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Saturday, November 13th, 2004
32 years (almost to the day) I have been looking for this caliber of a Whitetail Buck...
10 minutes after 9 on said morning, it was 18 degrees, the wind just started and I was freezing. The usual knobbed bucks and Doe had left my auto feeder and I was thinking real hard about going for hot coffee with Elizabeth and Kaitlyn. I said, "Give it 5 more minutes" and I sat out to do just that.
2 minutes later I hear a "CRACK" to my right and down wind, I look over and see antlers coming. He was at least 100 yards away and I just said "THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME SEE YOU".
He kept walking South toward my feeder and I said "I MIGHT GET A SHOT AT THIS BIG GUY".
He walked up to the feeder and turned and walked right at me, what a brut, no doubt the king of the Saint Joseph Island, Ontario, Canadian forest, 20 yards, 15 yards, 10 yards. His head went behind a Maple tree and I drew back my Browning, 72 lb pull, Bow. He stepped out into view, turned quickly and walked right at me again. He now was 5 yards from the base of my ladder stand and I'm 15 feet above him looking down my sights and contemplating on a spot between his shoulder blades. But that would not be a wise shot and I held. He looked at my scent dispenser and looked straight up at me and said, "WHAT IS THAT SUCKER DOING UP THERE " - "I GOT TO GO".
He turned very quickly to run and I let the arrow fly as best that time would allow, at his front shoulder area. WACK, the arrow hit hard and BONE. The arrow went through his shoulder blade making his left front leg useless and into one lung. He ran bouncing off trees and stopped about 80 yards away in thick brush. I could barely see him standing there, 30 minutes I watched, he tried to use his left leg twice and almost fell both times. Now I'm shaking from the cold, eyes watering from staring at this beast and begging him to go down. "Not so fast Mr. Yantz, you will earn my antlers on your wall", Mr. 10 point said.
He slowly moved off braking branches and I thought he might be dead and lying there. I called my pals and 2 out of the 4 called came. Paavo Pollari (Canadian) and Larry Robinson (Nephew), we were to meet at 12:30 and see what damage I had done to this great stag.
Elizabeth, Kaitlyn, Paavo, Larry, two of Paavo's young children and I set out to bring my trophy home. We got to the scene and left Elizabeth and children behind at the tree stand. Almost brought tears to Elizabeth, her and Kaitlyn could have come along and kept up BUT Paavo's smaller children were not big enough and therefore doomed Elizabeth to monitor the radio for action updates. The first 1/4-mile was easy tracking, his left leg was like a rototiller, turning up the leaves and blood was there but not spewing from the massive creature.
We came to the first road and Paavo went back to help Elizabeth and kids get back to the Cabin, get a radio and inform them of the search. Larry and I went another 200 yards to a field of grass and the trail was lost for about 40 minutes. Just enough time for Paavo to return with beer. It was decided that I was to walk north, up the two-track road. 100 yards up the road and Mr. 10 point jumps up and runs west down my neighbor's two-track driveway. I was sick, this search for a dead deer was now a hunt and he was moving right along. My partners joined me, we walked down the two track to the last point that I had seen him and there he was lying down in the middle of the two track facing away from us. I said "LOOK THERE HE IS" and Larry Robinson pulls out his 8-inch long knife, and runs toward the Buck yelling "LET'S GET-EM". Paavo and I look at each other, Paavo said, "What in the World is he doing?"
I replied, "I have no idea". The Buck looks back and gets up; running into this thick with new growth, clear-cut area.
Paavo and I reach Rambo Robinson and Rambo states "we have to run him down and keep him moving". I inform him that I wanted to shoot him again, rather then jump on his back with a knife. He said "OK, YOU TAKE HIS TRAIL AND I WILL GO AROUND HIM TO THE WEST AND HEAD HIM OFF". With that, off he went, hunting Mr. Buck with a knife. We love you Larry... Paavo and I looked at each other again and Paavo says "GO GET-EM". I went on his tracks and Paavo went back to the truck. Paavo took the truck and went to the next road to the north and waited and watched for the buck to cross.
I took my time and tracked Mr. 10 Pointer, determined to find him before Rambo. 35 minutes later and lots of radio chatter with concerned supporters, I was out of the thick stuff and back in hardwoods and small pines. I figure I'm getting close when snap, I look to my right and Rambo is headed my way. He says, "I don't know buddy, I think he's gone". I inform him that I'm on his trail and just then, I see Mr. 10 pointer stand up to the west of us about 60 yards. I get on the radio and say "Quiet now, I see him". I ask Larry to "STAY BACK", I'm going to put another arrow in him. I get to about 20 yards and up jumped Mr. Buck and runs away. I take a quick shot at him running and didn't even come close. I grab my arrow on the way and continue on after this massive animal. We find tracking very easy from his rototiller front left leg and he laid down about 150 yards from the last spot.
He is out of gas; I walk to 30 yards from him and send the next arrow over his back by 2 inches. Re-load with my last arrow and smack; I stuck the arrow in his neck 7 inches from his head. I'm out of arrows and he's not dead. We take one step towards him and he's jumps up and runs off again. I grab my arrow and we go about 40 yards and he's down again and broadside. Larry gives me the yardage and encourages me to take my time "make it good" and I did. Through both lungs and we watched him take his last breath.
I got on the radio and spread the news, everyone one was very relieved. Me too.... Killed him at 3PM.
My neighbor scores for Pope and Young. He states that I will make the book no problem with at least a 130 score. We will officially measure it in the Spring, after the mandatory drying period.
What an adventure and "OH MAN" what a trophy.
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