Hours go by — occasionally days — and sometimes nothing moves near a deer hunter’s stand except for curious squirrels and a biting wind. But then, just when all hope seems lost, a magnificent buck strides cautiously into a clearing. These three hunters and their stories and pictures show their perseverance was rewarded, all with another memorable day in the field — and some with once-in-a-hunter’s-lifetime bucks.

Never seen anything like it

(As told by his wife, Kim Welsh, of Coon Rapids)


My husband, Scott Welsh, has hunted his whole life and has never seen anything like the deer he took recently with his bow. This was on a cold, windy, rainy day, and Scott was on an island in the Mississippi River. Bow hunters pass a lot of time quietly, just waiting for something to move, and over the years, Scott has done his share of sitting still on his stand. That was especially true on this day, as he watched this big buck sleep for three hours, just 75 yards away from him! Finally the giant 10-pointer arose from his sleep and wandered toward Scott, whose patience paid off. A wall-hanger to be sure!

 Bigest one in 40 years

(As told by Tom Becker of Le Center)

Hunting in Le Sueur County recently, I arrived at my stand two hours before sunset. Sitting down, I saw this buck heading my way along the edge of a slough. Quickly, I got my release on, nocked an arrow and looked up. He had disappeared! Did I see what I thought I saw? An hour and a half later, he reappeared from the slough 100 yards away. I grunted, he stopped, then he did an about-face and angled toward me. At 24 yards, he entered my shooting lane. Maaaa, I bleated. He stopped. I drew back, took my time and touched the release. The big buck ran 75 yards and piled up. I didn’t shake until I saw his size close up. A 13-pointer, he green-scored 186⅝. He’s the biggest in my 40 years of hunting.

Got him freehand!

(As told by his grandpa, Bill Bowers, of Eau Claire, Wis.)

On Sunday afternoon [in October] of the Wisconsin youth deer hunt, I was in a hay bale ground blind with my 12-year-old grandson, Monty Wilson of River Falls, Wis., and his 9-year-old cousin, Parker Wilson of Cameron, Wis. This was on my land in Buffalo County. It was 83 degrees, so our optimism was dwindling when just before dark, a big 10-pointer walked into the field. I saw the deer first while the kids played with their electronics. Chaos ensued, as I was more excited than the kids! Try as he might, Monty couldn’t get lined up on the deer. Finally he sat on my knee and shot freehand! We heard the buck go down in an adjacent cornfield. This was Monty’s sixth deer in six shots in his third hunting season. It was one of my best times ever with the kids. Parker can’t wait for next year, when he’ll also be old enough to hunt.