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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog


Aaron Gould

By Mike Handley

Having a Gould point a shotgun at you, if you're a deer or a clay target, is a good way to get dead.

This is abundantly clear to all who know brothers Aaron and Steve from Alexandria, Minn., who travel the country with their Winchesters to wow audiences with their reflexive marksmanship.

Aaron, capable of busting clays between one-armed pushups, proved last fall that he doesn't need target loads and choke tubes to bring home the bacon. He can also get the job done with one piece of lead.

That is, if he can find the time away from exhibition shooting to spend in the woods back home.

Aaron missed his chance in 2011, the first time in 18 years he'd not joined the family for the firearms opener. But he made it last year, thanks in large part to knowing there was a 200-plus-incher roaming the tract they normally hunt.

They had a shed and trail camera photographs of it.

On the second man-drive during the season's second day, he saw it in the flesh.

"As usual, I was a walker," Aaron said. "As we approached to within about 150 yards of the standers, I could hear deer moving through the brush in front of the walkers who were (skirting) the swamp to my right. The deer could smell the standers upwind and were trying to find a way out of there."

Their route was in front of Aaron, and one of the three bucks was the deer he'd so desperately wanted. The Winchester Dual Bond slug found its mark, and the buck flinched before disappearing into the cattails.

While Aaron was running toward the high weeds, he heard more shots. His brother-in-law, Josiah, had ensured the fatally hit deer would go no farther.

At 227 2/8 inches -- not including the inside spread -- Aaron's buck is a new runner-up to the Minnesota (irregular) shotgun record. It's also the largest whitetail recorded from there since 1985.

The full story, which includes what Aaron did to keep the buck on the property he hunts, will be in RACK magazine this fall.

Andy Gill Jeff Plunkett Leah Williams Jake Leitzman BTR

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