8.
The man who shot it is Tim Forret, who spends far more time behind the wheels of combines and tractors than he does hunting deer.
He first saw this buck while harvesting beans in 2011. The other time he saw it, the tag in his pocket was good only for an antlerless deer.
Tim and his young son, Zach, became obsessed with the giant whitetail, and they were thrilled to collect several trail cam photos of it in the summer of 2012. They devoted many hours to scheming, setting up a new blind and sighting-in the boy's new muzzleloader, which they agreed to share.
Father and son saw the buck they'd nicknamed Ol' Two Rows (for the way it flattened corn stalks) in the flesh on Sept. 30, while harvesting beans.
Because the drought spurred an earlier-than-usual harvest, Tim was able to get a buck tag for the early muzzleloader season. If he hadn't, his Oct. 20 hunt would've ended much differently.
Tim had lost sight of a couple of bucks he'd been watching and was scanning the woods line when his gaze fell upon a third with a familiar face. Identifying it took maybe one second, even in the fading light.
"In a split second, I estimated the distance to be 250 yards, held a tad high, was rock-solid, and let the 250-grain bullet fly," Tim said, adding that he thought the deer stumbled before disappearing.
For the next several days, Tim and his son searched for the deer. There was a little blood, but the faint trail ended where the buck entered a neighbor's cornfield.
Knowing the search might span several properties, Tim consulted the local game warden before also gaining permission to scour the countryside. He told the officer his story and showed him photographs of the buck.
Very long story short, someone stumbled across the deer in a ravine on the last day of the state's shotgun season. Everyone involved in the man-drive knew it had to be the buck Tim shot.
"I was fortunate to have dealt with a group of ethical and true deer hunters," he said. "I hope I can someday return the favor."
The full story, shared in the combined words of Tim and Zach, will be told in the September issue of RACK magazine. We have trail camera photos, pictures of the animal's 2010 sheds, and several of the outstanding rack and mount.