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Don’t Take a Bow to a Gun Fight

WeisserBy Kelby Ronald Weisser

-- On a Friday afternoon the weekend before rifle season, I left for my hunting area right after school. I had seen a big mule deer out chasing a few does a week before and noticed it was a nice buck that I had gotten pictures of on my trail camera.

It was getting dark and the buck was out in the middle of a winter wheat field, so I had no chance to put on a stalk. So there I was walking through a 50-acre pasture made up of three small draws. I was getting discouraged and careless when I got to the third draw and hadn’t seen the buck. I stepped on a branch, and when it cracked, I looked up to see two does staring at me from about 60 yards.

I thought, "That buck has to be right here." Sure enough, I saw him bedded down behind a spruce tree. When the does started to stomp, he got up to see what was going on. And there I stood in the middle of nowhere with no cover. As smart old bucks do, he tried to get downwind. I decided not to let that happen.

When the buck walked by me at 45 yards, I stopped him with a grunt. As I pulled the trigger on my release, he turned and started to take off. I knew I had hit him, but not how well, so I called my dad. He told me what I already knew I should do, and that was to back out and wait until morning.

I couldn’t sleep at all, and morning couldn’t come fast enough. When it finally did, I took my bow, not knowing what I would find. It wasn’t long before Dad and I bumped the buck, which had no trouble running out of there. We decided to try again with my rifle. We just had to hope the buck didn’t leave that 50-acre plot.

Rifle in hand, I sat on a ridge where Dad had taken a big muley the year before. Right at sun-up eight or nine does started working their way up to the winter wheat field. Sure enough, there was my buck just behind. He walked within 40 yards and stopped broadside. As I pulled the trigger on my Remington .22-250, he jumped and ran about 30 yards and dropped dead.

We had the deer mounted and scored by a local taxidermist, who came up with 185 3/8 inches.

 Kelby Ronald Weisser
Platte, S.D.

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