Brad Baird – an avid all-around outdoorsman who is good at both fishing and hunting – just took the deer of a lifetime.
His taxidermist scored the big 10-point at 142 inches, which is a whopper anywhere, especially in Marshall County. Brad won’t reveal the exact location where he got the bruiser, but he did say it was “just outside the Guntersville city limits.”
He got the buck last Monday evening, just before those severe storms rolled through. It was a warm, humid, windy day, not at all the type of day you associate with giant bucks. Hunters like to be in the woods right after a cold front moves through as it seems to get deer a little more active.
But Brad was on a mission.
“I got permission to hunt this tract last year,” he said. “I actually got pictures of this deer on a game camera and hunted it last year.”
Between last season and this season, he got permission to hunt surrounding properties so that he had 4 properties in all totaling more than 160 acres.
Feeding corn during hunting season became legal last year and like a lot of hunters, Brad uses corn to sweeten the pot in his hunting area.
He also uses cellular game cameras that send photos to the hunter’s cell phone or computer.
He got his first picture of the big buck before daylight on Christmas morning.
“It was like a Christmas present to get that photo,” he said.
As the season rolled on, Brad got a few more photos of the deer. But like most game camera photos of big bucks, the pictures were at night, outside of legal hunting hours.
Brad works as a heavy equipment operator with his father Jackie. Wet weather slows that kind of work down and Brad had hunted morning and evening for 12 days straight when he connected on the buck.
Along the way, hunting from a different set-up, he took a big 6-pointer about 2 weeks ago.
“This place I’m hunting is funny, I’ll tell you that,” Brad said. “The deer aren’t always in there. There aren’t a lot of deer in there.”
There was a small 8-pointer in there. Brad saw it first the day he took the big one.
“The leaves were wet,” Brad said. “I didn’t see him coming. I just looked and there the 8 was.”
A few minutes later, the big 10 followed the 8 in and Brad ended his 2-year quest with a shot from his .270 rifle.
The deer goes about being a 10-point a little bit unusually. It is a 6x4 rather than a 5x5. It has a split brow tine on the side with 6 points.
“I didn’t know it had that until I shot him,” Brad said.
Brad has been pretty successful with not only deer but turkeys the last couple seasons. He often takes as many as 4 different types of cameras with him on his hunts and films them for his small YouTube channel, Good Time Outdoors. The hunt for the 6-point will be up before the hunt for the 10-point, he said. There’s still some editing of the footage to do. He let us see the preview and lighting is flashing and thunder rolling from those heavy storms as he recovers the buck.
He did offer a few tips for others who would like to try to improve their efficiency in the woods.
“Having good land is a big thing,” he said. “But you’ve got to know a big deer is there. That’s where the cell cameras come in. I run cameras just about year-round.”
Once Brad is on a big deer, he doesn’t mind putting in the hours to hunt him hard. He’ll hunt in the rain, since that is usually a day he is off work. He doesn’t take any special equipment. He just hunts in the rain in a rain jacket.
He puts the feed to the deer too to keep them in the area. He said he was feeding about 150 pounds of corn a week when he got the big one.
The approach to your hunting stand is critical too. You can’t really walk through areas where you expect your deer to come from.
“I had a good way in and out,” Brad said. “I could just about climb into or out of my ladder stand with deer on the corn pile and it was only 35 yards away.”