It was worth it

It wasn’t suppose to happen. I wasn’t suppose to go deer hunting in Wisconsin this year. But I did, and it was worth it.

It started that summer, I was invited to go hunting in Africa with my father for Cape Buffalo. I knew it was going to be expensive, and I would have to make some sacrifices. The toughest would be skipping out on the archery season for whitetails in Wisconsin. I’m a non-resident and have about a 2 hour drive to my hunting spot, so after gas, motel and the $160 hunting license, I would save about $500 that I could put towards Africa.

The trip to Africa, didn’t end up being what we thought it would be. We got burned by our outfitter, and saved by another, but that is a different story.

As the fall got closer, I could smell the autumn in the air. It was tough to know that I wouldn’t be able to go bow hunting this year. I don’t have a spot in Minnesota where I live, at least not a great spot like Wisconsin. See, I am lucky enough to have access to 300+ acres in Buffalo County that my father and a couple of his buddies lease. If you know about Buffalo County, you know it is home to big bucks.

Stories started coming from the field that there are a few big bucks roaming the woods. Hearing this, and then seeing the nice 8 point that my dad shot was making it even harder to stay away. Halloween weekend comes, and a 150″ 10 point double drop tine bruiser was taken. More big bucks were seen.

I decided that I couldn’t sit on the sidelines this year, and I had to get into the woods. Minnesota’s gun season is set to open soon, and I figured I could convince my wife to let me go. It was only $25 license and it is pretty close to home so it wouldn’t be much for gas. A family friend has some land outside the Twin Cities that is in the shotgun zone, and one has a good chance to get some meat for the freezer. No trophies here, but it would be with some good people, and I would get into the woods.

It was Monday before the weekend and I hadn’t bought my license yet, and I found out that there really wasn’t room for me to go in Minnesota. There isn’t many spots and some folks who weren’t going to make now are, so I am out. Now what.

I decided I had to get to Wisconsin. I convinced my sweet wife that I had to go. It was in my blood, this is what I live for every year. I thought I would be able to pass up this fall for the great opportunity I had in August to go to Africa, but I was wrong.

I got my license mid week and couldn’t wait for Saturday. I would be joined with my Dad’s buddy Vince and his brother Gabe. My Dad was on his way to his land in Pike County Illinois, after already have taken his buck in WI.

Saturday was a wonderful day. Waking up early, getting in the stand while it is still dark out and listen to the earth wake up is a magical thing. For those who haven’t experienced it, it is something I highly recommend. It was a cool crisp morning, and couldn’t believe I was going to pass this up. I must have been crazy.

I saw several deer throughout the day, including a real nice 8 point that came about 25 yards from me. It was probably a 120 class buck, and will grow up to be a real bruiser. The day ended with me not shooting an arrow, but Gabe was lucky enough to take a nice 8 point buck that afternoon.

The morning of Sunday November 8th was a beautiful morning. I was in my spot that I like to sit. It is in the valley in between two large nobs. There is a little creek running at the bottom of the valley, and I am sitting about 40 yards up the hill from the creek. There is a ridge to my left as I look up the valley to the top of the nob. Deer tend to come over this ridge and walk a trail about 20 yards from my stand.

A small 8 point buck shows up on the other side of the creek. I watched him for a while and decided to try to grunt him over. “Errrp”, “Urrrrp” He picks his head up, stops, then keeps walking. I gave a few more grunts, but he didn’t really pay attention to me.

I decided to try my doe in a can, and give a few bleats. No sooner then I gave my first bleat, I heard a crash behind me, and here comes a nice 8 point from over the ridge, and an even bigger 9 point right behind him.

The 8 point is walking right toward me, and I slowly reach my hand up to grab my bow. As I’m doing this I am trying to keep my eyes on both bucks, as now the 9 point is cutting across the hill and is on track to walk parallel in front of my at 20 yards. Meanwhile I have the 8 point walking right under my stand and is now down wind of me. I am hoping that my scent killer is working and he doesn’t pick me up before I get a shot.

I draw my bow and wait as the 9 point walks slowly braodside to me at 20 yards. He stops to step over a stump, and I let the arrow fly. Smack, I hit him right where you are suppose to and he takes off right up the big hill. The last place I wanted him to go.

I couldn’t believe what just happened. From the time I first saw this buck until the time I shot, it was less then 10 seconds. My Dad and I always joke that all it takes is 7 seconds for a big buck to appear. In this case we were off by 3 seconds.

After all this had happened and when I was able to finally put my hands on it horns, I realized, “Crap, I am going to have to get this guy mounted. How am I going to tell Emily.”

In the end she let me get it mounted as it was my biggest buck to date, and we had a bare spot on the wall for it. It was the buck that shouldn’t have been, and it was worth it.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment