posted on May 11, 2014 08:03
By Mike Handley
For all he knew, when Brooks Malone put on his orange cap and struck out with his rifle on Nov. 17, 2012, he might've been walking into a place as barren as the local high school's football field. He'd given his visiting son, Tucker, dibs on the farm that had yielded trail camera photographs of the best buck he'd seen all year.
When father and son headed out before dawn that morning, Tucker had high hopes of seeing the 10-pointer that had mugged for his dad's camera. Brooks, on the other hand, was mainly going through the motions.
The elder Malone's hopes of seeing a deer worthy of a bullet were about as realistic as watching a TV deer hunter refrain from whispering to the camera.
Another reason Brooks didn't have very high hopes was that seismograph crews had been stringing wire all over Pottawatomie County for a couple of months, including the property he was going to hunt.
Oh well, he thought. I'm hunting, no matter what!
And he did indeed, for at least a little while.
Just minutes before the top curve of the sun cleared the horizon, Brooks stopped hunting. His lung-shot 26-pointer had plowed into the nearby thicket.
When he saw the buck, it was at 175 yards and moving slowly, parallel to his treestand. It would stop, scent-check, and then resume.
Brooks noticed the buck's rack had good mass, tall tines and a "flyer" off the left main beam. But he didn't take time to count points before aiming carefully and squeezing the trigger.
It wound up with a BTR composite score of 221 inches.
Rusty Johnson and I are teaming up to write this one for Rack magazine. Don't miss it!