posted on September 08, 2013 08:43
By Mike Handley
Jeff Sims killed his cell phone on Nov. 24, 2012, but not before the entire civilized world - or at least much of Franklin County, Ind. - knew what else he'd killed.
The deer hunter from West Harrison called and texted so many people, he fried his cell phone's innards. It took only four shotgun slugs to do the same to the buck that caused all the hoopla.
Within minutes of the demise of Jeff's phone, many more were jamming the airwaves with the same news.
"Before the deer was even out of the woods, my wife and daughter, my wife's friend and her four kids, and my buddy and his two sons were there beside me," he said. "It was crazy."
And he loved every minute of it!
Jeff knew this 19-pointer, along with a handsome 14-pointer, existed or at least passed through the 100 acres he hunts. So when a serious fall on the job resulted in doctor's orders to stay home, he decided a deer stand was as much furniture as a sofa.
By late November, ready for a change of scenery after 40 days of hunting the same haunts, he began thinking about the 8-acre ribbon of timber flanking his driveway. He'd never hunted in there because the place is so thick. It's roughly 200 yards wide and more than twice that long.
Jeff left the house on the fateful day about 2:30, climber strapped to his bum back and shotgun in hand. When he found a suitable tree, he leaned his gun against it, shrugged out of the stand and looked at his watch, which read 3:00.
"I then grabbed my gun to move it over to another tree while I attached my climber," he said. "And the instant I picked it up, I heard a noise to my left."
When the buck rose from its bed a mere 20 yards away, Jeff began shivering like a wet dog in January. The deer bounded 20 yards, but then stopped to stare at the vibrating hunter, who'd just discovered the lens caps were still covering his scope.
It was still staring at him when Jeff raised his gun a second time, and the rest is history. The happy hunter might have to buy another box of slugs this year, but I doubt he minds.
Typically speaking, Jeff's Indiana buck is but an average mature 5x5. Add the nine irregular points worth nearly 40 inches, however, and average becomes world-class. Its BTR composite score is 197 7/8 inches.
Ed Waite shares the rest of the story in RACK magazine this fall.