By DARIN DeNEAL
The deer-hunting world we live in now only slightly resembles the world of 20 years ago. Now, everybody can watch hunting on television 24/7.
Our favorite TV hunters have “hit lists” full of bucks with thoughtful nicknames. It can be exciting to watch celebrity hunters attempt to harvest “Backstabber” or “Beer Can” on a well-manicured food plot.
Sometimes, for the average hunters, fancy food plots are not required. Sometimes, bucks are so big that fancy nicknames are not required, either. That was the case in 2014 when a monster buck showed up on a trail camera belonging to Brody Lowery and his father-in-law, Chuck Twardowski.
The pair had a couple of pet names for the giant, but for the most part it became known as “The Monster Buck.” No explanation was necessary with this aptly named giant. It truly was a monster buck.
The hunt for The Monster Buck was pretty quiet in 2014 and ended without a harvest.
When the buck reemerged on camera in 2015, hopes were renewed. But, much like the 2015 Chicago Cub’s season ended without a World Series, The Monster Buck again evaded pursuit and remained hidden in the big timber of Hardin County in southern Illinois.
Maybe next year?
Heading into 2016, the feeling was that this year was going to be different. Brody and Chuck got more images of The Monster Buck than in previous years (including the trail-cam picture at right, taken on Aug. 24 at 9:58 p.m.).
He had always been big, but now the giant non-typical was sporting about 25 points, a huge inside spread and two massive drop tines.
If anything, the Monster Buck was even more of a monster.
During October, while the Cubs were steamrolling through the other National League playoff teams, Brody was spending most of his time hundreds of feet underground, mining coal. He had the opportunity to hunt a buck of many lifetimes, but he was not finding the time to make it happen.
Then without warning, it was November 2016. Brody Lowery never dreamed what would unfold in this magical November.
The magic started when Brody’s favorite baseball team, the Chicago Cubs, shocked the world and became the champions of baseball for the first time in 108 years. Then Donald Trump, the man who promised to fix the ailing coal industry that Brody was a part of, stunned the country and was elected President of the United States.
In early November, a couple of Chuck’s friends from Wisconsin received their annual invite to hunt with Chuck and Brody on Chuck’s place. They were excited when they caught a fleeting glimpse of The Monster Buck, but nothing materialized within bow range.
Days later, Brody was working midnight shift on Nov. 12. He cut his sleep short and took his climbing stand to the timber just before 1 p.m. He had not been in the stand for long when he saw The Monster Buck.
The big deer turned and headed right at him, approaching quickly. The next thing Brody knew, his buck of a lifetime was directly beneath him. At some point in the process of Brody scrambling for a shot, the monarch figured out something was amiss and started to leave.
Fortunately, Brody was already at full draw as the buck trotted off, and he found an opening and sent his arrow right into the buck’s pump house.
The monster buck tore out away and Brody quickly heard a crash. He was not sure until sometime later, but that crash was his dream buck expiring. He had done it. He had killed The Monster Buck.
Brody Lowery’s buck appears to have 25 scorable points and a green score around 222 inches gross and 212 inches net non-typical (pending a few judgment calls that are common with big non-typical deer).
The Monster Buck has an impressive spread measurement and is the epitome of what a monster buck should look like.
November capped a near-perfect month for Brody Lowery, who did not have to say “Maybe next year” about the Cubs, and who is not saying “Maybe next year” in his quest for The Monster Buck either.