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Buck #1

Hunter:     Dean Basch             

Score:     200 1/8" Net NonTypical

Points:     20 points

Weight:    191 lbs

Date:        November 10, 2006

Location:  Dakota County, MN

Method:    archery

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The saga on this magnificent buck began in the winter of 2005 when I came across a giant nontypical shed antler. After searching high and low in the surrounding area I gave up, only to discover the other side on display at the Minnesota Deer Classic later that winter. I got in touch with the other shed hunter and once again, the monster sheds were reunited.

That fall the real hunt was on. I gathered another priceless piece of data, a good trail camera photo. It was exactly the right information I needed: he was still alive and in the same area. He also had grown what appeared to be two giant hunks of driftwood on his head. Now all I had to do was get close enough for a bowkill.

I saw a few bucks here and there early in the season, but didn't have a confirmed sighting of this monster until mid-October. I was getting nervous that another bowhunter zipped him, but when I skylined this buck on a distant knob one evening, I breathed a sigh of relief knowing the big guy was still out there. 

During early November, as the rut was really starting to take hold on the resident bucks, I carefully made my way out to my stand one morning. There was action right away. With does in the area, I heard the distinct sound of a buck pawing the earth, making a scrape. Sure enough, this monster buck emerges, just barely within sight and beds down for the day. Eventually another beauty 150-class 8 pointer strolls in and the big boy challenges him to a duel. The "small" 8 pt. high-tails it out of there and the monster buck resumes his nap, again, a ways out of bow range but within sight. Another deer ambles into my set up, this time a doe. The monster buck rises and charges at the doe, right past my stand and off into the brush and out of sight. No shot opportunity, but lots of adrenaline pumping action.

Family duties prevented me from an all-day hunt, but I was back in the woods a few hours later. I was very cautious on my exit and re-entry to this little woodlot, as to not spook any of these whitetails. I succeeded in my stealth, as I approached my stand I could hear and see a monster buck making yet another fresh scrape. Yep, it's him, the big guy, complete with his very conspicuous and enormous hat.

I must've been walking on a magic carpet or something because I was able to sneak within 15 yards of this buck and he didn't flee. I needed to in order to get the shot I wanted. But the buck never presented that picture-perfect shot I visualize. At full draw, I released on what I figured to be a lethal shot. The buck tore out of there and disappeared into the evening light. I figured I'd stay off the trail until morning.

The following day I treated like a regular bowhunt. I rose well before dawn and got out to my stand, where all the action had taken place the previous evening. I ended up glassing the monster buck from my stand, this time he had bedded down for his last and final rest, a mere 15 brushy yards from my stand. Man, what a feeling!!