February/March 2012 EHJ (Issue 129) - Was I crazy? The anxiety was killing me! What was I doing passing on a 200-inch deer on this hunt? However, three weeks prior, while out scouting with my good friend, Jason Sandusky, we found the buck I was looking for.
This particular buck had been the topic of conversation between most of my close friends and me for some time. Over the 4th of July weekend, my wife, kids and I were staying with our friends, the Moosemans. Brian was re-telling a story told the previous October, about a buck that his stepdad had missed in my unit last year. As he was giving me every last detail about the buck’s antler configuration, it dawned on me that he was talking about the same monster that my brother was lucky enough to find a shed from later that winter. After a quick look at the pictures Brian had snapped of the buck, it was confirmed it was the same buck. Now, all I had to do was go find that deer and we all know how easy that is!
After a couple scouting trips with my 10-year-old son, Gavin, and buddies, Jason and Brent, we had found some great bucks. A few were in the 180- to 190-class, but not what I wanted yet. Hunting stories filled the air in Brent’s pickup all the way down on Friday. We made our way in the heat of the day to the spot where Brent had shot his buck a couple of years prior.
As we turned up the rocky road, I realized it was a spot I was very familiar with. Brent showed me where he got his 200-incher and we continued to another location that we wanted to check. Just before dark, we found an upper 180- inch buck that topped off a great day. The next morning started off early, as we covered a lot of new country, trying to learn a new part of the unit. At noon we stopped to have lunch in the middle of a two-track road.
An hour later, and 30 dirt-road miles away, as I reached back to my pack to get some chap stick on my wind burnt lips, I said, "Oh crap! You’ve got to be kidding me!” My backpack with all of my gear, including my Swarovski spotting scope and anything else you need to hunt with was gone. I was freaking out!
For a full account of Tivon's adventure, go to page 38 in the February/March 2012 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.