Big A$$ Eight

My wife gave me a trail cam for my birthday a couple years ago and we have had fun with it on our back fence and up at her folk’s farm.  It has spent most of its time in the field hung by a couple of the stands we use at the farm and we have enjoyed seeing the pictures of all the bucks we don’t see during hunting season.

This year we have seven different bucks showing up on the camera. They have been mostly smaller, younger bucks. We’ve seen a big, cow-horned spike and a few fork-horns along with a six-pointer. What got us excited was the two eight-pointers that were regular visitors. One of the eights looked fairly young. Its rack is relatively spindly but nothing to sneeze at in this part of the woods. The other one got everyone’s attention. It has a lot of mass and has some weird brow tines.  The one on the right has a couple bumps that could almost be points but not quite and the one on the left goes straight up a couple inches then its ‘left turn Clyde’. I have never seen a brow tine make a ninety degree bend half-way up. I, of course, called dibs on the big eight.

Opening morning my wife took her oldest friend out to a ground blind in some planted pines between a couple swamps. It is usually a good stand but it is hit or miss. My Father-in-Law, Joe,  took our son out to a tree stand past the U-pick blueberry patch and I went to a new tree stand he had built in the swamp.  The guys all got skunked but in spite of the noise in the ground four does came right in and stood around thirty yards away from the girls, neither of whom had doe tags. My skunk luck continued until the morning of day five of the firearm season. Joe had gotten a three point a couple days earlier that we hadn’t seen on the trail cam and I had a big bodied four point come in out of the elephant grass (I don’t know what it is actually called) to my right. He walked right in front of my stand and paused long enough for the old 30.06 to do its job. Despite missing the bottom part of its heart the four managed to run over a ridge toward the creek before it piled up. We were all feeling pretty good and I took my youngest daughter into town for some Daddy/Daughter time.  Her asthma was acting up so when Joe asked if I was going out that afternoon I told him I was going to stay in. He headed out to the ground blind where I had been sitting the last couple evenings. My daughter wanted me to take her to a temporary blind we had put up by where a large flock of turkeys were roosting so that she could see them fly up into the trees. I got her bundled up in a big orange coat and we headed out. We lasted almost ten minutes before she started coughing again and we headed in. She was starting to ask where Grandpa was when Grandma’s phone rang and I started getting my boots on. My wife’s cousin,Eric, who was up from Indiana for Thanksgiving and I got in the truck and headed out to the pines. We thought Joe might have the deer out by the road but we didn’t see him so headed into the woods. It was pretty dark by then but we saw an orange jumpsuit glowing amongst the trees. We headed down to see what Joe had gotten. He was practically glowing himself because just before last light he had a doe come in from behind him and move in front of his blind. He saw more movement and figure it was another doe coming along but after a second look revealed antlers he got ready to take his shot. It moved past a tree and he pulled the trigger on his lever action 30.30. He watched it take off down the hill toward the swamp and he could tell he’d put a pretty good hurt on it. After only twenty yards it started to somersault and stopped forty yards from where it’d been hit. He had it field dressed before we got there and had started to drag it out and had made a quarter turn and no further. He thought maybe it was nailed to the ground it was so heavy. I had forgotten to grab the drag ropes from the truck so I ran back and grabbed them. We had to take turns on the ropes to get that guy up the hill, over the downed trees and out to the truck. The gambrel that I bought that has a built in scale had pegged our earlier two bucks at 110 pounds despite their difference in size and we were curious to see what this bruiser would weigh. After getting it cleaned up we put it on the gambrel and sure enough, 110 pounds. It sure looks bigger hanging next to my four point. Time to get a new scale ‘cause that is one Big Ass Eight.

Joe is very excited about his Big Ass Eight and has been happy to tell the story to his friends and family. Even though I had called dibs I am very happy for him and we are all excited that we finally got one our hands on one of the bucks that showed up on the trail cam pictures.