Early this spring, I received an offer which couldn’t have come at a better time. I was in the dumps, which most hardcore hunters feel at this time of year due to not getting the amount of hunting that we all know we require to survive. UP MAN told me he had just heard there may be a lease opening up in Deer Mecca, AKA Buffalo Co. I had never hunted in Wisconsin before but had always wanted to. This was the perfect chance to fulfill my hunting withdrawals. If I am not hunting, I love to be hanging stands and scouting with my friends. As soon as we received word the lease was available we took it, I couldn’t wait to go down and see what Buffalo Co. is all about.
The first couple times down were just a tease for what was to come. The land laid out perfect. On the first trip this spring we just scouted and hung a couple of tree stands. The second trip was what really got me all jacked up because we hung tree stands up and put out our trail cameras. After a couple long, hot days of hanging stands, we were pretty much all set. This actually gave me the hunting bug much worse because now I had to go back to the U.P. and wait to come back to see the pictures. The first time seeing the pictures we knew we had one huge buck that was hands down a Monster. We had many trail camera pictures of this buck all summer long. We have pictures from monster to MONSTER. After seeing all the pictures, I started my official countdown till opening day. Prior to season, I had bought a new bow, how ironic, I bought the Mathews Monster. I was pumped to climb in the stand with my new weapon I shot everyday prior because it seemed to make the season come quicker.
The week before the season started, I can’t be sure that I got anything productive done because all I could think about was getting back in the tree stand, kicking off another hunting season. After many days of looking at the trail camera pictures, I was very sure I would shoot almost any deer on them due to being from the U.P. because we don’t have bucks, or at least like these bucks. I really wanted to shoot the buck that we called Triple Crown but I always said I’ll be happy with anything that would be P&Y. We called the one buck Triple Crown because of the fact he had a brow tine that had three splits on it, he was the buck that all three of our members on the lease agreed we’d love to shoot.
Earlier in the week we drew straws to see who would get first picks on the stands. I am having a lucky year, I guess because I had first pick all weekend. Friday couldn’t come quick enough. We left the U.P. about 5:30 pm after we all had gotten off work. The long trip seemed that much longer because the next day would be the first day back in the stand for the year. We got into Buffalo Co. late that night and got all of our hunting gear set for the next day. We were not going to hunt our lease in the morning so we wouldn’t bump deer off the bean fields going to our stands. So, we went to the local hunting shop and shot our bows a little. I didn’t expect this but one of the staff members at the shop shoots a monster too, and he had asked me what broad heads I was shooting. I told him Rage then I got blindsided because I never thought to shoot them through paper to see if they would open in flight due to the force that the Monster produces when shot. Long story short, I’m now the proud shooter of GRIM REPEAPER heads. By the time we finished up shooting, it was mid afternoon and hot, but we elected to sneak onto the property and check our cameras. Boy were we surprised to find someone had messed with one of our cameras and deleted all the pictures off of it and left the front cover open. The other two cameras made my decision on my stand very easy because they both had recent pictures of Triple Crown. The stands I chose were on the top of a ridge were we had placed a water hole (which was actually dried up). That first night was very slow in the stand (I now am very good at texting). I couldn’t believe it because UP MAN sent me a text about 15 minutes after getting settled into my stand and said he’d seen him! Right away I knew who he was talking about (Triple Crown) and my reply was “Dead”? But I later found out that the deer would not come any closer than 60 yards to him. I was fine with that but I was still kind of hoping he’d get it because at least one of us would have gotten him, and it would take the pressure off and I wouldn’t have to test my patience as much knowing that he would have been gone. I didn’t have to worry about this tonight. Things didn’t pick up in my neck of the woods and I only saw one doe that night.
The next day I decided a change of venue was in store for me, because the water holes were dried up I decided to sit in one of the stands that I always thought would be a great early season stand. It was right at a pinch point where the woods met the beans. It was another hot day in the high 70’s so I wore light clothing in and would change when I got into my stand. Once I got up in my stand I really wasn’t expecting much other than a long ride home after the hunt. I was only in my stand about 40 minutes when I saw my first Buffalo Co. buck. He was a deer we called Super Freak, he was a 9 point but had a goofy rack 6 on one side and 3 on the other. I watched Super Freak out broadside in front of my tree stand for about 10 or 15 minutes. I really didn’t want to shoot him because it was so early in the season and didn’t want to miss a rut hunt because of him. The first few minutes he was out feeding but then he started getting nervous and looked back up the ridge into the woods. This went on for about 10 minutes. Then it happened, Triple Crown stepped out right from my dreams. I knew right away it was him when he stepped out and he was only at 35 yards broadside. I had already picked up my bow and was ready for the shot. Although he was broadside, I didn’t have a shot because of a couple limbs which were conveniently covering his vitals leaving me only a shoulder shot. I knew that my Mathews Monster paired up with nearly 500 grains of Easton FMJ would have put a hurting on him, but I just couldn’t take a shot like that on a dream deer. A short time later he stepped out into the clear still broadside at 35 yards. In one smooth motion I was at full draw and my dream buck was right in front of me. He had no idea that I was there and he was more content with feeding. I anchored in and took one last breath and squeezed the back tension out of my truball release. THWACK….. I knew right away I had smoked him and the shot looked perfect right behind the shoulder. I know had a very bad case of “Buck Fever” because I am still shaking! I didn’t know what to do next and I couldn’t think. The first thought was to send a text message to UP MAN. I grabbed my phone and guess what… NO SERVICE!
By this time I had already heard the very distinct sound of a deer crashing. This all took place in about 15 seconds. I didn’t want to bump the deer at all so I hung my bow on the holder and thought I would just hang out for awhile before going and looking at my arrow. This lasted 5 minutes maybe…FYI – it’s hard as hell to sit still after shooting a Monster. I then decided to go sneak up to my arrow and just see how it looked. I only made it to the first step of my climbing sticks and jumped out (defeating my whole purpose of being quite). Once on the ground, I realized that I had left everything in my tree stand other than my camera and phone. I crept quietly to my arrow and it was covered in bright pink lung blood and the beans were covered with beautiful blood red splatter. Yeah… I got lost in my thought that maybe I was having a heart attack instead. So I reached right for my phone in hopes of cell service but of course..NO SERVICE once again.
I was so jacked, I really couldn’t think by this time so I walked back towards my tree stand and down the field edge trying to regain my composure and more importantly find some cell service (which didn’t happen). I quietly climbed back into my tree stand in hopes that it would get dark soon. It was only 7:05 when I shot him so I had quite a wait ahead of me. I managed to stay up in my stand till 7:40, then packed up all my gear and went back to the arrow. I took a picture of it to show UP MAN to find out what he thought. I then headed back to where UP MAN and me split to go our separate ways – I knew I had cell service there. Although the walk took 10 or 15 minutes on the way to my stand, it took a whole 5 minutes on the way back. I had service right away so I sent a text to UP MAN and the other members of our group. I then called home and could barely talk to tell them I smoked a Monster. UP MAN was down in the field in a matter of minutes to greet me in speechlessness. I am not sure how much I had got out. I was shaking and trying to explain what a huge deer he was. We then went back to the truck where little g met up with us. I told him I got him and he didn’t believe me until he saw me shaking. We waited until our entire group was there so we could go get him together. It was the longest time in my life. I just wanted to get my hands on that hog.
We then got the four-wheeler and headed out to recover my Monster Buck. Once we reached the spot where I had shot him, myself and probably the best taxidermist (Kirk Peterson from Peterson’s Taxidermy) in all the land along with UP MAN, picked up the blood trail, which didn’t last long because he only ran maybe 20 yards and dropped! I just started yelling and I couldn’t talk. The rest of our group came up to where we were standing next to my giant. I am not real sure how long it took before I came around enough to talk but I know one of my first words to UP MAN were “think this will get me a date with Tiffany…(Lakosky)?” Watch out Lee – there’s a new sheriff in town.
We got my buck out after getting all the pictures that are now conveniently covering my house and UP MANS shop. I can’t thank all of my friends enough for all the help in getting this pig out of the woods (you know who you are) and a big thanks to little g for the hook ups, and our land owner – he is awesome and I am glad he was part of the recovery of my deer. Last but definitely not least – UP MAN! This would have never been possible without you inviting me in on the lease and I look forward to repaying all of you by helping with your giants next time we go to B.C. I hope you all enjoyed my story. I tried not to leave anything out but I am all worked up just by the mire thought of this day and I will never forget it. Also thanks to all the IDO members for being patient waiting for the story. Triple Crown was aged at 4.5 yrs old dressed out 185 lbs. and is a main frame 8 but with his stickers he has 12 scoreable points. Enjoy the Pictures!
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