Today’s story revolves around a buck that comes straight from most of our dreams. This absolute giant whitetail is a product of a lot of hard work in the form of quality deer management. Rich passed this buck for several years til he reached maturity AND helped provide optimal nutrition for the deer on his properties. That’s the recipe for big buck success, and as you’ll see in Rich’s story, it certainly paid off big for him. – MK

“The story of Bud started when he was a 2 year old.  I was checking trail cam pics one day and got a picture of an awesome young buck.  I said “Oh Buddy!” when I saw the picture and immediately named him Bud.  I could tell he was a genetically superior buck and vowed not to hunt him until he was 5 years old.  It was amazing watching him grow and passing him for 3 more years.  He was in the low 160’s as a 3 year old and mid 180’s as a 4 year old.   I put a camera out late this spring and throughout the summer over some Whitetail Institute 30-06 mineral in his core area and got hundreds of trail cam pics of him as he developed his rack. In 2011 he exploded into a world class buck and I couldn’t wait for bow season to arrive.

My cameraman, Dan Johnson, arrived on October 28th.  We started hunting the next day and saw Bud the first 2 times on stand.   We quit seeing him around Nov 1st and I later realized that he had moved to a different part of the farm.  Evidently, he rutted and bred does in a totally different area than he normally lived.  This area was a very difficult spot to access and hunt without busting the deer so I patiently kept hunting his core area waiting for him to return.   I hunted for 19 days straight without seeing him.  This was one of the most frustrating times I can ever remember from a hunting standpoint.  I was physically and mentally exhausted from chasing him for so long without seeing him.

Finally on the morning of November 19th, I saw him back in his core area for the first time.  He basically ran by two of my stands that were about 300 yds from the stand I was in.  It was obvious that he was still frantically searching for does, but he never came out of that block of timber that morning so I knew he had bedded in there.  I got down out of that stand and moved over into a Banks blind he had passed by earlier.  I figured when he got up, he might follow the does out of the timber into the food plots.  The Banks blind was in between 2 food plots so the deer regularly walk by it.  I saw lots of does and smaller bucks early that afternoon and at around 3:50 I saw a big buck crossing out of the timber directly under the stand I had been in that morning.  He was 300 yds away and was running across the field into the timber to look for does.  Just as he was about to enter the timber, I dropped one of the windows in the Banks Blind and grunted loudly.  He immediately stopped and stared right at me.  I grunted once more very softly and he immediately started heading my way.  I opened 2 windows in the blind and got ready.  He steadily walked the entire way grunting every few seconds.  When he was 25 yds away, he had to walk around a point of timber to check the other food plot and when he did, I stopped him and made the shot.

The hit was a little low and back, but there was good blood on the arrow and the start of a good blood trail.  I elected to wait until morning to look for him.  I just didn’t want to take a chance of jumping him if he wasn’t dead.  After a long sleepless night, my wife Jacqueline and my son, Parker came with me to look for him.  Praise the Lord, the Rocket Steelhead XL left an awesome blood trail and he had only gone about 75 yards before we found him.  What a feeling it was to finally harvest this buck that I had so much history with!” – Rich Baugh

For more information, visit the Whitetail Properties website.