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Med School Hooky

Wesley Fox

Bowhunter misses his classes, but not his shot at a record-book buck.

By Wesley Fox

During my first year at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in 2012, I made it a goal to get into the woods as much as possible.

By the time I’d reached med school, I hadn’t drawn a bow since I was a sophomore at University of Wisconsin-Madison. School prevented me from hunting as much as I would have liked, so I made it a priority. I skipped a day of October classes to extend a weekend of hunting into Monday – and it paid off. A 150-inch 10-pointer now hangs on my wall.

For 2013, I decided to keep the same goal for Wisconsin’s archery season.

Wednesday, Nov. 13 marked the end of a three-day stretch of exams that had kept me in the library during some of the best days of the rut. I planned to not attend classes on Thursday and Friday to create a 4-day weekend in the woods.

On Thursday afternoon, my dad dropped me off at our hunting property and I was in my stand ready to go by 1 o’clock. Like the year before, I was wearing two Scent-Lok suits in case a nice buck came by downwind.

Since it was relatively warm, I didn’t expect much deer movement in the early afternoon. To pass the time, I looked over some notes for the classes I was missing.

About 2 hours into the hunt, a small 1 1/2-year-old buck came to the food plot. He left after about 20 minutes, and I went back to reviewing notes.

At 4:30, I noticed some movement about 80 yards away. When I saw antlers, I quickly shoved the notes between my two Scent-Lok jackets!

I grabbed my Mathews bow as the buck came closer. It was heading in my general direction, but I realized it wasn’t going to come within bow range. I grunted twice, and the buck stopped.

That moment of hesitation when a buck is trying to decide whether to change course and investigage a new sound or smell seems to last forever. But it was probably only a moment later when he changed course, moving a little closer to the food plot. In trying to find the buck that grunted at him, he was going to pass downwind of the plot – and me – before giving me an open shot.

At 40 yards downwind, he and I had a stare-down for what felt like an hour. A faint whiff of my scent might have stopped him, but it could have been my shaking knees that forced the standoff.

My scent control worked. He continued on and eventually was downwind of a scent bomb I had put out. He headed straight for the food plot to look for the intruding buck.

I drew my bow as the buck came by. He stopped at the perfect time, quartering away slightly at about 5 yards. The arrow was right on target. He ran only 40 yards before falling over in plain sight.

After a few fist pumps, I texted BBD (big buck down) to our hunting group.

The 9-pointer scores about 130 inches and has an 18-inch inside spread. The buck will be a great addition to the wall.

Author’s note: I have to thank my brother, uncle and, especially, my dad. Their help made it easy for a busy med student to get out in the woods. Thanks guys!

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