Editor’s Note: No, Taylor Drury, the daughter of Mark Drury of Drury Outdoors, wasn’t wrapped in Mossy Oak when she came home from the hospital. But according to Taylor, “There is a picture of me hanging at home of me in Mossy Oak when I was 6-months old. So, I feel like I was born in Mossy Oak.” Now 18-years old and a freshman in college, this week Taylor Drury will talk about growing-up as a hunter.
I took my biggest bow buck last season in 2012. We had numbers of trail-camera pictures of this big buck that was one my dad had talked to me about for several years. We called the 7-1/2-year-old buck Entertainment Center, because on the shed hunts that we have ever year on our farm, we had found both sides of his shed rack. Dad had put his shed antlers on the entertainment center at our farmhouse. So, that’s how this buck got his name. This biggest buck on the farm was one my dad was really targeting. The Entertainment Center buck was at the top of the hit list. My dad had so-many pictures of this buck and so-much history with him.
On the morning of the hunt, I was asleep, and my dad had gone out to check his trail cameras. He was especially interested in the trail camera that was on the field where the Entertainment Buck usually showed-up. Dad always believed that the best scouting information was the most-recent information. When he checked his Reconyx trail cameras, he knew there was a wind blowing across the field that would allow us to get into our stands without the Entertainment Center Buck smelling us. Dad saw the Entertainment Center buck was leaving the field and going to his bedding area. Dad always had taught me, that if a deer was going to his bedding area early in the morning, he probably would stay there all day long and then come back out of the bedding area using the same trail he went in on late in the afternoon. My dad told me our best chances for taking that buck would be this afternoon. So, we decided to hunt that deer that afternoon.
Before we went out to hunt, my dad went out to his shop, took the mounted head of the Landers Bottom buck and attached it to a deer decoy body. Dad had told me that the Entertainment Center buck always would run the other bucks near the green field out of the green field, when he came in to feed. Dad said, “If we had a really-big buck decoy that was the size that could challenge the Entertainment Center buck, we would have a better chance of taking him.” Now I will have to admit I wasn’t real excited about my dad putting the Landers Bottom buck’s head on a styrofoam decoy. I knew that if the Entertainment Center buck was as aggressive as Dad said he was, there was a very-good chance that the Entertainment Center buck would destroy my Landers Bottom buck mount. But Dad said. “We will probably take the Entertainment Center buck, before he gets too close to the decoy.” So, he set the decoy up close to our blind. My dad realized that if we were going to get the Entertainment Center buck in close enough for me to get a shot with my PSE bow at him, then we had to have a decoy that was big enough to get the Entertainment Center buck to come in looking for a fight. We set-up the decoy 10-yards from our stand. The sun was beginning to set, and the field was starting to get dark. My dad and I were losing hope of even seeing the Entertainment Center buck.
Finally, that big buck came over the hill. Dad whispered, “That’s him. That’s your buck. That’s the deer we came to get.” As the buck came into the field and started walking toward the decoy, I was the most nervous and excited I ever had been, when I was hunting. We had so-many trail-camera pictures of this buck, and my dad had told me so much about him that I was really excited to be hunting him. I knew from the way the buck was posturing with his ears laid back and all bristled-up that the most important thing on that buck’s mind was destroying my Landers Bottom buck mount on the front of that plastic deer decoy body. I was excited about seeing the big deer, however, I was nervous, because I didn’t want to see him destroy my Landers Bottom buck mount. The closer the Entertainment Center buck got to the decoy, the more he bristled-up. I could see he was ready to charge my mounted deer head. As soon as that buck turned broadside, at 20 yards, I released the arrow from my PSE Chaos. When I finally put my hands on the Entertainment Center buck’s antlers, I was both relieved and excited. I remembered seeing all the pictures of this buck and listening to the stories my dad had told about the Entertainment Center buck. But I was most excited to see how excited my dad was and how proud he was that I had taken this big buck.