Tales of the Chase - A Lifetime Buck Named "Fuzzy"

Show Notes

This week on the Missouri Woods & Water podcast we finally get another Tales of the Chase episode in and it is a doozy.  Nate & Micah get to talk with fellow Missourian Brian Johson about a once in a lifetime buck nicknamed Fuzzy that he took down last season.  Brian had over 6 years of history with this deer before finally making it happen last November.  The story by itself is already awesome, but then you get to add something very odd that happened to this buck a couple of seasons ago and it just adds to the story even more.  Thanks for listening! 

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to Missouri Woods and Water Podcast with your host, Nate and Micah. Did you talk faster? In that little section that you do ever? Yeah, I guess it's cuz I just know what I'm gonna say. What our podcast. Welcome Toyota Podcast. Crash. Let's get going. Tales of the chase. This go around. We have not had one for a while.

Yeah. Tory. Hey, Tory Cook. Tory Cook. This is for you brother. Yeah, this is for you, man. Oh, you love these. I was just thinking about that. We need him on talking about some of his. Just be ready for a phone call. Yeah, for sure. So we really enjoy these type of shows. It's just getting a good old boy on here just to talk about hunting and story.

This one's like [00:01:00] really unique and special. Yeah. This guy kills an absolute giant, giant whitetail here in the state of Missouri and it's still in velvet in November. So yeah, we get into it of whatever what all happens, but a lot of history with it. Brian Johnson, he's the name. Pretty cool stuff.

Yeah. Brian We've actually known about this since shortly after he killed a killed a deer friend of our show, which we mentioned in the recording, Lee messaged us on Instagram and dude, you gotta talk to this guy. Or, I don't even know if he actually said, you gotta talk to this guy should go back and read it.

But I think I might even ask, do you think he'd wanna say it? Talk about it. And he gave contact information and Brian and I talked months ago and we're, the show's just busy and we I'm like, man, I don't know if this will work. He doesn't have good internet, this and that. And then turned out we didn't have good internet in the show and so we had to do it a little different.

Come to find out, that's what I get for, judging because then God's watch this. I'm not gonna give you your internet for the next hour. Yeah. So we had to kick it old school and do it over the phone. Did the phone.[00:02:00] And it worked out pretty well. Thanks first off for coming on Brian.

And also pivoting with us as we had to. Cuz he was a little bit like he nervous about what he needed to do. He even went to his son's house so he could get good internet and, take care of us. And then we didn't even use Zoom. Yeah. But it was a, it did a, he did a great job and it's an awesome story of a buck named Fuzzy.

Fuzzy, which is another buck with a nickname. Yeah. Make sure you guys go on the socials and look at the picture of this thing. Holy shit. Yeah. It's just amazing. You're not gonna understand this buck unless you see photos. Yeah, you can. And in fact, check this out, Micah, you remember how he was saying you.

Look at these side pictures. Oh, okay. Yeah, you look at that, you miss a bunch of stuff. His front picture looks awesome, but then look at the sides. That's crazy. Yeah, the deer's just crazy, man. So it's an awesome story. Let's hop into our sponsors before we get into it real quick. First off, we've got Weber Outfitters.

You and I and my Andy are gonna be going to Weber in the beginning. Next of June. [00:03:00] Yeah, next week or is that the week after? It's week after. Next week after next. So looking forward to that man. So if you guys are in the area or if you're traveling through, go check out Weber Outfitters out of Hawk Point.

Hawk Point. Real close. St. Louis leave Ain't Kaco. Also to our buddy Adam and Josh there You two guys are crazy. I'm just, I just wanna say this. Okay. So we have a text thread, we group text with us and they seem to think that St. Louis Barbecue actually deserves to be at the same table as Kansas City Barbecue.

And they're the only two people in this world that think St. Louis Barbecue is worth being in the same house right as Kansas City Barbecue. It just, Texas Barbecue is laughing at you right now, Josh. That's all I wanna say. Okay. Texas laughing. Which I like Texas barbecue. So do I. Yeah. Texas Barbecue.

Good. Barbecue. Barbecue. But when somebody says barbecue, nobody's thinking about St. Louis bud. Except for the name of the ribs. Yeah. You ha You have your own cut style ribs. I'll give you that. But can't cook 'em worth of [00:04:00] shit.

We kid. Yeah. We're just messing. I'll go to Sugar Fire. Is that's the only place I know that it's okay there. I, me and Amy went somewhere. We went there on a little vacation one time and we went to some barbecue joint and there was a big line. A lot of people there. Barbecue was, it was fine.

It's good. Yeah. We just like giving each other, they just don't have enough, but now do they expect us to bring some barbecue? I don't know. They might consider moving if that's the case. That's true. Yeah. So anyway, Weber Outfitters check 'em out. Webber outfitters.com OnX hop on OnX maps and download the app today.

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This morning? I did. Man, you switched to the video. I need to, I'm gonna wait later in the season. I just wanted to do it right, like in the post. I've never in my life had any of my trail cameras set to video just because I don't want to take up the SD cards or the the memory. So I've never done it right and this time I did it.

I'm like, that's so cool to watch a, [00:07:00] deer chew in on stuff for sure. So check 'em out. Reveal cameras, habitat works. Get with our buddy Dustin. We're probably gonna be doing a show soon with him about summer fire. But mention us when you call. Get 15% off any service. 8 1 6 7 5 2 73 90. Athlon optics.

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Sorry. Missed one. Yeah. Gonna be taking the Alps, the elite pack. Yeah, that's what I'm about there. I need to get mine on and start walking with it just to get comfortable. And, get my legs in shape for our upcoming, hopefully we haven't hopefully yet. Yeah, we haven't gotten our draw results.

Hopefully by the time this show comes out, that draw, draw results will be in and we'll be able to come up with a game plan of what we're doing. So I think that's everybody. Alps outdoors.com. Make sure you check out our website, Missouri Woods and Water. We're gonna be putting our [00:08:00] gear list up there.

Have you been working on yours? No, I haven't. I forgot how to do it. But go. I'll you again. If anything, go there. You'll get all the discount codes that we have for all the sponsors that we mentioned, so definitely go check it out. All right, thanks for listening. Let's get into our Tales of the Chase episode on a Buck Named Fuzzy with Brian Johnson.

Let's do it. This is the Missouri Woods and Water Podcast.

All right with us today. First tales of the chase we've done in a while. I know we need to get back on 'em, but this is a good one to get started up again. We've got our new friend Brian Johnson from Southeast Missouri. Brian, what's going on bud? Not much guys. Good to talk to you. You too, man. You too.

Brian's first. Podcast. Podcast. And it hasn't went well for you. It's been a shit show so far. We've had internet issues and phone issues, and hopefully we get it figured out where we can get a good show going. Yeah, my internet company's about to lose themselves a customer. The [00:09:00] problem is they're the only option, right?

Yeah. But man they love dropping internet on me about the worst times. I'm about done with them, but, so we've had to end our zoom call with Brian and we've had to make a phone call and that didn't work. And then I switched cords and now I'm holding this cord in my hand so it doesn't move, but it's working.

Before we get into this awesome show, Brian, why don't you introduce yourself tell us who you are, where you're from, and what is your favorite thing about growing up in the Missouri outdoors? Sure. Yeah. It's Brian Johnson. I'm in Southeast Missouri, work in a paper mill. Do some farming, make Turkey calls and hunt every chance I get.

Life gets pretty busy, but I like it that way. I I've got a daughter and twin sons and two grandsons, so actually gonna take one of the grandsons camping this weekend, so I'm pretty excited about that. That'd be his first time out as three year old, oh, nice. Yeah. So [00:10:00] what's what's your favorite thing about Missouri?

Oh, it, I think it offers a little bit of everything and I don't know. I do a lot of traveling to hunt, but always come home, right? Yeah. Yeah. You were just in Nebraska hunting turkeys, weren't you? I was, I hunted of course, Missouri, and then I went to Kansas early season and then Nebraska. Late season.

Yes. Had a good year. What's your favorite thing to hunt? Are you a tur or were you one of those diehard Turkey guys, or do you prefer am whitetail. I am diehard Turkey. If I had to give something up, I guess it would be a deer, but I spend more time deer hunting. I bow hunt a lot.

Rifle hunt, some, it doesn't excite me near as much as the archery hunting. But yeah, to go to Kansas every year until I guess three years ago they started selling out on tags. Yep. Now I think it's gonna become pretty much every other year, but I've been going out there every year for, I don't know, 15 years or so hunting, walk in and got a few private farmers that let us go.

But, they let everybody else go too. But, it's fun and [00:11:00] we've killed some nice deer out there. Yeah, that's one thing we haven't gotten into yet as far as, and we should have been doing it for a long time now, but, Going next door over to Kansas and trying to get on some of those whitetails, I guess it's just, I don't know, get too busy with other things and trying to get it done.

Around the old adage, why leave deer to find deer? Yeah. Too. And the problem is the first two weeks in November's only two weeks, so you can only do so much. It, you'd like to have two or three states, but take some time to get a big one found and killed. Yeah.

And for me, that's when I start getting busy at work. So I'm limited, once that time change I'm pretty much stuck to the weekends just cuz work gets busy and don't get done. It's dark. So that's another thing. But enough complaining. I was going to attempt Kansas this year and I didn't get any time.

Oh, you didn't put it in. Okay. So yeah, they should be dropping the draw the draws here any day now. I know the the tag hit my credit card, but they said that's not a. [00:12:00] That doesn't mean you got drawn and the permit's not showing up on my app yet. But I would thank any day now. I'll find out if I get drawn this year.

I did not last year. So yeah that's exciting. We're still waiting on Colorado to figure out if we got drawn there and then, but Nathan, he found out, I don't know, a week or two week or so ago that he got drawn for Wyoming. So he's gonna be going up to Wyoming this year, first in elk hunting.

Oh, awesome. Yeah. Some pretty exciting stuff there for sure. Yep. Definitely. We ain't talking about elk today. No. We're talking about a badass Missouri deer. And when badass first Brian, I hope you're okay with this. We want to give a shout out to a friend of the show Lee. Sure. Lee told us about this thing and when he sent me the picture I said, holy shit, we've gotta talk to this guy.

The people listening will see the picture, obviously, but. This buck ended up scoring, what'd you say? 218 inches or something? Two eighteens what they were grossed him rough, grossed him at the at the [00:13:00] taxidermy. Yeah. I've never had him like officially scored or I guess nobody's really other than that guy that day Yeah.

Has put a tape on him. I got nothing official, but Yeah. That's what the, which in and of itself, a 218 inch deer is badass and gross is all I care about. Cuz nets are for fish. Yeah. But what makes this buck even crazier is he's in full velvet and Yeah. You killed this buck on what day?

I think it was November 12th. Oh wow. Yeah. Yep. Full velvet buck. Yep. Now we'll get into, we'll get into the whole story of this buck in a second, but that's what's so cool is it's a giant and in velvet you just don't see that very often. No. Let's, before we get into the actual hunt, cuz you've known this deer for several years from the discussion you and I had.

Yes. Let's talk about the property that you're hunting him on. First, paint a picture to the listener about, what this property lays out how you hunt it so that as we're telling these stories they can picture what you had going on. Sure. Yeah. [00:14:00] It's a it's 250 acres.

It's 200 acres across the road. It's a, it's the farm that I live on and and the 200 acres across the road is probably 60 40 60% timber, 40% cleared couple small cow pastures, but the rest of the cleared land is corn and soybeans down in the bottoms. There's two, I'll call 'em dry creeks. It doesn't take much rain.

They get. They get up pretty good, but and they come together actually on our farm and then merge into one and go and continue on. And I guess on the far back, the east end of this 200 acres, there's a 40 acre square of timber and it was clear cut probably in the eighties, I think. And it was been a jungle for quite a while and it's finally starting to open up.

And I went in the center of it and put me a one acre food plot with a dozer and been pretty religious about getting having plots in there and it's [00:15:00] been real great, but just because there's pretty good deer numbers right there and it's back secluded in the middle of the woods and try to hunt it.

Smart. And it's been productive. So how long have you had permission or owned, whichever the case may be. How long have you been hunting this property? Oh, all my life, okay. Since I was, we, I think we bought it in, I don't even know, late eighties. Okay, so y'all had it quite a while then.

Yeah. That's pretty cool. Yeah. Yeah. Sweet. Yeah. Yeah, actually and oddly enough back then you might see a deer or two just farming, checking cows, working ground, w doing whatever, and now they're everywhere. So our deer numbers are yeah, triple what they was just 10 years ago.

My father-in-law said the same thing. I think my father-in-law, and you are close to similar ages I think he's a little older, but he said, growing up when he was a kid, It was a big deal to see a deer. And now we're talking about, like passing on three and a half year olds and, holding out for a one 60 or whatever.

And he's I [00:16:00] just can't understand any of that. Because yeah, times it's really changed. Hell, you, I can remember going days without seeing a deer. That wasn't uncommon. Yeah. And if you seen one and wanted one, you better shoot it, but now, like I said the, our bucks have gotten much better just because we've got more deer and a lot of the older generations that just wanted to shoot a buck or a deer, they, they've now we've got a different mindset.

With our hunters and a lot of people are passing the younger bucks. And there was a time not that long ago that 125 inch deer, if somebody killed that around close to home, everybody knew about it, and now that number's hot considerably higher than that. Yeah, for all the things I disagree on.

Some of the stuff they do, mdc definitely. And the people that really put their heads down back in the day to work on our deer population, they did something right. Cuz. Yes. The herd, I think we've got one of the largest deer herds in America, in the state of Missouri South, right? Yeah.

They're right where I'm at. There's [00:17:00] too many, the crop damage is pretty bad. And hell, I'd trade half of 'em for turkeys. So our Turkey numbers are down, and beer numbers are up. You stop that shit right now. Yeah. You're talking crazy. You just need to go on a good Turkey hunt.

Maybe. That might be true. It sounds like it. Okay. That's the property that you're hunting. You have the great advantage of living where you hunt. That's nice because yes, you can you can, don't have that drive to your hunting property. That's always great. But this deer in particular, h how did you first get to know him?

In fact, I think when you told me the story, when you and I talked last week, you were standing in the middle of that food plot planting, weren't you? I was actually mowing that food plot. It's got clover in it right now, and I was mowing it when you called me. Yeah. Yeah. That's pretty awesome. So yeah.

How did this whole s first off, does the Buck have a nickname? He does. Really unique. We called him Fuzzy. Fuzzy. That's a good one. That's funny. That's a good nickname. He didn't really earn a nickname until he got big enough, and by that time [00:18:00] he was fuzzy. So that, that just stuck.

You're just losing this battle, Micah. That's all I'm saying. I guess I'll have to start naming or something. I don't know. So Brian, I don't know how much you know about us or not, but yeah. I am a huge fan of nicknaming deer. Micah thinks it's dumb. And so anytime we get a chance to talk to somebody, that's one of the questions I like to ask because I almost always win, right?

Yeah. When you talk about a deer, as much as I talked about this deer, you, he almost has to have a name. That's my point. Exactly. It makes well done. It makes, this thing over the course of six years now, the first three, not so much, but the last three, every friend and family member I talked to, no matter what it was far or about before we got off the phone or they left or whatever that deer came up, Hey, you been getting any pictures, been seeing him.

So what I'm trying to get at is, Micah, can I get a firm Yes. From you that you will nickname Deer this year? It's still up in the air bud. We'll see. We'll see if any deer show up first. Hey. And then we'll go from there. If that deer you [00:19:00] and I had come out, shows up again. Oh, you got a nickname?

I'll nickname him for sure. I already got a name for him. All right. Okay. So talk about the first year you saw this deer and kind of how this all started. Sure. First year I got this deer on camera was 2017. And I had him at two and a half or three and a half years old. And the more I look at the picture, I think he, I was stuck on, he was two and a half because of his wreck.

But now I think he may have been three and a half, but he was slick eight. He had a unique, his beams on the end swooped up real unique just a beautiful deer, but wasn't big enough. I honestly don't know why I kept a picture of him other than I thought, man, if he makes it, next year he is gonna be pretty, pretty damn nice.

And but I did, I kept a picture of him and that was, ain't much to say about 17 18 rolls around and I had him at three and a half. Sure enough, he shows back up and he is a nice eight pointer for this part of the world. He's a,[00:20:00] I hate to guess scores, but he is pushing one 40 maybe.

And had him pretty regular early on camera at the food plot. And then 20 rolls around and he turns into an eight point that dreams are made of. He's just giant. He's got tines that just skyrocket. He's just slick and perfect and he's a deer. Nobody can pass at this point. Those three years, all three years, I would have him until about the fifth or the 10th of September and he would disappear.

Ah, so he would bow out early. Yeah. He would some somewhere on you and then move out prior. That's right. Prior to even archery season opening up, he would leave. And I see that happen quite often. These deer relocate, I lose some and I pick some up, but from the neighbors or whatever.

But he would leave and I wouldn't see him again until the next spring [00:21:00] or the next summer, when they started growing again. He didn't even come back. You'd think he'd come back to the ag fields, back in, late season. But I wasn't even getting that. So he was pretty much like a ghost and don't know where he went or where he stayed or what he did, but in 21, I'm sorry.

Yeah, 1918, yeah, 1919 was when he was the big eight. I goofed that up 20 is is when he was stayed in velvet for the first time. Can I stop in 2019 and ask you a question? Sure. So he bowed out, before season basically started. Yes. Did you hear about him anywhere else? No. Was he, so was it No.

Was it possible that he stayed on you that and you didn't know, or did you have that place pretty well covered that you'd have known that he was there? I had it what I thought was pretty covered. I had several cameras running. A few and just places I never went to and never moved that I would get him.

And I had a few other cameras that I jockeyed around trying to get different deer and [00:22:00] just never could get 'em. It's possible cuz there's enough acreage there, but there's also neighboring uses with better cover and, they all get hunted good. And, every year I assumed he probably got poked in firearm season, but then he'd show back up the next summer.

So I don't know. He had a good hiding spot, but I still don't know where it was. That's interesting. It's amazing how deer can just disappear like that. It is. Yeah. And aggravating. Yeah. Oh it is very irritating. But you would think yeah, a neighbor or something, if it's, one of those unique deer you would think that somebody would see something at some point.

Yeah. And at that point he was, he, when he was still hard horned, shedding his rack, doing all that he was big enough that I thought if the right person that owned 40 acres, three miles from here from out of town killed him, I wouldn't hear about it. But once he got, once we get further in the story and he got big real big, I felt like I would've heard about it, if he would've got killed.

And I every firearm season, I just assumed that, somebody was [00:23:00] gonna kill this deer. Cuz there's a lot of gun pressure there. Everybody gun hunts, and there's no, no land around me that's not getting hunted. But he would really be hitting this on camera.

It's not like I would just. Really having nailed down or anything, even those earlier three years. And then of course 20 comes around and I got him at five and a half and he may have been six and a half. And he's a giant eight now. Bigger than last year. He's got a G2 that I'm guessing was 15 inches.

He developed a drop time on one side, a little sticker somewhere else. But other than that, same characteristics swooped up in main beams. And I thought, man this is gonna be the year. We gotta, this is, we gotta get serious about killing this deer. So we did, me and my wife, she, sheep bow hunts a lot with me.

And she's real serious about it. Oh, nice. Yeah. Yeah. And handy enough right across the road from the house so she can, especially early [00:24:00] season, she can get home from work and hunt. Yeah. There's enough daylight But he he really blew up well velvet shedding season. I just assumed hell, he is gonna, he's gonna disappear again, he didn't, and he didn't lose his velvet and he kept it and kept it. And I couldn't figure out what was going on and he wasn't leaving either, but I was getting all nighttime pitchers and, you know the drill. Yeah. He is, he's older deer occasional daylight pitcher, not much.

So I was pretty stuck on hunting him in 20 never laid eyes on him. Actually, my wife did see him in yeah, Sarah seen him in muzzle loader season and she said he was just like, he had a sixth since he he'd come up to a fence. She had three dos right in front of her feet, and then he'd come up to a fence and was gonna jump the fence and go out there with him.

And he stood there for Five or 10 minutes just looking around and just finally turned around and slipped back into the timber, and the wind was right and everything, and he just didn't like it. And to my knowledge, he's the only person that's seen him [00:25:00] that year. I never laid eyes on him.

And then see 21 rolls around and I got him at six and a half or seven and a half and he starts blowing up. Then he and I didn't know what was going on. We'll get to that in a minute, right? But his ma his mass on his beans was just getting crazy. Phenomenal. Yes. And he blew up into 15 points and still had time length like crazy.

And couple, I think he had two or two or three drops, I don't even remember. And honestly, I think that was his biggest, I think he probably would've outscored what he does today, but. And that was in 2021. So the year before you killed him. Okay. Exactly. Yeah. And maybe not because he did gain some mass, but he did lose time length.

But so 21, I really started keeping track of, hey, when I'm getting pictures of this deer and daylight, which wasn't hard to do because it wasn't very many times. And moving cameras [00:26:00] and getting real serious about it. And I'm being real cautious with the wind where I'm hunting and when I'm hunting and trying to hunt the fronts and, doing all the simple easy things or the right things and not overhunting it.

And one, let's see, I think it was in December, one evening I was in a, I've got a couple hang ons on this small food plot and I've got a, there's a shooting house there as well. And I despise hunting out of it quite honestly, because I feel like I can't see shit. I'm the same way, man. I'm bothering my head.

I'm the same way. And trying to, I've got these blind corners and I'm thinking I'm missing something, and then I hear something and I can't tell what direction it is. And but that being said, they're effective. They're great for cent control and they're great for hiding. And so anyway I've gotta be in this thing because of the wind I had.

So I'm in there and the food plots is a nice cold front in December, and the deer piling in this food plot, and I'm thinking this is gonna be maybe the evening, that he's gonna show. And this few small [00:27:00] bucks and a bunch of doughs were out there, and I had turnips and radishes out there and they were just ripping them, and this big deer, he's he actually run all summer with with fuzzy and.

This big deer pops out at 20 yards, and he's got, he's only got one eye. And I've had several years of history with his deer as well, and they always spend the summer together. And then once the rut hits Fuzzy's got no interest in the rut and the other deer peels off and does his thing.

But anyway, this deer walks out and I'm thinking, I don't even think about shooting this deer, which I've just committed my tag to this deer or nothing. I'm thinking maybe they've gotten back together and maybe he's gonna pop out, so I'm waiting and finally bigger and shit.

He steps out, and by now it's last light, it's, and I'm in this damn blind. Hell, he steps out at 20 yards. I've drawn my bow. [00:28:00] Lean over to the window and I can't see nothing. It's inside of that thing was so dark, so much darker, right? Oh, yeah. If I'd have been in a hang on the edge, I could have zipped him maybe.

But anyway he turns, and then I let my bow down and I'm like, I'm not gonna get this done. And he turns and walked straight towards me. He probably got 15 yards from that little hut. And he turned and went past another window, which was actually better for me. And I drew again on him, ended up drawing three times on the deer, and never could feel good about letting it go.

So I didn't, and then I was stuck, then it gets darker and dark. It's pitch dark now. And d I can, all I can do here is the deer walking around the frozen ground. And I got my phone laying on the floor upside down, and it starts buzzing. And I know it's Sarah. She's probably thinking I fell out of a tree or what?

Why the hell hadn't she heard from me? And. I grab it and I'm just gonna try to look at it and text her and tell her, Hey, bring the side by side and maybe chase these deer off with that instead of me popping outta this hut. And hell, I turned it over and it's like a damn, landing strip.

It lit the whole thing up. I was like, oh, yeah, [00:29:00] this ain't gonna work, so I flipped it back over real quick. I like, I cannot scare this deer. I was like, I don't know how long I'm gonna have to sit here. And finally oddly enough, two bucks started fighting. And I don't know if they were little ones or I don't know what they were, right.

You could just hear it. Yeah. Yes. They was clanging and banging and they was getting with it. And man, deer started running and snorting and blowing, and deer started running outta the food plot and running right past me. And, I can't see my hand in front of my face. And they're just bailing.

They're all getting outta there. And then deer fought LA didn't fight maybe 30 seconds. And that ended. And then I sit there for two minutes and I couldn't hear anything walking. And I'm like, I'm outta here. I grabbed my. Scooped up all my stuff and got outta there, and I felt like I got outta there undetected, but so anyway, that was the only time I actually put eyes on that deer and before, until the day I killed him. But that is a was, it was crazy because when he come out, that other deer's nice, but when this deer come out and I think he was at his biggest that year, but when he come out he was real cautious, but when he would [00:30:00] feed, he'd put his head down and when he would pick it up and just swing it, it looked like, I can't even describe what it looked like on his head.

I never, never seen a deer like this. So it was amazing. That's a true testament to self-control. Yeah, because I can almost bet you a large portion of hunters out there with that deer in front of 'em that close, they're gonna try to squeeze that shot off, are gonna try to I can do it, I can do it, I can do it.

Even though it wasn't the right, obviously for you. Wasn't the right move man I can just I can even see myself talking myself into it. Be like, he's right here. It's impossible to miss this, blah, blah, blah. And then you end up banging the, hitting the arrow on the side of the window on the way out cuz it was a little dark for you or whatever, all that stuff.

Nothing illegal about it. You're shooting during legal light, but Right. Man, those last couple minutes sometimes are difficult and no it, yeah, it was something and oddly enough I didn't get all shook up and everything. I was completely calm and gathered all my stuff and I started walking back to the side by side [00:31:00] and I was walking off the hill and I was like, I just seen it, whatever.

It kind of sunk in as I was walking out and I was I got all excited, I couldn't wait to get back and tell her I actually seen him and feel like I'm getting close, closing the gap. And that was 22. That was 21. 21, excuse me. 21. That was 21. December and 21. Yeah.

So 2022 rolls around and then I discover, oh, it was early. It was, I don't even know. I'd have to look back. But April probably I get pictures of this deer and he's still got his main beams, but all his tines have crumbled off crumbled, huh. That's what I would describe it, because the late season pictures I was getting of him in 21, they looked almost petrified like they were, I don't even know how to describe it, but they were strange looking and a couple of the pictures, I thought that time's shorter.

Part of it's broken off or fell off. Anyway, I get him in April and he's got nothing but his [00:32:00] beams. I was like, damn. But he still has the beams. That's the craziest still beam still has the beams and they're, like a damn baseball bat, and So I watched him off and on and he would go, he would go on hiatuses.

I, I don't know what he did, I might get him two outta four days and then not get him for three weeks. And then the next time I got him might be noon, and it was a hundred degrees. It was, he was getting a lot more sporadic. I, which I kept thinking that this deer, the older he gets, maybe he let his guard down a little bit.

I've heard that. I don't never experienced it, but he, I just couldn't pin him down. When we get close to close to archery season, and oddly enough in 21, he was killable one time in September. Had him in daylight in September once and once in late December. And the funny thing was in 20, the same thing.

The dates were within a few days. I had him two different times [00:33:00] once in December and once in September. And they were always cold fronts, just when you think, man, I need to be out there. It was of course I never was. Every, life gets busy. Yep. Like we said earlier but yeah, 20.

Yeah. I don't get start getting excited for deer hunt until usually like October. Yeah, I hear you. I'm running a lot of cameras. If you've got the food I still say it's not as, not near as exciting to hunt the first week of archery season, but I think it can be and probably is the most productive if you've got a big deer that you can pattern.

But, the rut of course is what everybody wants. And Me too. I love watching the chasing and all that, but it's a whole lot easier for your buck to be three miles away. Yeah. On somebody else's land in front of their gun. Yep. Yep. Yeah, so 22 comes along and I'm playing cat and mouse with him and he's just pretty much doing the same, he is hard to pin down and I've not laid eyes [00:34:00] on him.

And I've actually told Sarah before gun season, the week before I'd hunted Illinois some and was bouncing back and forth from Missouri to Illinois bow hunting. Had a few weeks off and I said, when firearm season gets here I feel like I'm further away from killing this deer than I have been in three years.

And she's she's being a cheerleader, telling me that I'm gonna do it and all this. And I finally decided right before firearm season, hey, if I see, cuz I'd pass some. Damn nice deer the last two years. And I told her, I said, I'm gonna go in deeper than I've ever went in gun season because I always played it really cautious in gun season.

Cuz the last thing I wanted to do was jumping, send him somewhere. Yeah. And push him out. Sure. Cuz the woods are full of people and I thought, if he is laying back in there, let him lay. But I thought I'm gonna be a little more aggressive and if I do see another big deer, a big one, I'm gonna shoot it.

And I go back in there [00:35:00] actually opening, opening day, a firearm season. It had been, I don't know what it was like where y'all were, but cold and wind. The two weeks leading, the two weeks leading up to that, when I was trying to bow hunt Illinois, Missouri, it was 75, 80 degrees. It was terrible.

Yep, that's correct. And that front come through, I guess it was Friday night before our Saturday opener, and we actually had a coating of snow. Yep. Didn't it? We didn't have snow, but yeah, I do remember that front. Yeah. It got cold and windy. Windy. Yeah. I remember it pee in the tree when the cold front hit on that Thursday and thought, oh, I'm gonna kill something.

It hit here, I guess that Friday or Friday night and thought, man, things are gonna be good. They're maybe it's gonna happen. So I, like I said, I went in deeper that morning and seen a fair amount of deer and actually seen a deer that maybe I needed a little better look at, but I thought I was gonna shoot.

He was dogging a dough and he was way down through the timber and, never would hold, still, I never got a good look. And I guess it was fate, I don't know. But hunter that morning and [00:36:00] went in for lunch and W her and I went back that afternoon and I told her, I said you could go back to where I sit this morning.

Somebody needs to be there cuz there's a good deer back in that corner. I'm sure they laid there all morning or all day. And she's no, you, she's been pushing for me to try to kill this big deer. She's laid back and hunted up the fringes. And I said, okay, I'll go back in there.

So I dropped her off down by the creek and she hunted a cornfield cut cornfield and I went back, walked in behind the food plot and went back to the exact same place I sat that morning. And it was, I wasn't seeing any deer. And like I said, there was a pretty good skip of snow, an inch or two.

And finally deer started moving and I seen this, these two do way down in the timber. And they were about where I had seen that buck that morning. And I thought, he's gonna push him up here. They was cuz they was coming straight toward me. And I was watching them and it was about as far as you could see through the woods.

So I was really having to look with the binos and finally they, [00:37:00] all of a sudden they stopped and man, they threw their heads up and they started looking and looking, and I thought there ain't no way in hell they see or smell me, but they seen something, I'm looking at 'em and looking at 'em, and I'm looking at him and looking at him and finally I decide that one on the right, she's looking to my right.

She's not looking directly at me. And I let my binoculars down and looked over and there, there stands a deer and his body's, like a mule and he is all the way over on the other ridge from me, but with the snow on and everything I see instantly see him and I, he's eased around and pulled my binoculars up on him and as soon as I did, all I seen was his left beam.

And I seen that velvet on there and I was like, oh shit. There he is. Yes, it's go time, so eased my binoculars down and pivoted and got my rifle on him while he was standing in the absolute worst spot. He, his, all his vitals were covered with brush and he was standing there looking directly away from me.

He was looking up toward the food plot. I don't know if he was gonna go in it, but he, that's the way he was facing. And I thought this is, he's looking [00:38:00] directly away from me, and I got time I'm, I guess I'm in autopilot. I don't know, I don't remember much of this, but I see his vitals are completely covered and I just ease up on his neck with a scope and there's a little softball size hole.

And I just shot him. I didn't think, Hey, let's let him take two steps. He had a nice hole there and I put one in him. He reared up straight like a horse and fell straight over backwards and damned his rack into the ground. Don't break that shit. Yeah. And I'm like he just broke off half that shit.

He had. Yeah. And he's not even moving. And I'm like, so this all happened in a few seconds and I'm like, oh my God. And as, as soon as that happened, my phone started buzzing, and I'm not even looking at that. I'm watching this thing to make sure he is not gonna try to get up, cuz there's a pretty good poke over there.

And I sat there for, I don't know, it was, seemed like a good little bit. Then he starts kicking in his head, I guess he's [00:39:00] got his ties stuck in the ground. And I'm like he starts thrashing with his legs. And I'm like now he's for sure gonna break all his shit off. So I threw my rifle up again and I found, finally found a little bitty spot between his shoulder blades he had a spine toward.

So I put another one in him there, and then he just wilted and that was it. And anyway, I was like, tr reality's sitting in, I can't believe I killed this deer. And I grabbed my phone and, she's already called me two or three times. She knew it was me and she knew if I shot, but it was probably gonna be a good more likelihood that it was him.

Yeah. And so I thought I need a, I'm gonna walk over here before I, make things under control before I get on a damn phone. So I'll, I hike over there and. There he is dead as cab be horns stuck upside down on the ground. And I walked up on this deer and I'm like I think I was numb from looking at trail camera pictures of this deer for so many years that I didn't realize how big he was until I walked up on him.

And it was like, [00:40:00] yeah he's bigger than I thought. And what was that feeling? It was overwhelming. It was like, I don't even know how to describe it. It was there any type of dang it, now it's over. There was, but there wasn't right then. Yeah. So I've looked and she had called me at Timer three, whatever, and I called her back and she said, is that you, the shot?

And I was like, yep. And she said, what'd you get? And I said, the story's over. Are you serious? She, she just went crazy, and it, and there was still 30 minutes of light left or better probably. And she said I'm, where do you want me to come? I'm gonna come up there.

She had the side to side and I was like you can hunt til dark. No, hell no. And she, I said just drive up to the food plot and I'll meet you up there and we'll walk down there. And it was crazy. She come up there and, we didn't even know what to say to each other.

It was just it was overwhelming. We and when we walked down to it, she was just in disbelief, literally in tears. It's can't believe [00:41:00] how big this thing is. It looks fake, and it does. Yeah it you don't ever see a buck that size in velvet. In velvet in November, right?

No, because Exactly. You typically see deer that have, velvet antlers are either do. Or bucks without nuts now. We'll talk about that in a second. But Yeah, and they're never big, they're never huge. There's been big ones, like there was that one that kid killed, there's that dough that was killed.

But she was still not hu not, it wasn't eighties. It was like, it looked real spindly. Yeah. And you got this thing that looks like a world-class deer coated in velvet in the middle of November. Yeah. It's, yeah, crazy. You just don't see that ever, nope. No, you don't.

It's but yeah, it was a few days or so before, it was like, and this probably sounds dumb to about people, but bittersweet was like that deer was such a big part of our lives that I couldn't even get excited about going and checking a [00:42:00] trail camera, because everything I did deer hunting related, revolved around that deer for six years.

Yeah. Five or six years. That's crazy. Is yeah, it was, yeah, it was an awesome feeling walking up on him. It was something, very few people have that long of a story with a deer, yeah. You knew him it sounds like for six years. Hundred for five at least.

And, then that's the story. But did you happen to get him aged? I did not. I have his jaw. I haven't sent it off or nothing, but I wouldn't, I feel pretty comfortable saying he was in a middle. He was at least six a half. He, that he was a minimum of seven.

You're right, he was seven and a half, and maybe eight and a half is what I think Makes sense. He was Makes sense. It's an old deer. It's an old deer. Yeah. So the year that let's see here. So 2020 was the first year, and tell me if I'm wrong here. That was the first year that he stuck around after September with you?

That's [00:43:00] correct. And was the first year you noticed him stay in velvet? That's correct. So I wonder, so I guess we'll get into this quit real quick. What, what did it up happen? What did you find on him after the fact that, probably contributed to him having velvet antlers for the last three years?

So I guess they call that cryp, crypt orchard or something is a condition where they don't produce the testosterone to that they need to do all the rubbing and chasing dough and all that. But yeah, he, I assumed that at some point leading up to that year, he had ripped his nuts on a fence or got in a fight or he had done some kind of damage downstairs and obviously the first thing I looked at was that, and he didn't even have a sack.

But when I field dressed him, I did find he had two nuts and they were small, like super small half as big as a marble. Hey, it's all right, buddy. It's okay, buddy.[00:44:00]

I don't, I haven't talked to anybody or, that's about all I can tell you. I don't know. Yeah. I didn't see a scar. I didn't see anything like that. In the year, the three years prior to that, he was hard horned. Hard horned, and lost those interactions. Yeah. Yep. I wonder, this is just my thinking, just because it's interesting to me.

The first year that he was in velvet was also the first year he stayed on you. I'm wondering if he got injured after he left, like you were saying, ripped his nuts somewhere or something happened to him. Yep. After he left and once he came back, he's I'm not going back there, damn near died or whatever happened to me.

And that's what caused him to stay on you for the last three years, cuz it sounded like he pretty much stayed on you after that. Me and some neighbors. Yeah. But I don't think he went far. He kept shrunk his area, I guess is what I Yeah, that's right. It did shrink. I had to shrink. Yes. And no pun intended.

And,[00:45:00] almost almost did you a solid because his antler kept, his antlers kept doing what they were doing. They just, I find it interesting that when other deer shedding their antlers that his were like decaying and crumbling it seemed yes. So that kinda strange. That's something I've never heard of that.

But he would, like I said, he would keep his beams. Now, I can't say for sure, but I'm pretty sure. All three years he kept his beams, but I know he did the last year. Yeah. And then he just kept like growing beams on beams. It almost, yeah. Yeah. His mask just got bigger, and then he'd shoot tines up everywhere, I think he had like maybe five drop tines or something like that.

Wow, that's crazy. Yeah, for sure. And he, yeah, he was, I don't know, he if that had, it's a puzzle that I guess will never get put together, but, between the testosterone deal, he would run with bucks all summer long and act like a regular buck through the summer, hang out with bucks.

Like I said, he hung out with that one idea the last couple years through the summer. And then [00:46:00] when the rut would start kicking, that deer would take off. And and then I always thought, when that buck leaves him he'll, maybe he'll take up with a dough family, and get killable.

He stayed completely by himself. He was a true eunuch. Yeah. You know what I'm saying? So he probably just literally ate and slept and, moseyed around. That's it. He, yeah, he didn't have any other interest. That's interesting, man. Fascinating. And it's the o I've never heard a story like that one where it happened halfway through their life.

It's usually this buck never had nuts, yes. His nuts never dropped or whatever happened, right? But this one was when the deer was what, let's see, five probably somewhere in there. Then something changed and he either got hurt or something go, didn't, something didn't go right. And all of a sudden this deer goes from normal, quote unquote to freaky, but you don't ever hear about it going freaky to the point where it's 218 inches.

You hear about it. Yeah, he lost his nuts and now he doesn't do [00:47:00] anything. He's got little fuzzy balls that. Sit on top of his head every once in a while and then they fall off right by September 20th. Which, just nothing happens. This deer continued growing. His rack almost seemed like his natural progression continued happening, but it just happened in a different manner than any of us are used to hearing.

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Definitely unique. And you're in a C W D zone, correct. So you had to take him in to get whatever happens. They take a sample test. Yes. And you were saying you did they when I showed, when I killed my buck in 2018, they gave me the option to be like, Hey, are you gonna get this mounted?

I told them yes. And so they didn't actually end up doing the test. Did you have that option in your area? Yes. Okay. Yep, same way. Okay. And you said you drove in there and you stopped the line there. Cuz Oh, it was it you turned into a mad house? Yeah. The line we pulled in and it was actually moving a little bit and we got up there and people started noticing that [00:48:00] deer.

And before you know what, the tailgate's down and everything comes to a halt. Yeah. We screwed the line up pretty bad. But yeah, there was a lot of pictures taken. Hell, before we even got outta the parking lot, we was getting pictures from people from, we didn't even know that, Hey, is this your truck?

And it was nuts. Yeah. That's crazy. What how nervous were you to handle him? It not terribly because it's, the velvet on it is looked a lot different to me. This past year when I killed him, it looked, it's not beautiful velvet it's more Matty, it almost looks like it's already been handled, if that makes sense.

The year before, the two years before that, it was real, like early season, beautiful velvet just really sticking out. And his beams are, I don't know, they're just gnarly and Maddy looking. But nice tines are, I was a little cautious about it, we didn't just like fondling nonstop and a lot of most people of course would ask, Hey, you care if I [00:49:00] touch it.

But yeah we we made a night out of that one, I think. Didn't get much sleep. I know. I'm looking at the picture right now that you texted me. Just the mass on that thing is just ridiculous. It's his, at the base, they're almost both antlers are almost touching each other in the middle of his forehead.

Yep. The mass is so big. It's ridiculous. Yeah. You can't put two fingers between them. Yeah. I like, how do you even measure that deer? Yeah. You know what I'm saying? That's so difficult. Good question. They I know that night on a tailgate, I've not put a tape on him of any kind or messed with it, but somebody threw a tape measure around the burs now, not where you would score him, but down on the burs and they said they're 12 plus inches.

Oh, I could believe every bit of that. Look at those things. I know. It almost comes down to his eyeballs. Yeah. Yeah. That's crazy, man. That was just cool. Such a freaking beast of a deer. So what, what, so that was last season? Like what are you doing this year? Yeah. What, how do you top that one?

I've been asked that question a lot. I don't you don't [00:50:00] top it, right? That's a once in a thousand lifetimes and you just appreciate it for what it is. But I've been asked quite a bit, what's the, what's it gonna feel like to shoot a one 40 now? And I'm pretty sure it's gonna feel just as good as it always has.

Good. That's the answer one I hear. Yeah. That's the right way to. Think about it also. Yeah, actually, go ahead. It actually fired me up, I've been doing some TSI work, some habitat work, and I don't know just ready to go. That's good. I don't know how you feel about his mount, but if you wanna shout out the taxidermist, I'm looking at the pictures that you sent me in.

That's a beautiful, some beautiful work there, man. Yeah. He hit it outta the park. Yeah, he that's Jason Wilker's taxidermy. He couldn't ask for a better job. Yeah. He's gorgeous. Yeah. They did a really good job. Yeah, he did. And do you have to do anything with those antlers as far as the velvet you have to care for 'em like you would if it was a velvet deer, or is it So just different?

They told me a long time ago a guy told me that if that horn is hard, Under that velvet, you shouldn't have to do [00:51:00] anything, but if it's not, then you do. And then there's, I think there's quite a few methods that you can go about preserving it. Basically this was hard horned underneath you could stick your fingernail in it, and it was hard.

But basically all we did is Jason he, I think it's a product called Velva Lot maybe. He used that a time or two on him, and it really freshened up the smell and made the velvet look newer, fresher. And that's about all we did. Damn. That's awesome. That's pretty cool. Very cool.

Yeah. One of the more interesting tales of the Chase stories I've heard, just because it's, I don't know, man, you just, we could do this, our show for another 10 years and I don't think we're gonna see that again. No, I, what I'm saying pretty really unique. And that lucky lucky enough that he wanted to live across the road, exactly. And that's why we hunt, man, because you Oh, for sure. You don't know. You never know. Nope. What's gonna happen, one year from the next. Now sometimes it's things like this that are awesome, and [00:52:00] other times it's depressing, we've talked about reptile enough on our show.

You always wonder what happened or, like with Micah last year on the buck, my shoulder. Yeah, your shoulder. Sometimes it's not fun. Other times it's a lot of fun. But no matter what, it's something that you're, you can't expect, did you did you happen or did the neighbors approach you and be like, yeah, man, I've had pictures of him for however long?

Or did they stay pretty quiet? My uncle actually owns a farm that joins us there, and I know he had pictures of him for the last two years maybe. And then another gentleman I know on the next farm he's had pictures of him, so he's worked at, it's a decent size area there. And that's what I know of yeah. I actually assumed that it would be a few more come forward and say, yeah, I had that deer, but I haven't had that happen yet, on camera. If you think about it, he probably became much harder to kill the last three years because [00:53:00] he didn't have the problems with the rut that most bucks have.

And like I said, I assumed that when that other buck left him, that he maybe he'd take up with some doze and get killable, but he did just the opposite. He laid down, he didn't get up till dark and Yeah. Laid back down by daylight. His life was about living and not dying.

That's all, that's it. He wasn't worried about, getting dear loving. Yeah. So it was just I'm surviving, I'm gonna eat and I'm not gonna die. A lot of those bucks that you hope would get a little stupid during the rut that didn't happen with him because he didn't rut those last couple years.

No, that's exactly right. And like I said, it turned out to be, make him harder to kill, but I was hoping it was gonna do just the opposite, but it didn't. Yeah. At least the job got done one way or the other. Yeah. How far I was curious how f about how far was your shot that you took on him?

Oh, I don't know. It was maybe 120, 30 yards through the timber. Okay. Yeah. That's still a difficult shot in the timber, but yeah. It's close enough that you, yeah. Plenty. Yeah. You're like, oh, I can make this shot all day. But [00:54:00] far enough that you're like, please don't mess this up. Yeah. It all happened so fast.

I didn't really do any thinking about missing. Yeah, exactly. Brian, congratulations, man. I've known about this for a few months and we've been in contact here and there and I was going through some stuff, last week or whenever I talked to you, and I'm just like, I've got to, we've gotta talk to this guy.

It's been on my mind and glad I did, cuz this is probably one of my favorite ones I've done, honestly. Awesome. Good deal. Just because the size, the velvet, the whole story. Yeah. The history with him. The history, the unknown. We'll never know why the hell that happened to him.

Ever. No. But no it's kind of part of the story, now. We'll, it's just, you'll never really know. He just didn't have any balls, is what it is. Or they were there and then they disappeared. Yeah. Do you have anybody you want to do any shout outs or anything before we hit the rip the stop button here?

No. No. Other than my, my friends and family, I was all real supportive and I never really kept this deer [00:55:00] tight. I didn't send pictures out, but all the friends and family, they all knew I was after him. And the support I got was unbelievable. And like I said, every time I talked to anybody, before we got finished the deer came up, Yeah, it was quite awesome.

And we had a hell of a crowd that night. And like I said, we burned pretty hot that night. Yeah. Celebrated so. That's pretty awesome. And like I said, a friend of our show, Lee actually sent us the picture because what I love about, another thing I like about Brian is he don't give two shits about social media.

And I wish we could, I wish we could. Yeah. I wish we could not give two shits and it just kinda, not to, say anything bad, but I, I say this as a term of endearment, Brian just strikes me as a good old boy who likes to hunt, and that's who we are. So we like talking to those guys when those awesome stories happen to them.

Yeah. Yeah. We really appreciate you coming on the show and yeah I enjoyed giving us the story. Yeah. Thanks for having me. Yeah. All right, Brian. We appreciate your time, man. Talk to you later. All right, guys, take care. See you.[00:56:00]