I’m 44 years old and started out hunting 30 years ago or so. My mom bought me a bow from a garage sale, an old Jennings, when I was maybe 12 or 13 and that was the first one I ever saw. I had no brothers or sisters or anyone around to help me, so I read all the magazines I could get my hands on to learn on my own.
By Dave Comer
We lived in Illinois until spring 2013 when we moved to southern Wisconsin. I still have a little bit of land to hunt in Illinois but haven’t found anything yet in Wisconsin. Two seasons ago, I got a really good deer on video on one of those two tracts and it was a monster. The buck came out on opening day and I thought it was a 160-inch class buck, but I passed on it because I thought there was a bigger one. Some people would have shot it but I didn’t think this was the same one I’d seen before. It came within 12 yards and I realized it was the same one but couldn’t get a shot by that time. I never saw it again that season.
I’m a truck driver and last season when I knew I’d be on the road, I tried to get out of the mindset of deer hunting. When I was home and thinking about that deer, I was heartbroken. I couldn’t hunt as much last year and I just tried to not think about it at all. Those two little pieces of woods are about two miles apart, as the crow flies, and I have camera photos of deer moving between them. So this year when I pulled one of the cameras on Oct. 12 and looked at the photos at home, there was a big buck with a perfect body. But I had no video. The deer had been shaking its head and the rack looked like a bunch of spaghetti in the photos.
Two weeks later, on Oct. 27, my wife suggested I ride down to change the camera cards. As I was watching the video on my television I realized that big buck with the spaghetti rack was huge. I have about three minutes of great video. I told my wife I was going to the store immediately to get my license. I hunted that Sunday night, then went to work Monday morning for the week on the road. When I got back Friday, I hunted that evening and all day Saturday. I was thinking about that buck all the time, dreaming about it. It had me torn up.
I told my wife I didn’t know if I could keep hunting like that because I was so tired. I thought I was going to hit the wall, but she urged me to go. I have just two stands on the tracts, including one that’s a two-man stand. I crawled into it pretty early that morning and about 15 after 6, I hit my can call twice. The stand is in some woods between a bedding area and alfalfa field.
I heard something and saw a doe walking along the tree line by the alfalfa field. Then I lost her, and the buck stepped out after that. He had his sights on the doe the whole time. I double-lunged him and he took off running to about 100 yards away. I knew it was a big, thick deer because he only had about 10 yards between me and the doe, but it happens so fast that I still wasn’t entirely sure. Even when he was standing in the field after I shot, I thought it might be him but I couldn’t be certain. I just realized he was pretty big.
He stood there for about 20 seconds or so. I didn’t know what he was going to do, whether he’d take off running again or what. But he reared up on his back legs, wheeled around and then did that little wobble before falling over. I grabbed my binocular and started counting: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 … I was pretty sure it was him then. I called my wife, and then when I got to him in the field found two more points. He was a perfect 9-by-9. I couldn’t believe it.
He has 18 points and an inside spread of about 19 and a quarter inches. There were no scars, no broken points or anything. He’s beautiful. I’m getting a full body mount. I was shooting a Strother Wrath XT with a 100-grain Rocket Meat Seeker broadhead.
I think he’ll score close to 200 inches, maybe a little less. I’ve killed some bucks with wider racks but nothing that scores this much. It’s my biggest one ever.
In 30 years of bowhunting I’ve shot a lot of nice deer. When they’re younger it seems you can watch them longer, but with mature deer it’s like it happens so fast that by the time you see them it’s time to shoot. This one was the same way. From the time I saw him to the time I put my release on and then shot, it happened quickly and my window (to shoot) was closing pretty quickly.