An Extraordinary day in Missouri
When Kenny Myers decided to book a trip with a Midwestern Outfitter, he got more than his money’s worth, hunting with IMB Outfitters
I’ve always been obsessed with and fanatical about whitetail bucks. Antlers just do something to me that I can’t describe in words. Since I’m from Virginia, I knew that for me to put a real wallhanger in my home I eventually would have to hunt in another state. Little did I know that I would harvest a record-class deer on my out-fitted adventure.
I studied and researched possible hunting destinations for over a year. The Midwest seemed very appealing and affordable. After much interrogation, I finally booked my first hunt with Darrin Bradley and IMB Outfitters for a five day rifle hunt in Macon County, Missouri.
Prior to booking this hunt, I made the “Innocent” mistake of going to my first gun show, where I ran across my dream rifle. It was barely used Remington model 700 and I just had to have it. I had always wanted a big .284 Magnum, and now I couldn’t keep my hands off of this 7mm Ultra Mag. It was the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Special Edition, and my 5-year-old daughter insisted that I take this beautiful stainless, camo gun home. I had a Weaver V-9x50mm scope mounted on it from a “going out of business”sale. The rifle shot beautifully. I was all set. I had great confidence in my new gun.
Joining me on this hunt would be my father, Wayne; my brother, Mike; and my buddy, Jeff Phillips. Jeff and I had been hunting together for over 20 years. We had great expectations and hopes of harvesting nice bucks. I jokingly told everyone before our trip that I was shooting for a 200 class whitetail but would settle for a 130. My biggest buck to date had scored a mere 91 Boone and Crockett points.
The hunt began with temperatures well above normal, Deer movement was suppressed and the bigger bucks were quiet nocturnal and elusive. Even though the rut should have been driving the bucks wild, it was just too warm. Then the heavy rains rolled in and the rain was topped off with electrical storms. Thunder, lightening and downpours occurred for the better of two days.
Day five had us a little weary and edgy. It was Nov. 19th, 2003—the last day of our hunt. So far we’d only had one glimpse of a “shooter” buck among our entire hunting party. We were still confident and enthusiastic, however, because this day would be our coldest morning yet to sit in a tree stand.
I had dressed quite warmly for the lower 30 degree temperatures. I was comfortably clad in a camo hunting suit, fleece mask and boot blankets. While in a stand, I often take turns sitting and standing, and just stood up about five earlier. One small buck was all I had seen so far.
It was 7:50am when I heard what sounded like trotting in the frosted leaves behind me, off my right shoulder. I twisted around and immediately knew I was looking at a huge buck. I quickly propped my gun against the tree for support and pushed the safety off. Then I bleated once in an attempt to stop the deer. He didn’t respond . He continued on, and I practically yelled the next time. I bleated so loudly that the buck stopped broadside at about 50 yards. His head was behind a tree.
In retrospect, I was very glad of that. Not being able to see his antlers enabled me to keep my focus and composure. The kill zone was wide open, and I aimed and quickly squeezed off the shot.; The buck took off running, but it was very apparent that he was hit hard. He went down about 35 yards away.
After the shot, I was excited, anxious and downright full of buck fever. I needed more air. I pulled off my fleece mask and grabbed my two way radio out of my jacket pocket. I vibrated my hunting party, and my brother was the first to answer.
He sais, “You hit himn! I heard the thump, whatcha got?”
I was having trouble keying the radio and I hit the squelch button a couple of times. Then I said,” I just shot a whopper, I mean, one huge buck!”
He then asked me if I had seen the buck fall, and I told him that I had. He instructed me to get down and go look at the buck and report back.
The descent out of my stand was very rapid. I began walking away from the tree when my gun pulled back. I had forgotten to untie the rope! The approach to the buck was a combination of elation, excitement and disbelief. The buck looked bigger than I had originally thought—something that never had happened to me before. At this point, I wasn’t really sure how big he was, other the fact that he had 14 points. I tried to vibrate the hand-held radio again and could hardly make it work. That particular function requires two very quick clicks and I was shaking so badly that I couldn’t do it at first.
“He’s a tall 6x8 with bases as big around as my wrists!” I finally told Mike.
“What did you say?” Mike yelled
I said, ”He’s a 14 pointer and he’s HUGE! You’re not going to believe how big he is. You’re just not going to believe it!”
After the shot, I was excited, anxious and downright full of buck fever. I needed more air. I pulled off my fleece face mask and grabbed my two-radio out of my jacket pocket. I vibrated my hunting party, and my brother was the first to answer.
Mike agreed to come over to my spot so that he could see the deer for himself. I shed some come clothes and sat down. I kept telling myself, “You just shot the buck of a lifetime, your dream buck!”
It all had happened so quickly----- in a matter of a few seconds-----and it was just a month shy of my 39th birthday. During the following minutes and hours of the remainder of that “dream day,” there were may pictures taken and lots of video footage shot----probably more than on my wedding day. My lifetime dream had come true. I had acquired a dream rifle, gone on a dream hunt and shot a dream buck. I knew I was blessed, and I still thank God every day for this magnificent trophy buck.
My buck was initially green—scored by several guides at around 191 gross non-typical points. He was later officially scored at 184 net non-typical points. He’s basically a main-framed 5x5 with four additional abnormal points---- three on the right side and one on the left. Both of the G 2s are forked, as is the g-1 on the left side. Also, there’s a 5 4/8 inch long burr point on the left side. Other than the extra points, the buck has great symmetry with very few deductions. He field-dressed at 180 lbs and was thought to be either 3 ½ or 4 ½ years old.
Mty wife and family always have been so supportive of my time and money-consuming whitetail obsession. I feel indebted to IMB Outfitters for putting me on such a great buck, and I also feel so fortunate to live in such a great country. In America, dreams really can come true!