Two months into the season, hunting more days than I care to divulge, I finally have a buck on the ground. He came in about 8:30 a.m. to some doe urine and the small amount of bait Michigan allows hunters to use. When I saw him he was already staring at the little pop-up blind I was sitting in. But I froze, tried to ignore my pounding heart, waited him out, and fi nally got my rifle up when he passed behind a big hemlock. He stopped quartering away at 50 yards, and I double-lunged him. He was big and buff, with brow tines that carried a film of sticky alder bark and sap.

1e7w5314Yes, it was over bait. Yes, the blind had been placed there for some time. Yes, as the guest of some guys with a big lease in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, all I had to do was sit there and pull the trigger.

And yet, I cannot deny that it feels awfully good finally to have my tag on a buck.

Don’t be deceived by Colby Lysne’s photo. The guy shoots with antler-shrinking lenses. He’s huge.