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The Spirit Buck

Cliff Schwie
Cliff Schwie arrowed this Wisconsin buck Oct. 20 2005.
By Cliff Schwie

-- I would like to share a little history with you before I begin the story. My wife, Rene,, and brother-in-law, Cary, and I have been bowhunting together for many years, trying to get the ultimate "Big Buck." About 3 years ago, my wife was diagnosed with a terminal lung disease that rendered her disabled, meaning she couldn't get into her treestand or do much walking in the woods as she is on oxygen 24/7.

Being disabled means she sometimes can't even pull her bow back to shoot. She has a crossbow permit but would much rather use her compound bow when she can.

This past November, Cary, at the young age of 35, went on to be with the Lord, leaving a wife and two small boys. Cary was a very avid bowhunter and loved and respected the whitetail and the sport of hunting. He used a recurve or a compound bow to hunt with, and he shot many nice bucks but never managed to shoot the big one.

The three of us always dreamed about going to Alberta or maybe Iowa or Kansas to hunt monster white-tailed bucks. Since his passing and Rene,'s disability, we realize it's not going to be one of those dreams come true.

A Moultrie game camera gave Cliff Schwie all the information he needed to know about when to hunt for the buck that appeared in his wife's dreams.
A few months after his passing, I was talking to my sister, Kathy, and she asked me if I would be interested in buying his Mathews bow. I jumped at the opportunity because after Cary's death, I wanted to ask her for it, but never knew quite how. The bow needed some repairs, so I sent it to Mathews. They fixed it up.

When I brought it home and showed my wife, she broke out in tears at that time. It finally hit her that he was really gone and how much we missed him not being there. A few nights later, my wife woke up in the morning to tell me Cary came to her in a dream and told her that I was going to shoot the biggest buck I ever shot before. In the dream, he showed her the buck. It had fork tines and lots of points on its rack

Well, the dream became a distant memory, until a few months went by. One night in late September, this buck showed up in our yard. I put my Moultrie camera out and got several good pictures of the buck. The images were pretty convincing that this buck was a trophy. So one afternoon, when I was sitting in my stand, I happened to remember the dream, but could not remember if the buck had fork or drop tines on its rack. So when I got home, I asked my wife if she remembered the dream. Rene, replied, "Oh yes, and it did indeed have fork tines in back and on the brow tines but no drop tines."

For the next three weeks, I patterned the buck and discovered it was only in the area on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. That week, I called my sister up and asked her if I could take her boys to a local turkey shoot. Cary's favorite Bible verse was John 3:16, and I felt I should do things with their boys that their father would have done. So we went to the turkey shoot and shot bow and arrows. We had a great time and did very well at the event.

Their father showed them how to shoot bows, and they are only in second and fourth grade. Jagger, the older one shoots just as well as his father did, no sights, just instinct. It is so great to see. I really enjoyed spending time with them, and my 13-year-old son also loves bowhunting. I think it was something Cary would have enjoyed with them.

The next Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 19 and 20, 2005, I took time off work to hunt this buck. That Tuesday, my son, Sam, and I went hunting, and he shot a nice 5-pointer. Since we weren't sure of the shot, we left the buck out overnight.

I went out early the next morning, and the buck from the dream appeared. I was very blessed to be able to get a shot off at him. I came home and woke Sam up, and I told him we had a lot of work to do because I had shot the "Big Buck." We had to go find my buck and the one my son had shot the evening before. We decided we'd look for mine first (Sam's choice), it didn't take us long to find it because the buck didn't go very far. Cary's dream buck had a 17 1/2-inch spread with 15 points and four forked tines

After we took care of him, we went to look for Sam's deer. With a little patience and a lot of persistence we found his deer, too.

The question is: Did the Lord allow Cary to have a hand in me getting this buck, much less bring the buck to me since no one in the area had ever seen it before? I thank God and Cary for allowing me to harvest such an incredible animal as this. Thank you Cary for all the memories and experience's we shared in the short time we had together. And thank you, Lord for putting Cary in my life.

Cliff Schwie
Phillips, Wisconsin

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By stephen @ Saturday, July 19, 2008 1:27 PM
Great article. Sorry for the passing of your family member. I understand and know the grief your whole family is going through as I have lost my mother in law to cancer. I hope your wife is doing well and will be in the prayers of mine and my families. Best of luck to you and all others.
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