posted on May 18, 2014 06:53
By Mike Handley
The soundtrack to David Howard's successful 2013 season would have to include Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman."
David had a three-day window to bowhunt his lease in Todd County, Ky., last October – usually not the best time to catch whitetails on their feet when the sun's shining.
He arrived a day early, which gave him a few hours to discover several fresh rubs and scrapes, and he decided he'd hunt near an overgrown field ringed with the latter.
He saw lots of activity while standing on the same tree limb (he doesn't do treestands) the first couple of times he ventured forth. He also heard bucks fighting deeper in the adjacent woods.
The best among several bucks he saw was a typical 12-pointer that was pushing 190 inches, but it was so far off that even a rifle shot might've been iffy.
On the afternoon of his second day, David decided to build a ground blind closer to the corner where the big Typical had twice appeared. He hunted from there that afternoon and the next morning.
"I stayed until around 12:30 and saw only a couple of small bucks before deciding to head home (as in leaving Todd County altogether)," he told Dale Weddle, who's writing the story for Rack magazine. "On the way out, as I was passing the big oak that I hunted out of several times, I heard bucks fighting again. Suddenly, a doe ran out of the woods 40 yards in front of me. Right behind her was absolutely the biggest buck I had ever seen in my life!"
When the doe led the buck back into the woods, David walked another 75 yards, and then the doe brought her boyfriend past him yet again.
That the buck stopped within shooting range was its undoing.
"He was quartering away when I drew my bow, put the 45-yard pin on it, and released an arrow," David said. "I saw blood when it hit the mark. The deer took three or four fast steps, slowed down to a walk, and then fell after covering 20 yards."
The most astounding feature of David Howard's behemoth is mass. The (measurable) bases start out at 6 7/8 and 6 4/8 inches, and the other six measurements are at least 5 2/8 inches each. Its BTR composite score is 230 3/8.