We’ve got another terrific reader success story for you today and in this one Taylor Oxendahl shows us exactly what can happen when you hunt smart and persevere year after year. It took Taylor three years to kill this buck, but wow, it sure seems like it was worth it. Congrats Taylor! And if you’d like to learn how to submit your own story to be featured on Wired To Hunt, click here – MK
“By Taylor Oxendahl
This hunt really started 3 years ago, during the summer of 2014, when I had a nice 3 ½ year old 5 x 5 whitetail buck start showing up at our farm in western North Dakota. Over the next several months, he made a number of appearances in front of my trail cameras, but I never had a physical encounter with him while I was out hunting that year. In 2015, I experienced more of the same. The year started off strong with several pictures of nice bucks on my cameras, including the same 5 x 5 from the year before. But as soon as archery season opened up, he became almost completely nocturnal once again. This brings us to 2016. I started getting all sorts of daylight pictures of this buck, but he was now a monster 6 x 7, adding 3 additional points to his already impressive frame. So we went to task trying to get within range of this big bruiser buck.
My wife and I hunted a few nights the first week of archery season, but only saw a few young bucks and does. Then on September 12th, we set out on what ended up being my last bow hunt of 2016. The weather was perfect, with temperatures dropping into the low 50s, perfect wind, rising barometer, everything a deer hunter could ask for on an early September hunt. My intention was to get my wife on a deer that night, but I figured I’d bring my bow along too, just in case a big buck got hung up out of range for my wife. My mom also joined us for this hunt, so the three of us were crammed into that blind like a can of sardines.
As we approached the last 15 minutes of legal shooting light, we watched as five deer made their way into the far end of the food plot, including the giant 6 x 7 I had so much history with. Shortly after entering the food plot, one of the deer started acting nervous, then suddenly darted out of the food plot, triggering the rest of the deer to follow suit. As the big 6 x 7 started trotting off, I grunted at him to get him to stop. He paused long enough for me to get a good range on him, dial in my single pin sight, and send an arrow flying his way. The shot looked decent, so we backed out to give him some time to expire.
To make a long story short, we ended up needing to let him sit overnight. But when I picked up the trail the next morning, it didn’t take me long to find my deer. It was almost bittersweet though. It definitely felt good to finally have his 180” rack in my hands, but it was strange to think that the pursuit was actually over. I had finally closed the book on a buck that had captivated my mind for years.
– Taylor Oxendahl”