Missouri Hunter Bags A Massive “Once In A Lifetime” 22-Point Buck

A man in a red hat and green shirt standing next to a deer

Talk about one hell of a shot.

According to the Springfield News-Leader, Justin Gilmore, an Independence, Missouri resident, bagged a ginormous 22-point buck.

He was hunting on his family’s 42 acre property in Camden with his uncle and cousin, and hadn’t really seen anything besides small doe all day.

As the day progressed, he noticed a small six-pointer chasing after a doe.

That’s when he switched calls and started using a grunt. Then another buck came dashing around the corner in the woods when Gilmore heard a buck’s grunt farther in the tree line.

Although a doe peeked around the brush, there was still no sign of the buck he was hearing.

Finally, the buck came into view, but wasn’t stepping out into sunlight.

Gilmore recalled:

“He always stayed in the shadows of the trees.”

“I finally got an open shot, and he didn’t take another step.”

After looking through his scope, he knew the buck was a big one, with at least 14 points on one antler.

Gilmore said he waited a while before he took his shot:

“I waited an hour and a half before I even got out of my stand to go check and see what I had, and that was the longest hour and a half of my life.”

He then took the shot, and bagged the buck without even knowing exactly how big it really was.

As he walked up, he realized that he had just killed a 22-pointer.

He thought to himself:

“We’ve got cameras and stuff set up, and I’m thinking, ‘Have I seen him on camera?’ ‘Where did he come from?'”

Gilmore would later find a picture of the buck on his game camera from back in June, but that was the only previous evidence of it.

He said:

“We’ve been out there for 13 years, and we’ve never seen one like this. I’m thinking wow, this is unique as can be.”

The antlers would’ve been 24-points, but two were broken.

Gilmore stayed by the buck for almost an hour, inspecting it, taking some pictures, and taking it all in.

“It was about 36-37 degrees, and I obviously knew I had to get him out of the woods, but I knew I didn’t need to rush it.”

With help from his uncle and cousin, they were able to carry the buck out of the woods and onto a four-wheeler.

He kept telling himself:

“This is a once in a lifetime buck.”

He’s received a ton of notoriety from people within town about the kill:

“I actually had a guy offer me like $2,000 for the antlers. Everybody that I’ve talked to, they’re like, ‘I’ve never seen anything like that.'”

Missouri Department of Conservation Media Specialist Francis Skalicky inspected the photo of the 22-pointer, and said the unique antlers could be for several reasons, including genetics, nutrition, age, and more.

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A beer bottle on a dock