Waukesha County credited with 18-point drop tine buck [Photo]

Waukesha, Wis. — Gary Barenz, of Menomonee Falls, shot an unusual 18-point non-typical buck in Waukesha County on Sept. 22.

Barenz, 55, has been gun deer hunting every year possible since he was 16 years old. He’s bowhunted from time to time depending on if he has had a spot to hang a stand on private land – and he found one, back in 1998. He’s been hunting that 42 acres in Waukesha County since then.

“I started using a crossbow two years ago because my shoulder really couldn’t handle a compound any more,” he said.

Barenz picked up hunting alone as a teenager, because his dad didn’t hunt.

“I just wanted to do it,” he said. “I’ve hunted from time to time with my brothers, but it was more or less something I did on my own. My wife, Debbie, has hunted a few times, but she’s never been sure if she could really pull the trigger. I’m happy that she just likes to eat venison and allows me to hunt – and hang up any trophies I get in our home.”

But, he’s not really a trophy hunter; just ask him.

“I shot one other nice buck, an 8-pointer that scored 138 a while ago,” he said. “But I’ve never considered myself a trophy hunter. Sure, I always want to shoot a nice buck, but I’m just not too concerned about huge racks.”

It has been a few years since he shot a deer. It’s not that he hasn’t been able to squeeze the trigger on small bucks or a doe or two, he just has decided not to.

“The landowner and I have just not seen many does on the property the last few years,” he said. “We have been leaving the does alone for a while to hopefully get the population up a bit more in our area.”

Barenz had hunted a few days in the early bow season, but hadn’t seen much. He was mostly focusing on swamp stands and the edges of fields. Stuff just wasn’t happening.

“I decided to move in and hunt a ladder stand I had deeper into the woods,” he said. “I hadn’t hunted it all year, but wanted to try it because the deer just weren’t working normal spots.”

At around 4 p.m. on Sept. 22, he entered the woods hoping that his luck would change.

It did.

“Honestly, it happened pretty quickly,” he said. “I was scanning the area and looking to my right and caught something in my eye on the left. I grabbed my bow when I noticed the antlers.”

The deer came by at a quick clip, on its own, and stopped 22 yards from Barenz’s stand.

“If it had been two feet either way of the lane I could not have shot,” he said. “I aimed my bow and shot. He went 30 yards and dropped dead.”

Barenz had thought he shot a decent buck, like a 10- or 12-pointer. When he arrived at the fallen buck he was more than surprised at it size.

“I really couldn’t believe it,” he said. “It was more than I could have ever hoped for. The buck had everything, including two drop tines.”

The freak-of-nature buck had 18 points, including a G2 at 13 inches and G3 at 14 inches.

“A tape was put on it and it scored roughly 214,” he said. “That’s not official. I’m not concerned about deductions because of the drop tines. I’m just happy I got him.”

Barenz had trail cameras out, but didn’t know he had a giant in his midst for certain until one had fallen to his bolt.

“We had a nice one on a trail camera,” he said. “But until we really inspected the image we didn’t know it was the one I shot. We’re now convinced we had him on camera, too.”

The buck was one that Waukesha County seems to be known for despite not having the sexy reputation of Buffalo County. In Waukesha County, big deer are most often found in parks, swamps, and small woodlots. Hunters just have to know how to find them and then be lucky enough to find a landowner who will let them hunt.

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