A deer hunting season has an uncanny way of making you feel like you’re on a roller coaster and I know many of you have experienced the incredible highs and gut wrenching lows of chasing whitetails. But for those that persevere through it all, the journey almost always turns for the best and today we’re sharing a story that is a perfect example of this. Peter Lynch had been on the buckless end of the stick for the past 19 years, but with some good fortune, hard work and smart hunting he was able to change his luck in 2010 and do it in a big way! Read on for Peter’s story and remember if you had a bad hunt, a rough season or some bad years, never hang your head and never give up. Hard work always pays off in the end.
“To this point it had been a long, but eventful hunting season. During the bow season, I shot over the back of a 150 class eight point monster at 20 yards (yes…20 yards) and drew my bow twice without attempting a shot on a large non-typical buck named “Twin Towers”. Needless to say, I was very excited to enter the woods with my TC muzzleloader and harvest my first buck in over 19 years. I am originally from Upper Michigan and my hunting partner calls me the “Buckless Yooper”.
It was 02:30 in the morning on Tuesday, December 28th and I was wide awake, anxious for the morning hunt. Typically, I can sleep until my alarm sounds, but today was different. I knew today was the day I would shoot an Iowa monster… but I would have to earn my trophy. For the past two evenings, I had spent most of my time scouting a ridge called “falling timber”. This ridge has a huge south face with acorns galore, and every night of scouting yielded several shooter bucks along with 12 to 15 does. The only problem with the ridge is that you have to walk 3/4 of a mile through knee deep snow, up and down steep bluffs, transporting 30 pounds of gear. Even without snow, hunting this ridge is a daunting task; I couldn’t imagine the climb with drifted snow. Although it was going to be a challenge, I decided to “go deep or go home” and “man up”! At 05:00 hours I started my quest to harvest a trophy buck.
Exhausted and dripping with sweat, I reached the apex of the ridge at 06:25 a.m. Eager to climb a tree to start the hunt, I changed out of my sweaty gear, located a tree to climb, and ascended 20 feet overlooking the ridge. The time was now 07:00 and a few deer were starting to filter in from the neighboring property – directly in front of my stand location. Although, I was in a great spot, I was concerned I would not be able to take a shot over 40 yards because of the number of saplings. growing on the ridge face. Later, my concern would become reality.
At 09:15 a.m., I looked right – glassing the area – and noticed the muzzle of a deer. About 30 seconds later (which seemed like 30 minutes) the deer started to move away from the trees and I saw the rack… and then I saw another rack. Now with my heart pounding and my breath increasing, I had to make a choice – which one to shoot. Do I shoot the ten pointer or the eight pointer? To be completely honest, I have never had to make a decision like this before, but welcomed the opportunity. As they filtered closer, now about 40 yards, I decided to harvest the eight point buck because of the uniqueness of his rack and his body size. At 09:20 the thunder of my TC Impact rang through the woods and my prior concern became my newest reality – due to the thickness of the sapling trees, I managed to shoot a branch twenty yards in front of the buck.
With my heart in my throat I remained motionless, because, to my surprise, neither buck showed concern about the shot and continued eating within minutes. Slow and steady, I reloaded my muzzle-loader, steadied my nerves, and waited for another shot. At 09:30 a.m. the eight point buck moved free of the branches and I took the shot. The buck ran twenty yards, died in stride and fell hard to the ground creating a puff of snow. At 09:31 I was no longer a “Buckless Yooper”. – Peter Lynch