Outstanding Hunt

December 2, 2008
By Ritchie Granger, Ashland, WI

I was out bow hunting in my tree stand behind the shack on my usual hunting area. It was the most exciting hunt of my life and I will never forget it as long as I live. It was miserable in the freezing rain until the bucks and does showed up. Then I seemed to forget the cold and rain for all the excitement. I was hypnotized by all the showing off and fighting the bucks did.
One time I was out bow hunting on my home turf by the hunting shack at the end Charles Johnson Rd. The temperature was hovering at 32 degrees with freezing rain mixed with snow. I was hunting on a food plot backed with low brush where the deer bed down in. There is also a water hole in the middle off the field. I had been out there for almost two hours and was thinking it was time to pack up and go home. Then I heard a grunt and some crashing around in the brush. Then a little herd of does and fawns charged from the brush followed by three bucks; one nontypical 12 pointer with a 22 inch spread, one wide framed typical 10 pointer with a lot of mass, and a nice 16 inch 8 pointer with 8 inch G2’s. It was like they were herding the does out into the field for some action. When the does and fawns were out far enough in the field, the bucks started back and suddenly charged at each other and clashed with a mighty crash, it was the 10 and 12 pointers. They scrapped it out for about a minute while I watched, with unmoving legs. Then the 10 pointer backed off and trotted off into the brush with a few scratches, a broken tine, and a couple stabs in its side. The 12 pointer was scratched but otherwise unhurt. It then chased the 8 pointer off to the edge of the woods and proceeded to chase the does around. After chasing them awhile it separated the does from the fawns and chased away the fawns.
I saw that it was about to go away with the does so I slowly picked up the bow I had forgotten about all the while that they were fighting. I ranged the 12 pointer; it was at 30 yards quartering away. I stood up slowly and set the arrow on, and then drew back and put the 30 yard green pin right behind its shoulder blade. I pulled the trigger on my release and saw the arrow disappear into the buck. It sprang straight up and kicked its legs before running out of sight. I heard it crashing in the brush and then, with a big “humph,” I heard it fall. I could hardly wait the 20 intense minutes that followed.
When it was finally time to climb down, I just about flew down the tree and untied my bow before knocking an arrow. The does were still in the field so I had to be quiet while sneaking into the brush. I went back to my four-wheeler and called my best friend Perry to come with me and get my buck. When he arrived we trudged through the water in a trance as we saw the massive rack. It turned out to be a 12 pointer with a drop tine and 2 kickers, also a 22 inch spread and 12 inch G2’s. We congratulated each other and then I field dressed it and we dragged it back to my four-wheeler. We hauled it out and drove home to show my folks.
That hunting experience was the best one in my life and I will tell it to all my children and grandchildren. It was miserable in the start but ended out to be a great hunt. That goes to show how hunting all the time pays off, because you never know when the bucks might come in.

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