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Your Biggest Bucks of 2005
Travis Loew
Score: 1852/8 B&C; official
Rusk County, Wis.
November 19, 2005 As told to Bill Heavey:
My grandpa-"we called him Eagle Eye because he'd always see stuff that me and my five brothers missed-"had died just a few weeks before the season opened. He was only 73, and we'd always hunted together. It's a big deal in our family. But it was different this year, sadder, not having him around. Back in September, when my brother and I were trimming brush on the family farm in the Blue Hills region, we saw this buck. He jumped a fence and stood looking at us from 15 yards away, just a tall, perfect main-frame 10. On the opening morning of gun season, we'd gotten 4 inches of snow, and the weather was overcast and not too windy. I hadn't seen much that morning, so in the afternoon, I got my climber and set up on a ridge. But it just didn't feel right. I got down after about five minutes, walked down a trail and over some runways, and set up on another oak ridge overlooking some popple slash where the deer like to bed. I figured they'd come feed in the evening. By 3:30 I hadn't seen anything and was starting to doubt myself. Then I heard some distant gunshots and saw movement in the slash. I put my scope on it but lost the deer. Then I saw a buck going away into the popple, so I grunted. Nothing. I grunted again and he stopped. I grunted a third time, and he turned my way. And then he was moving toward me. I mean fast, you know, deliberate, head-down walking, like he wanted a fight. But it was thick, and all I saw was bits of antler. He stopped 60 yards out, behind a blowdown. By then, I'd seen a couple of tall tines on his right side, just for a split second. I'm pretty selective about what I shoot. But I've been hunting since I was 12, so I can judge deer, and I knew this was a good one. I get shaky just talking about it. I put the crosshairs on him where his neck and shoulders came together and squeezed. He went down. And then I was so shaky I could hardly make my climber work. I walked up on him with my gun ready, and all I could see was antlers. The size almost scared me. I let out a holler and shot three times in the air to let my brother know. I nearly had tears in my eyes. My brother and I dragged him out and got him into the truck. And then I called Grandma, because we kids always showed our deer to Grandpa first. And I said, "Grandma, I got a big buck and wanted to let you know first. Eagle Eye must have sent this one to me.-¿ And right then I was pretty sure Grandpa was looking down with a big smile.
Field & Stream Online Editors
Your Biggest Bucks of 2005
Steve Daines and his 15-year-old son, David, took these two big bucks, one mule deer and one whitetail, in November while hunting the rut in eastern Montana. "We were putting the sneak on David's whitetail buck and a group of does with fawns when they suddenly spooked and ran several hundred yards.¿¿ We thought we had caused the spook, but then saw that a coyote had run through the middle of the herd, spooking the fawns," said Steve. "After two hours of waiting the big buck out he finally followed a hot doe into a draw, putting us in position to get a shot. During that time we saw that buck chase off two smaller bucks who had come to challenge him."¿¿Field & Stream Online Editors