The beginning of deer season is upon us
“I saw the buck about 150 yards away along the edge of a clearing. I grunted twice and just let things play out,” Marcus Malyuk told me. “He started to angle towards me trying to get downwind, but I positioned myself so that he would have to walk past me in range to do that.”
“He stopped and worked a scrape on his trek,” Marcus continued. “He turned broadside at about 30 yards from me and I let loose.”
As the splendors of October give way to the treasures of November, hunting thoughts turn to deer. And in the first week of November a lot of deer stories like this play out all over Wisconsin. The aroma of the earthy loam of leaves on the ground should be bottled. The crunching of those leaves when deer approach should be recorded.
Marcus told me that the shot passed through the back of both lungs. The deer bolted across the clearcut making it 240 yards before dying on the run just about on the other side of the clearing. He was hunting mature whitetail bucks a mile deep on public land.
“At first when he was covering that much distance I was worried that I might have shot him in the liver,” Marcus told me. “But I did get the lungs, they just cover more ground when they aren’t dodging trees in the woods.”
He used a deer cart to pull the deer out of the woods on. “It’s a yearly cardiac stress test,” he told me; he’s an old style ICU nurse. He told me he doesn’t hunt along clearings that much, but that this stand site just made sense to him. He hunted the stand for the first time four days earlier and only saw one doe. He let the stand rest and hunted other stands in other counties coming back to this stand since the wind was right and he adjusted his stand location a bit.
“The first time I hunted it, the wind was supposed to be steady but it was swirling around me,” Marcus told me. “I got out of the tree and started working around the area and finally found a spot that I could get a stand into that the wind didn’t swirl around.”
“I dropped the kids off at school and headed to the stand,” he continued. “I ended up 15 feet off the ground in a fairly young white pine. The wind stayed steady in my face.”
The buck turned out to be a mature nine point that will most likely score around 140 inches. His plans are for a European mount.
“I was hunting mature bucks, I wasn’t hunting a specific deer this year,” Marcus told me. “So the first mature buck that came within bow range I planned to harvest. This was a good deer to harvest.”
I asked him if the deer didn’t make the cut for wall mounts and he told me “He does, but there is only so much wall space.”
Marcus plans to head to another state for whitetails this coming week before returning home to get ready for the gun deer opener a week and a half from now.
Judging by the number of vehicles I’m seeing parked along the roads on the way to work, Marcus wasn’t the only one hunting this past week. As the corn comes off around our area the deer change their travel patterns, bedding areas, and they need to move more.
November hunting provides magic on days when several bucks can cruise past a stand while others chase does around. Maybe you witness a couple of bucks fighting. And maybe, hopefully you get to draw back on the biggest buck of your life. Maybe your arrow flies true.
November is more than dreams of big bucks, it’s the time of year that for a lot of hunters those dreams come true. The colors of early fall have fallen to the ground and leave us with a gray back drop to make our own hunting story and almost every hunt has a story.
On the cusp of the Holy Grail of Wisconsin’s hunting seasons, the best archery hunting remains - November opened her treasure chest. I’m wishing you all the luck in the world to go out and make your own big buck story.
May the wind be in your face and luck by your side. But as always and most importantly, please remember: Safe Hunting is No Accident!