By Chad Meier
-- Every since I was 12 years old, I get excited about the open morning of rifle season in southwestern Wisconsin on my grandpa's farm. Most of the time, the urge to hunt is so bad I can't even sleep the night before season because I love hunting so much.
The thought of harvesting a huge buck in the morning fills me full of energy and keeps me pumped up. I live in a small town, and I had heard rumor of the neighbors seeing a huge buck, but I never imagined I would get the chance to take a shot at the big guy.
It was opening morning of the 2004 season. I had gotten up and started making my hot chocolate. Then I got my gear ready for the day. This has pretty much been my routine since I was 12. I put my gun in the case and hopped on the four-wheeler and headed on the road up to the top of the hill.
I shut the four-wheeler off, grabbed my light and walked across the field to my hunting stand. The time was almost getting near when it was light enough for me to shoot. I started seeing does early in the morning, but I was waiting for a big buck to show its face.
I saw 3 small bucks early that morning and decided to pass on all of them. At 7:30 a.m., I was still waiting for a big buck.
There is a natural funnel up to the field I hunt, and during the rut all the bucks seem to follow it. I had looked off to my left because I had seen a quick flash run over the bluff. After that I had seen some movement at the end of the field.
There were a couple of does that had come out and crossed the alfalfa field. It was right then when a nice buck had come out to the field. I put my crosshairs on it then quickly decided to pass on this decent buck in hopes that it would grow to be a great buck one day.
I then looked back to my left and there he was crossing a small opening. I think my jaw probably dropped seeing the huge buck. Everything happened so fast. I got two shots off with my .30-06 pump. I was so excited after the shot that I ripped the blinds out of my hunting box and took off running toward the deer. I couldn't believe how nice the buck's rack was and how much mass this deer had on its antlers.
I grabbed the radio and told everyone what had just happened. I could barely speak. They all said I was rambling on, and they couldn't understand me. My buck ended up being a 16-pointer with a 20-1/4 inch spread. This hunt is something I will remember forever.
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