BHOD staffer, Kurt Thorsen, recently wrapped a tag around a giant Illinois buck. He shares the story here…
After a soggy week filled with thunderstorms, I figured the weekend of October 24th and 25th would be fantastic for a few sits. A large cold front following 4 days of rain was a recipe for success. After a weekend seeing more birds than deer, I went to work Monday in a slight panic that I was going to miss an opportunity at a buck in late October, a time of year I thrive on for harvesting bucks.
Before my evening sit on Monday night (Oct 26th), I called Todd to bounce off some ideas and get a game plan together. With a super marginal north wind we decided maybe I risk heading to a spot where he nearly killed a buck by the name of Longhorn 3 years prior. The spot had a pile of sign and trail cam proof of multiple large deer using a scrape under a large apple tree 10 yards from the stand. There had not been much daylight activity, but the timing was right for one to slip up.
I snuck in unnoticed and got ready for the afternoon sit. The thought process was that the bucks would run the ridge top, scent checking a north facing bedding area for the first estrus doe and would give me a shot seconds before getting down wind of me.
At about 5:30 pm, a large buck did just that. The unfortunate thing, however, was he went behind the Lone Wolf set instead of in front of it. Because the stand is tucked up in a cedar, I could hardly see him with my own eyes, let alone video him as he passed at 20 yards. I grunted a few times with the HS No Bull grunt call to get his attention, hoping to make him think I was another buck at the apple tree scrape. He brushed me off and continued on, scent checking the bedding area to my north. My hopes at that point were that I had gotten him curious enough that he would return after checking the bedding area.
Sure enough, like big bucks do, he waited right until the last few minutes before he made his move towards the scrape. With 10 minutes left of legal light I was just seconds from doing a closing interview when I could hear him coming up from the bedding area I had seen him enter an hour earlier. I got the cameras on knowing I was quickly running out of time.
As he stepped out, I knew he was a really big deer. He entered my shooting lane at 22 yards, nearly straight downwind and stopped. Quartering away perfectly, I knew this was my shot. I drew back and settled into my shot. I released the arrow and could see the Lumenock blast through his rib cage and burry in the ground on the other side.
He ran 30 yards and stopped, acting like nothing happened. Suddenly he became wobbly and took off down hill. All the crashing suddenly came to a stop and the second wave of adrenaline began.
I pulled out my phone – only 6 minutes of legal light remained. I had killed a buzzer beater buck! Shortly after, I called a buddy to help with the recovery. We gathered up lights and took up the trail a few hours following the shot.
At this time I still was unsure what buck I had taken. All I knew was that he was big. Upon recovery, we found out it was a buck that I had on camera only a handful of times. I called him Frank, because he was a Tank. He fully lived up to his name.
A gross green score put this giant 10 point at 174″ with a net score of 167 4/8″. He also weighed 247.4 pounds field dressed. By far the biggest buck of my life. I’m extremely blessed.
When the hunting gets tough, keep pushing. Trust your gut. Call a buddy for another opinion, and you never know, maybe the next deer you see will be your biggest yet.
Be sure to check out Kurt’s hunt in the video below…