Old buck down at MahoneyHQ

We’re back!!! It’s been a couple months since our last update. We can thank the “wonderful” service of Godaddy web services for that little hiatus. But that nightmare of a story is for a different time…

This post is just a little update on Missouri deer hunting during the firearms season around MahoneyHQ. We’ve targeted older bucks for years, which has allowed us to take some big, mature deer north of 150″. This year was the first in a long time we didn’t see a single buck of that caliber on camera or in-person.

Luckily, there were still some awesome, old warrior 8-pointers running around. After playing cat and mouse for the first week, I invited my good friend, Payden Hays, down for the last weekend of the 9-day firearms season.

He arrived Saturday evening real late and we put our plan together for Sunday. We had one buck we were after called the “G3 eight” for his very distinct short g3’s. His g2’s were enormous in comparison.

Sunday morning was uneventful with a few small bucks cruising. We took a mangy coyote to end the morning hunt and then checked cameras to gather some intel. The g3 eight appeared on camera the previous night at 2:24am heading to the neighbors. I knew he’d be coming back so he we headed to the perfect ambush point, the “clubhouse”.

We arrived to the stand shortly before 3:15 and almost immediately a doe ran by, followed shortly after by a young 10-pointer. Payden raised his rifle quickly thinking it was a shooter, but I called him off as it was too young. He couldn’t believe it.

I told him to just hang on and that chances were good some more mature bucks would follow this late in the season on a hot doe. 25 minutes later, the prediction came true. Out walked the g3 eight at 150 yards. Payden recognized him immediately after all the pictures I had shown him the night before from our Browning trail cameras.

In a matter of about 10 seconds, the buck purposefully walked across the field, stopping momentarily for a perfect broadside shot. Payden raised my 30-06 and squeezed the trigger. The impact of the shot was evident, and immediately we knew it was a killing shot. Still, he ran off just out of sight. The time was 3:42.

Normally I would wait a bit, but the shot was clearly good, and we didn’t want to waste the opportunity of tremendous daylight to recover it. We slowly made our way down the field, and once we reached the point of the shot, the track job lasted maybe another 30 seconds. I looked up spotted an antler sticking up hear the newly dug watering hole.

In over 20 years of hunting, I can count on one hand the amount of times a deer hunt for a specific buck worked out to this much perfection. It was an unbelievable experience, and Payden left with his biggest buck ever!

Check out the recovery interview with Payden below:

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