On the morning of October 26, 2006, I crawled into a stand on the 80 acres I own in Wisconsin. The treestand borders hardwoods and thick saplings that had grown back from a recent logging venture. A heavily used bedding area was not far away, so I spent the morning rattling and grunting, hoping to lure a nearby buck that might be scent-checking for does.
I spotted the first deer of the morning around 8:30 a.m. I could tell it was a buck, but the thick cover made it difficult to judge his size. I grabbed the grunt call again and eventually brought the buck within 10 yards of my treestand. After a brief stare-down, I decided the buck wasn’t what I was looking for at that point in the season and let him walk away.
I was able to hunt only until 9:30 a.m. before I had to leave for work. Shortly after 9 a.m. I decided to give my can call a try, combined with a snort-wheeze call. After a few brief moments of silence, I heard something approaching from behind me. I quickly established that it was a good buck, but just as the other buck did, he hung back in the thick cover looking for the source of the calling.
The buck finally worked his way within bow range and stopped behind a large tree. I quickly drew my bow and waited for him to take a few more steps. Finally, the big deer began walking again, and a quick grunt from my mouth stopped him before I released an arrow deep into his chest. He spun around and sprinted into the brush. After about 60 yards, I could no longer see him but I was certain I could hear him go down just out of sight.
I ran back to my house and gathered a friend and my brother before returning to look for the deer. We found the buck right where I thought I heard him drop—and he was much bigger that I thought! The buck’s rack made him an extremely unique deer, but the most bizarre feature was that he had no tail!