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Cornhusker State Opening Weekend: Tim Herald

November 15, 2011 by  
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I always enjoy going to Nebraska for the rifle opener in mid-November each year. My TV partner James Brion owns Gobble N Grunt Outfitters in north central, NE, and there are some huge bucks in the area. One great thing about NE is that a hunter can get 2 buck tags. I decided this year I would try to take the first fully mature buck I could, and then I would hold out my second tag for a real bruiser.

The first morning dawned clear and cold with a  nice frost. I wanted to go to a thicker spot near a river as I felt like bucks would chase does in an area like that much of the day, and I was prepared to stay all day. Turns out I didn’t need to. Just after daylight, deer filtered in from many directions, and most ended up within bow range. There were a lot of small bucks chasing, and the action was frantic. I saw some really nice 2 year olds and a good 3 year old 8 pt. About 8am, I looked out at 75 yards and there was a buck quartering away, but I thought he was just one of the others. When he turned his head, I saw good mass, and I glassed him a bit. He was a nice 4-5 year old 10 pt. I saw that he was  heavy but fairly short tined, and I debated about shooting him. He ended the debate as he chased the 3 year old off and ran a doe in a thicket.

I told myself if I got a crack at him again, I would take him, and five minutes later, he popped out behind me panting behind his doe. I got turned around and smoked him at a mere 30 yards with my TC .300 mag shooting Winchester 180 grain Accubonds.

Day two was a bit slower in the morning as the wind was really high. We did see some bucks, but nothing to consider using my second tag on. The afternoon found me on a high bare hill overlooking a corn field and a creek bottom. From the minute I sat down, I saw deer. Lots of small bucks popping in and out of the woods checking every doe that came by. Early in the sit a huge 10 pointer stepped out, and into a thicket. He was a no brainer. I watched an opening on the far side, and only 2 minutes later a doe emerged with him walking behind. He walked straight away for about 50 yards never giving me any shot. I whistled at him to no avail. I had to watch him just stroll away. I judged him at least 160 and possible 170.

I continued to see deer all afternoon, and 30 minutes before dark, I saw another buck step out up the creek toward the corn field. I got one glimpse, and saw tall G-2’s, 3’s and good G-4’s. He was a shooter. Again, this deer went into a cedar thicket. I hoped he would emerge in the field, and 10 minutes before dark, he followed a doe out. I slipped down the hill 25 yards to get into better position, and the two walked toward me. They were going to some standing corn, so I knew I had to shoot. I placed the first circle of my Nikon BDC reticle on his chest as he was hard quartering to me, and I squeezed the trigger of my TC. The Winchester 180 gr Accubond crumbled him at 260 yards. He never even twitched.

I thought he was another good 10 pointer, but when we got to him, I was really surprised. He was a mainframe 12 point with a bit of a 7th on one side. James and the guys have tons of trail cam photos of him, and simply called him, THE STUD. That he is. With a few inches of one G-4 broken off, and not counting the stickers, he taped a bit over 175-inches. We all felt in tact he was knocking on 180. No matter, I have had a great hunt at Gobble N Grunt this year.

I think Nebraska is truly an overlooked hotspot of the Midwest. I can’t wait to come back next year, but right now I am looking 4 hours north to South Dakota. I am headed up there in a couple days to hunt from the 17-20th and hope to find just one more mature whitetail. I’ll let you know how that one turns out soon. Until then…

Hunt hard…Tim H.

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