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Buck #6

Hunter:    Jeff Schmitz               

Score:     165"

Points:     11 points

Weight:    unknown

Date:        November 1999

Location:  central Minnesota

Method:   12 gauge 870 shotgun


lb_Jeff_1999_outside.jpg (222173 bytes)  lb_Jeff_1999_wall.jpg (28371 bytes)

Work commitments kept me out of the North Woods for the weekends during the 1999 season, so opening weekend found me in Central Minnesota.  I was only able to hunt a couple hours in the morning and a couple hours in the evening each day.  On the second morning of the weekend, I saw a large buck going out into a secluded field to check on some does that were feeding there.  I thought the buck was a large 8-pointer with very long tines.  I attempted to bring the buck in with a grunt call, and although he looked in my direction and came within 50 yards, I passed on the shot because there was just too much brush in the way.  The property I was hunting was going to receive no other hunting pressure during the weekend besides me, and I knew there were does in the vicinity.  I felt that there was a good chance the buck would still be in the area later in the evening.  When the morning hunt was done, I repositioned my stand about 50 yards closer to the edge of the field and hoped for the best.  During the afternoon and early evening I saw 6 does by sundown, but no bucks.  With about 15 minutes of shooting light left, I decided to get aggressive and start rattling and breaking branches to try to make the big boy think there was another buck in the area messing with his does.  After about a 2-minute rattling session, I put the horns down and waited.  Almost immediately I heard deer walking in my direction.  I was cranked and I thought he was coming in for sure.  But to my surprise, a big doe and 3 fawns walked out beneath my stand and started to feed within 20 yards.  Then I noticed another deer coming across the field toward my stand.  It was a good buck.  He had about 200 yards to go and I was sure I was going to get a 20-yard shot at this buck.  When he got within about 30 yards, the doe bolted with him in hot pursuit.  In a desperation move, I grabbed my grunt call and called as loud as I could.  All the deer in the field stopped in their tracks and looked back in my direction.  The buck was broad-side 70 or 80 yards away.  I was shooting a 12 gauge 870 without a slug barrel or rifled sights, so it was a long shot for this setup.  But I felt confident and squeezed off a shot.  I heard the slug hit and the buck dropped in his tracks.  A perfect double lung hit.  When I walked out to the buck, he was way bigger than I expected him to be.  He had 11 points instead of 8, his longest tines were 13 and 12 inches and the inside spread was 18 1/2 inches.  This was the biggest buck I had ever seen, much less got a chance to take.