She drove to the neighbor's farm and told him what had happened and he immediately went to the scene and called the state DNR to claim the buck as a car-killed deer.
On December 8, Al Rinka and his coworkers had just sat down for lunch in a construction trailer when they noticed a large buck walking in a field along a new highway. Al is a civil engineer from Osseo, Wisconsin working on the new Highway 10 project south of Marshfield. The group watched as the buck continued to walk the field and joked how ironic it was that Wisconsin was in the midst of a statewide antlerless-only hunt, so all anyone could do was admire him.
The group turned their conversation to the Green Bay Packers and enjoyed their break from the frigid temps. Around 2 p.m. Al got a call from the foreman for the contractor running the road graders saying a “huge buck had just jumped off the Washington Avenue Bridge and was laying on the new slab below.” “He definitely had my attention at [that] point,” Al says. A few of the workers in the area went to investigate and immediately realized it was the same buck they had watched during lunch.
They were looking over the carcass when one of the other workers called to say he was stopped by an elderly lady who told him what had happened. She didn’t want to give her name but gave a full account of the event. She shared the following: “I turned onto the bridge and the buck was standing there in the middle of the road with really no where to go but run away. He looked at my car and turned to the side and jumped over the side of the bridge.” She says she realized at the time the buck had just jumped to his death.
She drove to the neighbor’s farm and told him what had happened and he immediately went to the scene and called the state DNR to claim the buck as a car-killed deer.
Some of the bystanders took some measurements and were rightfully impressed. The buck landed about 30 feet from the base of the bridge, which is 34 feet high.
As near as anyone could tell, the buck landed almost entirely on his nose and face as the rest of his body appeared to have suffered little trauma from the event. Al noted, “he was completely intact and aside from his face being broken he did even chip his rack.”
With some help from the workers, the farmer loaded the buck into his trailer and returned to his house to take care of the trophy. The farmer reported the next day that he didn’t find any apparent old injuries that could have potentially caused the deer’s odd behavior.
The group, which includes Lane Wetterau, Aaron Feit, Dave Katzner and Al Rinka, shows how impressive a trophy the Long Jump Buck was. The buck sports 12 scoreable points, a 20″ spread and a very generous amount of mass putting it in the high 160″ range. His weight was a little low for the size of his rack, tipping the scale at just over 180 pounds, but the deer appeared to be healthy.
This photo was taken from about where the buck took his leap.
Thanks to Jay Weidman, Sales Manager at Midstate Truck in Plover, Wisconsin for bringing this story to our attention and helping us track down the people involved.