But Williams had a chance encounter with the deer last winter, and he picked up a shed antler last spring. “Then this summer I had a perfect trail-camera shot of him at a little clover food plot I planted,” Williams says. “Our archery season opens here in mid-September, so I set up a stand near the food plot and waited for the perfect wind before I hunted it. I was in the stand about 5:00 and not long after I heard a deer coming. Suddenly I saw Big Boy’s rack enter my shooting lane at 30 yards. I drew my bow immediately, and when his body appeared I noticed he was looking right at me. He must have heard something, possibly my arrow on the rest. I took the shot and saw the arrow hit right where I aimed. Big Boy ran off, and I heard some thrashing, followed by silence, then sort of a crash.”

Williams waited for 30 minutes before leaving his stand and heading home. He was determined to wait for 2 hours before tracking Big Boy, but as he paced outside his house Phil heard two things that prompted him to head back to the woods; timber wolves howling, and thunder. “I’ve lost deer to wolves here, and I knew the rain might wash away the blood trail,” he says. “So my wife and I grabbed flashlights and went to search. We found Big Boy 40 only yards from my stand!”

Williams’s buck is a beautiful 10-point that his taxidermist rough-scored at 165”. The 6-1/2 year old Big Boy is truly a buck to celebrate. Congratulations, Phil!


Hunt Stats:
Date: Sept. 27
Location: Vilas Co., WI
Weight: 198 lbs (dressed)
Points: 10
Green Score: 165”
Weapon: Mathews Q2 bow
Shot distance: 30 yards.
Method: Tree stand