LAST UPDATED: May 8th, 2015
While it may seem hard to believe, Bowhunt or Die has reached Episode 7 of the 2010 bowhunting season. With the rut in full swing, our staff members flooded the woods and fields of Wisconsin and Illinois in hopes of harvesting a mature buck on film. Two of our most persistent Pro Staffers, Mike Willand and Neal McCullough, both harvested good bucks and Todd Graf continued his Quality Deer Management efforts by harvesting his second doe of the season. In case you missed Episode 7 of Bowhunt or Die, read on for a recap!
Neal McCullough was the first out of the gates and he brought us an exciting hunt for a Wisconsin 10 pointer. Neal has been hunting hard all year long and just hadn’t been able to put fit the pieces together, but he stayed resilient and kept after it knowing the only way to tag a big buck was to keep working hard. On the morning of November 7th, Neal was able to call in a big rutting buck while hunting in Pepin County, Wisconsin. The big buck was so focused on the buck he thought he heard making the grunt, that he paid no attention to Neal’s mouth grunt to stop him. Neal had to practically yell at the buck, but when the buck stopped, Neal took hit shot. The shot didn’t get much penetration, but Neal gave the buck plenty of time and was able to recover his buck. Congrats Neal on a well-deserved, hard earned Wisconsin buck!
Pro Staffer Neal McCullough had been working very, very hard throughout the season and was thrilled when he harvested this buck. The expression on his face says it all!
We then head to Northwestern Illinois and join staff member Mike Willand in JoDaviess County. Mike’s 2010 season thus far was similar to Neal’s in that he was seeing good bucks from stand, he just wasn’t able to close the deal or they weren’t the caliber buck he was looking for. All that changed, however, on the afternoon of November 11th. Just as soon as Mike got settled in his stand, a mature buck pushed a doe across the bean field Mike was situated on and the buck casually walked right in front of Mike’s stand at no more than 20 yards. Mike’s first shot was true; however, the buck stayed within range and presented another shot. Mike’s second was through the lungs and the buck laid down and expired; a quick, clean kill! The result was Mike’s first self filmed buck harvest on an old, mature buck. Nicely done, Mike!
Mike Willand looking over his first self-filmed buck kill. While Mike’s buck certainly isn’t the largest scoring whitetail in Illinois, one cannot refute this buck had some age on him making him extremely difficult to kill and equally rewarding.
Bowhunt or Die host Todd Graf jumps in on the action as he continues his pursuit for his second buck of the 2010 season. Todd continued to put in a ton of time and effort and his drive in the whitetail woods to be successful is admirable. Unfortunately, despite several more buck encounters, Todd just wasn’t able harvest a nice buck for this week’s episode. On the other hand, Todd was able to harvest a nice adult doe off one of his hunting properties. Quality Deer Management is very important to Todd and he takes the practice very seriously, so it was a virtual no brainer to thin out the herd and put a little meat in the freezer when the opportunity presented itself. Great job Todd, now you can focus your efforts on that second monster buck of the season!
This screen shot was taken just seconds before Todd Graf released an arrow. Todd takes Quality Deer Management very seriously and he didn’t hesitate to take this doe to ensure better hunting opportunities in the future.
John Mueller concludes Episode 7 of Bowhunt or Die as he toughs out a frustrating November. As amazing as the rut can be for some hunters, it can be equally as frustrating for others as was the case for John. He had been seeing great activity and some good bucks, just couldn’t coax them in close enough or they were too busy with a doe. But at the end of the day, that’s bowhunting. As frustrating as it can be sometimes, that’s also the beauty of the sport because we appreciate the sweeter moments that much more. Don’t give up, John. When you do connect, it will only make that feeling that much more enjoyable!
One of the several bucks John Mueller had an encounter with over the past several weeks. While John wasn’t able to harvest a buck, he has certainly put the time and effort in to do so. Patience pays, John! Patience pays.
That wraps up the action for Bowhunt or Die Episode 7. Unfortunately, firearm season settles in for the majority of the country so there will not be a Bowhunt or Die next week. If you are a gun hunter, please be safe and remember to wear blaze orange! Until the next episode of Bowhunt or Die, enjoy the Thanksgiving Week with your family and have a blessed holiday!