Scott O'Konek, 29, of South Haven, Minn., near St. Cloud shoots his Matthews bow about 300 days a year. So perhaps he was deserving Oct. 15 at Camp Ripley when a 32-point non-typical whitetail presented itself near his bow stand.
O'Konek has hunted Ripley five times previously, but never killed a buck there.
His wife, Susan, was in a nearby stand when O'Konek went to full draw, holding that position for about a minute.
"Bow hunting is something my wife and I do together,'' he said.
The big buck, which field-dressed at 192 pounds, was quartering away when O'Konek took his 44-yard shot. The buck was estimated by the Department of Natural Resources to be about 5 years old. It fell shortly after being arrowed.
"It was a clear shot,'' O'Konek said. "There weren't any trees in the way.''
O'Konek was hunting from a tree stand. He figures the buck was bedded down nearby before he saw it about 9 a.m.
"I had always wanted to hunt that part of Ripley, but there were too many people there before,'' he said, without being more specific about where he hunted.
O'Konek and his wife pulled an ice fishing house to the military installation and camped in it.
"Bow hunting is more of a lifestyle for my wife and me than a sport,'' he said. "We hold a weekly 3-D shoot at our place for friends. Between 12 and 20 of us get together. We shoot a lot.''
O'Konek has mounted two previous deer, both 10-pointers. This will be the third buck he has mounted in four years.
The 32-pointer was dragged about 200 yards to a nearby road by the O'Koneks.
"It was the day I've dreamed about since I was little,'' he said.