If it's one thing veteran hunters know, it's that things can go from a standstill to 100 miles per hour in a moment. Lifelong hunter Robert Gramoll of Milwaukee, Wisconsin learned just that on Saturday, Nov. 24 when, after several days of no activity which almost made him call it quits, the buck of a lifetime suddenly presented itself.
“I was hunting near Lyndon Station, Wisconsin. I have some land nearby, but I was actually hunting on a buddy’s piece of property not far away,” Gramoll says. “It wasn’t any type of annual hunt or anything like that, we’re just a couple of coworkers hunting together for the first time.” Up until that point, Gramoll and his hunting companions were amazed at the lack of deer movement in the woods–especially considering the fact rut activity typically dictated otherwise. “The beginning of the gun season just started off horrible for everyone. Nobody was seeing anything–not even does. Nothing at all, it was super-quiet,” Gramoll says. “I was so discouraged I actually decided to head home early and was packed up and ready to leave. But my friends talked me into staying and sitting for one more day.”
Gramoll was in his treestand for nearly an hour when he heard leaves crunch on his left. What he saw nearly made him fall from his perch. “I saw this buck with a huge rack looking in my direction,” Gramoll says. “He was about 75 yards out and on the move. I peered at him through my rifle scope and tracked his movements when he went through some thick brush.” When the deer emerged in the open, Gramoll was ready. A single shot dropped the buck in its tracks.
“My friends heard the shot and came to help me track, but we didn’t have to look far,” Grammol says. “When we found it, I was surprised–the deer was much larger than I initially expected. The rest of my friends were shocked and just stood there with wide eyes and their jaws dropped. I called my best friend and he and his wife drove up as fast as they could to take look. When they got there, he just said ‘you don’t know what you’ve got here.'” Gramoll’s friend was right–he didn’t. It wasn’t until he and his friend dressed the deer and took it into town that the significance of the buck’s size started to sink in.
“Nobody has ever seen this deer (in person) before. There were a few rubs in the area that could’ve been from this deer because the size of the trees was like 8 or 10 inches in diameter, but that’s only a guess,” Gramoll says. “I took it into town and a guy…approached me with a couple prints of this deer from his trail camera. So I took a picture of his picture, and it shows the deer in velvet. But they guy said he’s willing to print me off some copies of my own so I’ll pick them up the next time I’m up north. But even the guy that had the trail camera images of this deer hadn’t seen it with his own eyes,”
After registering the deer at the check station and shaking the dozens of hands that approached him in congratulations, Gramoll met with an official scorer to measure the deer. When it was all said and done, he had even more reason to celebrate–the deer was on track to be one of the largest typical whitetails taken in the state.
“The deer green scored around 202 1/8 inches, but after the deductions it landed around 184 5/8. I’ll have an official score done after the drying period,” Gramoll says. “We think it was about 4 ½ years old, but he weighed 220 pounds dressed. It broke the Juneau County record by six inches or so, and the measurer said there’s a good chance it will be one of the top 10 typical bucks ever taken in Wisconsin state.”
The deer cape is with a taxidermist, the meat back from the butcher, and Gramoll’s hunting season is over, though he never expected to end it on such a high note. “I’ve been hunting since I was five years old. My dad used to take me out. He passed away years ago but I know he would be proud.” Gramoll says. “In all that time I’ve never gotten anything worth getting mounted. I’ve shot some nice eight-pointers and even a 10, but I never wanted to mount anything until now. I still get excited just thinking about it.”
_Robert Gramoll of Milwaukee, Wisconsin was ready to give up on his 2012 deer season. After sitting for several days with no activity, he packed his gear and prepared to drive home when his friends convinced him to stay and hunt one more day.
The next morning, he thanked his companions for changing his mind after he tagged the biggest deer of his life, and potentially one of the biggest bucks in the state. With one shot, Gramoll dropped a buck with a green score measurement of 202 1/8 inches, putting it on track to rank as one of the top 10 largest typical whitetails taken in the Badger State. Here’s his story on how his hunting trip went from zero to 100 miles per hour in a matter of moments._