Nine days into Wisconsin's bow season Wayne Schumacher scored big with this 200-plus 30-pointer taken in Fon du Lac County. Schumacher and his brother were hunting a new property on September 20 when the non-typical giant cracked a twig under his stand 25 minutes before the end of shooting light. "He was so quiet, I had no idea he was there until he was right under me," Schumacher says. "When I looked down through the branches of the tree, I could see part of one rack through the leaves and I knew he was no ordinary deer.".
While his brother Pete finishes early each year, happy to fill his freezer and call it quits, Schumacher prefers to hold out for a good buck. He didn’t have long to wait this season: The first buck he spotted turned out to be the deer of a lifetime.
Initial speculation says this monster could be a new Wisconsin record, eclipsing the mark for bow-killed non-typicals set last year when Bob Decker of Eau Claire shot the “Field & Stream Buck,” which scored 231. The 6- to 7-year-old buck boasts an inside spread of 20 ½ inches.
Schumacher endured a tense moment when the deer stood and tested the air beneath his stand. “I thought maybe he’d caught my wind, but then he started walking toward a food plot in front of my stand. He never knew I was there.”
With the buck quartering away at 15 yards, Schumacher put his peep sight on the big deer’s rib cage. In a practice session earlier that day, he’d shot five perfect arrows and flinched on the sixth. “I focused on where I wanted the shot to go and told myself, without looking at the rack, ‘You do not want to flinch on this deer.”
“As I was thinking that, suddenly the arrow was gone,” Schumacher recalls. He was confident the shot was good and marveled at the thick, bladed tines of the deer’s rack as it bolted away from his stand. “He looked like a moose running off through the grass.”
The buck stopped 70 yards away. “His head dropped, then his knees buckled and he tumbled over,” Schumacher says. “I must have been holding my breath, because all of a sudden I felt lightheaded, like I was going to faint.”
Only a few seconds passed between the sighting and the shot–the best thing that could happen, Schumacher says. “If I’d had to watch him for 10 minutes, my knee would have gone ballistic. Even when I’m turkey hunting and hear a bird coming my knee starts bouncing up and down.”
After he regained his composure, Schumacher packed his gear, climbed down from his stand and approached his brother’s tree. “We hunt together. We fish together. I wanted this to be something we enjoyed together,” says Schumacher, who nevertheless felt sheepish about interrupting his brother’s hunt. “I said, ‘I apologize’–I apologized to him first!–‘I just shot a dandy and I came so we can go look at it together.'”
Pete had other ideas. After they fetched the truck, Wayne went to retrieve a piece of equipment and Pete headed straight for the buck. “By the time I got back, he’s already counted points three times and came up with a different number each time. We hugged and celebrated. He called me an ass, but he was tremendously happy for me.”
In order to hunt that afternoon, Schumacher returned early from Iowa, where he’d helped his son move. Turned out he had one more load to haul that day. He and Pete struggled to lift the 235-lb. field-dressed buck into a pickup.
The 30-pointer drew a crowd at Pete’s house that night, where the brothers and some of their guests toasted success with beer and Wayne’s homemade wine.
Locals christened it the “Lucky Buck,” but Schumacher has no idea how that came about. “It’s dead; I don’t think it’s lucky,” he says. “I was lucky, he wasn’t.”
Others have taken to calling it the Schumacher buck. What name would he prefer? “My nickname is Bo-Bo, so I said we should call it the Bo-Bo buck, but I’ve been overruled somewhat on that,” Schumacher laughs. “My friends say nobody’s going to know who Bo-Bo is.” They will now.