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Hunter: Matt Lindquist
Score: 120 1/8"
Points: 8 points
Weight: 192 lbs
Date: November 11, 2002
Location: Northern Minnesota
Method: 7mm bolt
As usual, our family went up to our cabin to hunt the 2002 deer firearms opener. I struggled on the opening day - not seeing anything in the morning and looking all over tarnation for a new stand that afternoon. I just didn't get enough time to do the proper preseason scouting. I finally found a spot I really liked in the evening of the opening day. It was just downstream of a beaver dam and the woods on both sides of the creek came to a point. Further downstream was a large open grassy area - the size of multiple football fields. I figured the deer wouldn't normally cross the creek upstream of the beaver dam since the water was pretty deep and they wouldn't normally cross in open area downstream for lack of good cover. Not surprisingly, I found a few very heavy trails crossing the creek where the woods came to a point. I setup my stand to be downwind of the majority of the traffic areas and waited for the next morning.
The first whitetail I saw the next morning crossed the creek where I expected, but it was too dark to tell if it was a buck or a doe. In the next 2 hours as the sun came up, I saw a total of 5 does, all of which came into my shooting area. Two of them crossed the creek where I expected and the other three just wandered by and never crossed. That evening I saw one more doe, but no bucks. My brother Mike said: "You're in a good spot if you're seeing does. Eventually, you're gonna see a buck."
The next morning, just as the sun came up, I finally saw a buck heading for the creek crossing. He was moving fairly quickly and steadily. After confirming that it really did have antlers, I steadied my rifle on the creek where the does had crossed the day before. The buck stopped a couple times on his way to the creek to look around for danger. There was a pine tree blocking his view of me for most of his approach to the creek. Once he stepped into the water and he was in clear view, I made a grunting sound with my voice. He stopped in the creek and looked in my direction. I squeezed off the 70-yard shot. He dropped in his tracks. His head and chest ended up on the sandy shore of the creek and the rest of his body was still in the water. Mike and Chris helped me drag the buck back to my Jeep and hang him up back at camp. The buck weighed 192 pounds and had a nice symmetrical 8-point rack. There wasn't even 2 inches of total deductions. The rack had a green score of 120 1/8 inches. This was the largest deer our group had ever taken from the area. We processed the deer that evening back home with mom, dad and Hannah. A great hunt!