A meeting with Larry Bird
I had the next 14 days off of work starting the afternoon of November 1,2013. I live in Arkansas and was working just outside of Lincoln Nebraska for the last couple days. I finished up work and headed south to Northern Kansas. I wanted to make it to the lease by 2 pm so I could maybe hunt a little Friday evening. My fall had been pretty good so far, I had hunted a few days in Arkansas and was hunting a specific deer but had no luck seeing him during legal shooting light. I had hunted a couple days in Nebraska on some public ground and shot a good 3 year old 8 point. So with the pressure off, I was looking forward to spending some long Kansas days in the stand after a good buck.
We had lots of “shooters” on camera on all our farms and in my mind I was sure killing a 135 plus shouldn’t be that big a deal. I think that every year and most years I am humbled by how hard it is to kill a 4.5 yr old buck or older. I like all our farms but I love this one specific farm . A 320 acre plot that has very few trees but lots of head high CRP grass and borders agriculture land. This farm always has big bucks running around it the first few days of November. I was hunting 2 specific bucks but really any good buck would do for me. I do not consider myself a “trophy” hunter but I do like to kill big deer. The 2 deer we had named Fonzi and Larry Bird. Now Fonzi is a 300 pound 8 point with 2 stickers that are 4″ long. He is probably 5.5 yrs old and will score in the mid 150’s. Larry Bird was a 5.5 yr old buck with split G3’s last year with 12 points. We had lots of pictures of Fonzi this fall but none of Larry. That was until the morning of November 2.
I got to the farm on Friday afternoon at about 3 pm. The time had not changed so I was good. The wind was out of the south and it was a little warm. Not much happened that evening but a 3.5 year old 8 point that I passed at 12 yards. Saturday came and I went to the same stand as Friday. Nothing moving early but at 9 am with the wind out of the NW, I noticed SW of ma a huge buck 200 yards from me with 4 doe’s. I knew as soon as I saw him it was Larry Bird. He bedded in a cow pasture for 10 minutes until the doe’s started filtering toward the cedars to bed south of where I was. They all walked 10 yards from another stand we have hung . This stand we dont hunt until the rut is rolling. I climbed down and pulled the card at my stand out of the camera and headed to the cabin to put a plan together.I looked at the pictures and we had our first picture of Larry. He had 17 points I could see and was probably pushing 170″ . The wind was suppose to change to s/sw for the evening hunt. If that happened I might have a chance of killing him. I arrived at the sand at 4 pm. The wind was strong and out of the south. The doe’s started filtering out at 530 and 6 doe’s and fawns made their way by me or around over the next 45 minutes. I was starting to think Larry had gone elsewhere. At 620 I caught a glimpse of movement to the west in the cedars and then horns. I knew it was him but he was staying in the cover so I decided to grunt twice. He charged out of the cover like a bull. He stood at 32 yards , no shot. He started around me trying to get downwind so I snort wheezed with my mouth. He stopped where I could only see his legs. He stood there for 10 minutes. I thought I had messed it up with the snort wheeze. The by the grace of God, a doe behind me bleated. Larry promptly grunted twice and turned back my way. He stopped at 24 yards. I drew my Creed as he turned to lick his back right leg. I aimed and hit him a little high but he only ran 40 yards and stopped. I could not see him but I heard him crash and go down. I had dreamed of killing a deer like him for years. When I walked up on him 20 minutes later I could not control my excitement. He has 17 points and his gross score goes just over 170″.
My lifelong dream of killing a “booner” had come true with the meeting I had on November 2, 2013 with Larry Bird…………..