11-point buck11-Point buck taken in Dane County, WI on November 3, 2012.

This was the 3rd buck I’ve shot and the 2nd with a bow, and it’s the biggest rack by a long shot! I’ve spent quite a few weekends in the woods this year waiting for a big one to come by and I finally got lucky.

The weather on Saturday was partly sunny with temps in 40’s and a light wind from NE. I got out to the stand for the afternoon hunt around 3:00. That morning I had seen bucks chasing does and each other, so I figured I’d have a pretty good shot at seeing something. I used a “Doe in Estrous” Buck Bomb to hopefully bring in some bucks since it was full on rut. I sprayed some out on the trail that runs by my stand around 15-20 feet long and then locked the nozzle down and let the rest spray out in the wind. I typically only use the Buck Bombs in the afternoon, because I’m scared that if I use one in the morning and then leave at some point, the bucks will come in after I leave or I will scare them off when I go back out in the afternoon.

Buck bomb

Around 4:15, I heard something and looked over and there was the buck. I immediately got the buck fever shakes that you get every time you see a big one as soon as I saw his rack. I caught a glimpse of a second buck behind him, but it disappeared. I quietly stood up and got my bow ready. Once he approached a little closer, I drew the bow back and waited for him to get into a good position for a shot. After a few more steps he stopped behind a tree and looked out into the field to the west. He just stood there for what seemed like several minutes. I still had the bow drawn and was starting to get tired from holding it back. By the time he started moving again the shakes were gone since I was focusing on holding the bow back and staying quiet. Finally he got into a spot I could shoot, at around 20-25 yards I think, and I let the arrow fly. The arrow hit and he bolted! He ran about 50 feet and went down. I could hear him gasping for breath so I knew it was a lung shot. He got up again after a minute or so and went another 50-60 feet and went down again.

I started texting everyone that I got one. I wanted to wait about 30 minutes before I went to look just in case it wasn’t as good of a shot as I thought. I started looking around through my binoculars trying to see where it was. I looked and looked and couldn’t see it anywhere, and I started to panic a little that it might have run off when I wasn’t looking. I finally climbed down to go check it out at about 4:45, and it was exactly where I saw it go down. It was just in a little wash out area that I couldn’t see from my stand.

An 11-pointer, thanks to an extra little split

He was on my trail cam once, in mid-October.

I had several opportunities to shoot some smaller bucks throughout the season, but I was waiting for a big one and I am really glad I did.

I want to thank my family for letting “dadda go huntin”. I also want to thank my wife’s family for letting me hunt on their land, and especially for helping me drag it out of the woods. 😉

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