Interstate 72 Monster
My name is Bob Cramer. Pike County is consistently ranks as one of the top countys in the nation for trophy whitetail bucks. This is the story of one that made it!
Before the season started, I was looking over an ariel photo of one of our properties and noticed a long narrow finger of woods extending out of a big block of timber that lay to the east. The finger was bordered by cornfields on each side and ended about 30 yards from Interstate 72. We didnít have a stand there so I decided to go have a look.
I started at the connector where the finger left the big timber. There were trails worn in the ground, crossing in every direction and there was no doupt this would be a great place to set a stand. The finger continued to the west for about 400 yards. It narrowed down from about sixty yards wide at the timber to just a few small osage orange trees and tall grass where it ended at the interstate. Before I left I decided to ride up the finger and check it out. As I was riding up there on the four wheeler, I noticed a number of huge buck rubs along the edge of the finger.
As I neared the interstate, a small doe jumped up out of the grass! The next deer that followed almost made my heart stop. If you have never seen a true monster buck, they will amaze you! I estimated this buck at over 300 lbs live weight and he was sporting at least 160 inches of antler, maybe more. I was so taken, I didnít even think to try and count how many points the buck had but the rack was way outside his ears and the tines were long and heavy. As they disappeared over the hill, I realized why they were there!
They had the perfect bedding spot! Interstate 72 protected them from intruders completely on one side and they could see anything coming from several hundred yards in every other direction. The spot they were bedding in was nothing more than tall grass with a few osage orange trees at the very end of the finger, 30 yards from the interstate on top of a small hill. There would be no way to approach the spot without running the deer off, so the first connector I looked at was the only logical spot to hunt the buck. That afternoon, I placed a stand in the connector. You could get to the stand without exposing yourself to the buck and that was about as close as you could get. I didnít want to push the buck off the property so we stayed off the property for the next two weeks to give it time to settle down and get used to the stand.
The first evening we put a hunter there, he had a close encounter with the buck. Prolbem was, it was after legal shooting time and he had already lowered his bow to the ground. As he was unhooking his safety belt he heard a noise and froze. Several deer were walking the trail that passed under his stand and the last one was the monster. He said the buck was three times the size of the other deer and passed without spooking.
This buck lives a charmed life. Over the course of the bow season, he was seen six times. One hunter had him broadside at 22 yards. When he pulled his bow, for some reason his arrow fell off the rest (time for a whisker biscuit) and he didnít get a shot. Another time, he was going to pass the stand but turned to follow a bedded doe that got up in front of him. Bow season passed without a arrow being released!
Early in gun season, we hunted the stand a number of times without the buck being seen. I thought that maybe the buck had been taken on another property so we kinda gave up on the stand. On the last evening of second gun, I was passing the property on the way to my guide house and guess what was standing in the middle of Rt.106. The monster buck of I 72.
The hunt continues ten months from now!