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Hunter: Matt Lindquist
Score: 134 7/8"
Points: 11 points
Date: November 18, 1995
Location: Northern Minnesota
Method: 7mm rifle
Mike Lindquist, Erich Dietrich and I were hunting off a small forest road in November of 1995. The hunt was going very slowly for us so far this year. We hadn't seen many deer and we were starting to think about changing locations. The night before, we heard a pack of timber wolves howling in the area - a chilling sound and not a very good sign while hunting whitetails.
On the second morning, I helped Erich find a good tree and then I went back to the stand I set up the day before. There was a light snow falling from the northwest and the wind direction was in my favor. It was about 25 F degrees and the ground was covered with 4-6 inches of fresh snow. My stand was in a pine tree where a large overgrown clear cut met up with the woods.
It was about 10 am when I finally noticed some movement. The first thing I saw were antler tips moving across the clear cut, slowly making their way toward the woods. The buck was browsing as he walked from my left to my right about 80 yards out in front of me. I focused my rifle on a small opening in the brush ahead of the buck and I waited. He was moving very slowly and cautiously. He was just about to enter the opening when he stopped, lifted his head and started sniffing the brisk air. I was afraid he was about to scent me but I couldn't take the shot because of the brush. He took two more steps and ended up with his head and neck in the opening. I wanted to wait for a better shot, but it looked as though he was about to spook. So I took the neck shot and he bolted into the woods. The blood trail was light and diminished after only a few yards. I followed his tracks in the snow - running tracks, then trotting and finally walking. I was starting to think that I just grazed him and I wished I had waited for a better shot. My head was down as I trudged along his tracks when I just about stepped on him. He dropped after going about 70-80 yards. It wasn't until then that I got a good look at the rack. 11 legitimate points, my biggest buck ever!
I concluded that he didn't leave a blood trail because the bullet went in while his neck was extended and the wound was covered over when he put his head down and ran. Erich and Mike met me shortly after that for lunch and they were equally surprised to see this nice buck back at the meeting spot. It was a great first hunting adventure for Erich and a hunt that I will never forget.