Missouri Bowhunter Bags 26-Point Buck After Tracking for Three Years

by Victoria Santiago
(Photo by J. Irwin/Classicstock/Getty Images)

A bowhunter from Missouri scored big when he finally arrowed a buck he had been tracking for years. On December 10th, 2021, Wood arrowed a 26-point whitetail buck that grossed 218-2/8 inches. Garrett Wood has been hunting on his family farm for years, but he hasn’t encountered any giant bucks like the one he bagged last year.

Wood first started getting pictures of the buck three years ago, in August of 2019. It wasn’t as big back then. “I got the first pics of this deer in August of 2019, and at the time I thought he might only be 2½ years old,” Wood said. “He had a pretty distinctive rack, with points that leaned inward and eye guards that were hard to miss. I remember thinking, ‘Man, I hope that one makes it another year or two.‘ I got a few random pics of him through the fall, and that was about it.”

After that, Wood didn’t see the Buck for an entire season. At the very least, he didn’t show up in front of any of the bowhunter’s trail cameras. Wood’s neighbor got some good footage of the deer, though. The buck started coming back to Wood’s farm in August of 2021, and at first, Wood couldn’t figure out where the giant deer had come from. It took him a couple of days to realize that it was the buck he had been seeing in 2019. Now, he was older and much bigger.

The Buck Only Visited Wood’s Farm At Night

Wood was pleased that the deer started visiting him again. He got lots of photos of the deer from August to October, but none during the day. It seemed that the buck was only around at night. “I have learned to be patient with mature bucks,” Wood told Field & Stream. “He was staying fairly faithful to a couple areas on my farm, but I decided I was not going to even try for him until I got some daylight pics. It’s really tempting to push things and hunt a big mature deer like that and hope you get lucky, but it almost never works out. I knew this was a buck worth waiting for.”

Eventually, Wood got lucky. He caught a picture of the buck at 6:30 a.m. on October 17th, 2021. But as soon as he made plans to hunt the deer, it disappeared again. Thankfully, it was only gone for a month this time around. The deer would play hard to get with Wood until December 9th, when it finally made its way back onto the bowhunter‘s property during daylight hours. By then, rifle season had been closed for weeks. Wood thinks that the buck had been shot at during rifle season, because he had a few broken points and what looked like a bullet hole near his G3. Regardless, the buck was still huge, and Wood was ecstatic to finally bag him. Congrats to the patient hunter!