The Mike Willand Buck

For all of you that follow the pro-staff here at, we are excited to bring you a closer look at some of the bucks they have recently harvested. In each enstallment, you will get an inside look at the equipment used and circumstances surrounding their fateful encounter. We hope you not only find it entertaining, but educational as well. This week’s featured whitetail is……The Mike Willand Buck. 


The Mike Willand Buck had badly injured its left leg years before being shot; which may explain the odd antler formation on the right side of the deer’s head.

Q:.  Tell me a little about what happened when the buck was harvested?

A: Days earlier, I got a picture of this buck utilizing one of my mock scrapes that I had doctored up with Tink’s Power Scrape.  As I proudly displayed my trail camera photos to my hunting partner, Justin Zarr, we quickly discovered that this buck had traveled over 2.5 miles from where we had gotten pictures of him in the summer. This buck was easy for everyone to identify because of his trademark cleft antler and deformed left rear leg. We were shocked at this trophy buck’s travel pattern. On November 10, the buck hit my mock scrape again. This time, I was in my stand and ready. He came in fast, charging a two year old buck, in an awesome display of dominance and pure rage. His charge, on three legs mind you, put him directly under my stand.  As I watched the arrow from my bow zip through the heavy morning air, the sound that reported back could only be from a perfect pass through. He went just 30 yards before tumbling over.


This particular buck had a very large travel range. This ultimately allowed a fellow pro-staffer to shoot him miles away from where he had originally been phographed.

The most interesting fact about this buck, is the distance between the first trail camera picture in 2008 and his final resting place on November 10th , which was over 4 miles as the crow flies. After retrieval of the buck, we were finally able to identify the cause of the peculiar three-legged charge. Years earlier, the buck had severely broken his left rear leg which resulted in a solid piece of bone, twice the size of his other legs. This also may have been the cause of the cleft antler that he carried the majority of his life.

Q:  What were the major factors that helped you harvest this buck?A:   A mock scrape, a good wind, and my trail camera showing the buck had recently arrived and was still moving during daylight  hours.

Q:.  Anyone you would like to thank for their help with this harvest? A: My wife for being patient.

Q:  What were the key tactics used to make this a successful hunt? A: A mock scrape.

Details of the Hunt:

November 10, 2012, Illinois, sunrise, Cloudy, about 45 degrees, winds out of the south southeast.

Equipment Used:

Bow = 2012 Mathews Heli MBroadheads = NAP NitronArrows = Carbon Express PileDriver Hunter 350Camouflage = Lost CamoTreestand = Lone WolfScents =Tink’s Mock Scrape Starter Clothing = Gamehide


  1. Bob Jacobs says:

    Cool Buck, I like reading these kinds of posts.

  2. I like getting an inside look at some of the bucks taken on bowhuunt or die. Thanks guys!

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