After seeing the buck twice from the stand, bowhunter Larry Knight made good on his third encounter with the huge whitetail
|Rack Report Details
|202 ⅛ Green Score
|Time of Year:
|November 16 2023
|Parke County, Indiana
Indiana hunter Larry Knight was up against the toughest decision a hunter could make after he climbed into the stand on November 12. A giant buck was standing just 50 yards away. “I had set my personal limit for an archery shot at 40 yards because there is just so much that can happen with long shots. The buck stood there for nearly 10 minutes before following a doe out of sight,” Knight said.
Knight had watched the giant buck stand just out of range a few days before.
He knew the buck was in the area from a single trail cam photo he’d gotten back in October, but this was his first actual sighting. What he couldn’t see in the photo were the massive drop tines that cascaded nearly 12 inches off each side of the rack. The combination of drop tines and kicker points off the heavy 10-point frame made this a buck unlike anything Knight had seen before.
A single trail camera photo was all Knight had to go on until he saw the buck in person from the stand.
The sighting fired him up and let him know he was in the right area. A few days later he climbed back into the stand. Again, he saw the big buck chasing a doe. This time the buck got to within 70 yards, but never close enough for a shot.
While he knew the buck was big from the photo, he didn’t realize it had matching giant drop tines.
The next morning, Knight switched stand locations, but stayed in the same general area. He was running a little late and had just gotten up into the stand when a doe ran through. Hot on her heels was the giant buck. When the doe passed in front of his stand and paused in a shooting lane, Knight ranged her at 38 yards. He knew the buck would likely follow the same trail.
It did. As he stepped into the same opening where the doe had been just moments before, the buck stopped, slightly quartering to. Knight was already at full draw. He took aim and released the arrow. A total of three minutes had passed from the time he had ranged the doe to the shot. “It happened so fast that I didn’t have time to get worked up, but after the shot, I nearly fell out of the stand I was shaking so hard,” Knight said.
He climbed down and called his hunting buddy, Bryan Johnson, and brother-in-law, Brett Fabbri, to tell them he’d shot the big buck. He waited for his buddies to arrive. Nearly two hours passed before the trio started trailing the buck.
Hunting buddy Bryan Johnson helped to trail the buck.
The blood trail was heavy. “There was about a hundred-yard stretch where it was just drops, but the rest of the trail looked like you were pouring it from a bucket,” Knight said. The hunters expected to walk up on the buck any second. But they didn’t.
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One hundred yards passed, then 200 yards. The trail kept going. After several hundred yards, they arrived at the property line. “I didn’t have the contact info for the landowner on the farm where the buck had gone. We wanted to do everything right on this one, so we called the DNR and got in touch with Conservation Officer Mike Montgomery. He came out and was able to find the contact info so he called and talked to the landowner and secured permission to keep trailing. At this point, it had been nearly five hours and nearly 1,000 yards from the shot.”
Along with Johnson, Knight called his brother-In-law Brett Fabbri after shooting the buck.
The three original trailers plus the CO continued following the heavy blood trail. Then they saw the buck. It was still alive and jumped up, running another 70 yards before crashing into the ground. He was finally down. Later examination revealed that the quartering shot had taken out one lung and the liver, but hadn’t exited the opposite side. “The longer the trail went, the sicker the feeling I had in my stomach,” said Knight. “I was so relieved to finally get my hands on him.”
When the buck crossed a property line, Knight enlisted the help of Conservation Officer Mike Montgomery to secure permission to continue tracking.
In the flesh, the buck was unbelievable. The massive 5x5 frame had a total of nine additional scorable points, including five drop tines. The two largest drop tines from opposite sides of the rack measured a whopping 11 ⅞ and 11 inches. “I didn’t see those two largest drops on the trail cam photo, so I was surprised that first time I saw him in person. I can’t believe he didn’t break any of the drops off from fighting,” Knight said.
The rack had a total of five drop tines with the largest two nearing 12” each.
“I’m still wrapping my head around taking a buck like this,” he continued. “I just thank the Lord I was able to make the shot, and I want to thank Brett and Bryan and CO Montgomery for helping me track and recover the deer.”
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