Ryan Hauser's dream season began on August 7, 2010 when a buck no one had ever seen before entered the range of one of his trail cameras.
The buck was clearly a 190-class whitetail with forked G2’s on both sides, a rack he wouldn’t soon forget. Having been born and raised on the family farm and Heifer calf operations, Ryan knew the land and most of the deer that roamed the property very well. The 400 acres his father owns, combined with a 500-acre dairy farm owned by his cousin, have provided enough property to protect the age structure and size of the deer herd inhabiting the area.
The buck he first spotted on his trail cam would appear several times prior to the season, but because of his work schedule and responsibilities as owner of Wausau Seal Coating, Ryan’s first opportunity to hunt didn’t come until the afternoon of September 19.
Ryan chose a sturdy tree on the edge of one his food plots to attach his Lone Wolf climbing tree stand. Anticipating a two-hour wait before any deer would show, because of the recent warm weather, he was settled in for the evening at 4 p.m. The first deer entered the food plot 15 minutes later.
Over the next hour, Ryan saw activity increase in the food plot, producing a number of does and two small bucks. Then he spotted motion on the opposite side.
Assuming it was another doe, he turned to check the deer already feeding near his stand. When Ryan carefully turned to check on the late arrival, he was surprised to see that the deer still hadn’t entered the food plot.
The deer was very hesitant to leave the safety of the boardering swamp and expose himself. Ryan was sure this was a mature buck by the way he was acting, but he couldn’t see his rack, and assumed it was one of several 150-class deer of which he had many trail cam pictures from the summer.
He was studying the buck’s silhouette carefully and watching his every cautious move, waiting for the deer to reveal himself for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, the buck took a step, showing himself to the hunter.
Ryan admitted his knees buckled slightly when he realized he was looking at the 190-inch monster that had appeared on his trail cam in August. He ranged the buck at 65 yards and patiently waited for what seemed like an hour, but was only about 15 minutes, for the deer to offer a clean shot at closer range.
The big buck was on the same trail that had previously brought four does within shooting distance of Ryan’s stand, and when the last of them passed, he ranged him at 43 yards.
The buck was moving to the edge of the food plot, maintaining a consistent pace , so Ryan had a few minutes to get composed and think about the shot he was about to take.
When the monster buck entered the shot path Ryan had chosen, he already had his Bow Tech Admiral at full draw. He took a deep breath, settled his sight’s 35-yard pin slightly above the animal’s vitals, and squeezed the release.
The next sound Ryan heard was “THWACK” and he watched the buck make a speedy retreat to the safety of the swamp. Ryan wasn’t entirely sure of his shot placement, so he quietly climbed down and went the opposite direction of the buck’s exit to give him plenty of time to expire.
Ryan returned to his parents’ house and reviewed the trail pictures of the buck, discussed the shot placement with his father, and decided to go track the animal.
He called his fiancee, Becky, and their daughter, Skyler, to let them know he and his father would be late and that they were returning to the food plot for a couple of hours to search for his trophy. Becky optimistically told Ryan they would be at the house when he returned with his deer.
The father and son duo returned to the spot where Ryan had taken his shot and they quickly recovered a blood-soaked arrow.
They spent the next 10 minutes searching for a blood trail that didn’t seem to exist. Ryan was retracing the buck’s path when his father told him, “Look up.” And there was Ryan’s trophy, lying motionless on the swamp floor.
They returned to the house, and to a small audience, with the massive buck in their truck bed. Ryan recounted the hunt to the his friends and family while his daughter, Skyler, stood by his side as any proud 5-year-old would if their dad had just entered a elite club of hunters who came so close to the elusive 200-inch mark.
The next morning, Ryan headed to Breaker Taxidermy in Tigerton, WI where Steve Breaker was tasked with mounting the trophy and putting a tape to the massive rack, answering the already often repeated question: “How big is it?”
Ryan’s buck field dressed at an impressive 220 lb. and had a gross green score of 193-5/8″ and sported the following measurements:
Ryan’s latest addition to his trophy room will adorn the wall next to some worthy company including four 150-class bucks; three 160-class bucks and one 175-inch buck that he has harvested over the past 12 years on the family farm.
The final score of this buck has a good chance of being the largest ever taken in Shawano County and should enter the Boone and Crocket annals as a Typical Whitetail.
Ryan Hauser, 26, of Tigerton, WI was taunted by a beast of a buck that appeared on his trail cameras several times before the deer season began, giving him plenty of time to think about making that shot. When his first opportunity came last month, Ryan didn’t miss, but the buck still proved elusive. See how he arrowed his 190-inch+ typical in this story from Eugene Mancl.