As told by a friend, and avid outdoorsman, Jason Lowry.
The story of Shredder began in the fall of 2011. I had just closed on a small piece of property in mid October and had very little time to scout. Not wanting to put any pressure on the property, I decided to hang a few trail cameras around the edges. In doing so I came across one area that was absolutely tore up with rubs so I knew there was a mature buck in the area. I pulled the cards at the end of October and almost fell off my chair when the first picture on the card was a 170+” stud! I was excited to say the least and I now knew who was tearing up all those trees. I decided on the name Shredder after seeing firsthand what those forked brows had done to those trees. In talking to a couple of the neighboring landowners it turns out Shredder was no stranger, he was a 5 yr old deer that they had lots of history with.
And so my quest began for Shredder. I threw the Lone Wolf on my back hunted hard dawn to dusk starting Nov. 3. Finally on the snowy and cold morning of November 9, I got the NW wind I needed to hunt what I believed to be Shredder’s core area. After braving the elements for several hours and seriously questioning my own sanity he finally showed himself. It was 10:30 and he was tending a doe. He put on quite a show as he herded her into a thicket that I was hanging on the downwind side of. They proceeded to play a game of cat and mouse for what felt like an eternity. I came to full draw 4 different times but he just wouldn’t present me with a shot as it was so thick. Finally he turned broadside and presented me shot through a small opening at 30 yards so I settled the pin and let the arrow go. It looked like I hit him good and he ran just out of sight over the ridge. I could hear him breathing and wheezing hard so I wanted to give him PLENTY of time before I even climbed down as I knew he wasn’t far away.
I decided I wouldn’t climb down until noon so I sat there reflecting on what had just happened and thanking God the opportunity to enjoy His beautiful creation when, out of nowhere, a bobcat comes slinking through at 20 yards. In all the excitement of the mornings events I had forgot to knock another arrow so the best I could do was snap a picture of him with my phone. He headed off in the same direction that Shredder did and apparently caught a scent of something and locked up. Then he starts stalking slowly up over the ridge out of sight. The next thing I hear is a deer blowing like crazy. My heart instantly sinks, but I hold out hope that it was just the doe. After all that commotion I decided it was safe to get down. I found the arrow with good bright blood and an awesome blood trail in the snow. It’s now after noon so I decided to follow the blood trail over the ridge. I follow lots of blood 60-70 yards over the ridge to a bloody bed and no deer! And even worse, there was very little blood leaving the bed on snow that is melting away fast. After much debate and consultation with friends I decided to back out and come back in the morning.
After a long and sleepless night I headed back down to the farm in the morning with my dad. As I expected, what little blood I had leaving the bed the day before was now gone with the melting snow. We diligently grid searched every nook and cranny for most of the day with no luck. I even went so far as to enlist the help of a blood tracking dog that afternoon as I was sure Shredder was dead somewhere. I did get a glimmer of hope when the dog got on a trail for 100 yards or so but then we lost it again. Now my dream season was turning into a nightmare real quick. I never got anymore pictures of him that fall which didn’t surprise me because I still believed he was dead somewhere. That all changed in late January my neighbor sent me a picture. It was Shredder and he looked no worse for wear! You could even see the scar where I had hit him high, probably only getting his offside lung. I was speechless!
Going into 2012 I had high hopes of getting another shot at Shredder. I did everything in my power to make my farm better, doing extensive TSI and planting food plots. I ran cameras hard all summer and into fall and unfortunately never got a single picture of him. My neighbor, however, was able to get a couple pictures of him in velvet so I at least knew made the winter.
With no evidence of Shredder on my farm I directed my efforts towards hunting a 5 year old buck I called Crabby. Crabby was all over the farm and I had a feeling that he may be the reason I wasn’t seeing Shredder. On the evening of November 6, I was hunting one of my food plots down in the bottom when mature buck chased a doe across the plot only 60 yards in front of me. His rack was smaller but there was no mistaking the forked brow tine, it was Shredder! The hunt was on! On November 7, my favorite day to hunt, I had a NW wind and I was heading back to the same spot I had encountered Shredder the year before. This time I was better prepared as I had moved the stand about 50 yards up the ridge and I had plenty of shooting lanes trimmed.
Just as it was breaking light, I caught movement behind me. It was Shredder, he was cruising alone, scent checking a thick bedding area. He was moving slowly, stopping to check the wind every few steps. I was just as I was getting ready to reach for my grunt call as it looked like he was going to skirt me when he turned and started coming my way. I stopped him at 20 yards, settled the pin, and let the arrow go. This time it found it’s mark as he only ran about 10 yards, stopped for a few seconds and then tipped over. I was relieved to see him go down because I’m not sure I could have handled the stress of blood trailing him again. Before I climbed down I called my wife and daughter and told them the news, I think they might have been more excited than me! As I climbed down and put my hands on Shredder I couldn’t help but reflect on how all the hard work I had put into habitat improvements and food plots had really paid off. To have the opportunity to harvest a 6½ year old buck that I had a history with on my own ground was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Owning a hunting farm in southern Iowa has been a dream of mine for a long time and I would be remiss if I didn’t give credit to my family whom have helped make that dream a reality. My wife and daughter are my two biggest fans during hunting season. They put up with a tired and sometimes grumpy husband/father that isn’t home very much during the month of November. They are also the ones that encourage me to press on when things aren’t going my way in the whitetail woods. I am blessed to have such an understanding wife and as you can see in the picture my daughter gets a little excited when daddy brings home a big buck!
Category: Deer Hunting