Southern Minnesota bowhunter arrows a 9-pointer hauling a mess of fence

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   Editor’s note: Outdoor News reader Cameron Maurer arrowed this buck last Saturday, Oct. 23 near Redwood Falls. As readers can see, the buck had a mess of nylon rope, hay bale twine, and fencing tangled in its 9-point rack. Maurer, 33, of Redwood Falls, shares his story of the experience here.
By Cameron Maurer

As the sun came up on a calm, crisp Oct. 23 morning, I had been watching two small bucks sparing about 100 yards from me for about a half hour. One of them split off and started to head my way eventually reaching the food plot in front of my bow stand on a piece of private land.

I was watching him feed on turnips and hit a licking branch when out of the corner of my eye this buck stepped out into the open on the south end of the food plot. I did a double take as I noticed something unusual in his rack.

I put my binoculars on him and realized he had a whole mess of fencing wrapped around his head. Upon closer examination, I recognized the deer as a split G2 buck that my brother and I had trail camera pictures of and was one that definitely had some potential to grow into a nice buck.

As the buck made his way into the food plot, I had my mind set on not shooting this deer. As I observed him and he got closer, however, I could tell the deer was not acting normal. He was breathing heavy and didn’t have any interest in feeding in the plot.

He eventually worked his way into 25 yards and stood behind a cedar tree. I did not have a shot, but his pausing gave me more time to evaluate the deer. My instincts told me that this deer was in bad shape.

He looked lethargic and continued to breathe heavily. The smaller buck worked his way over and was interested in sparing some more, but this 9-pointer didn’t have any interest in expending that kind of energy.

I knew I needed to harvest this buck. Letting him walk away meant his certain death was going to be long and painful. After about 10 minutes, he began to exit the food plot heading for the thicket by the river. I had about a 20-yard gap between two cedar trees that would provide my only shooting lane.

As the buck stepped into that opening I ranged him at 38 yards. I drew my bow as he continued to walk slowly through the switch grass. Just before he reached the second cedar, I let out a short grunt. He stopped and turned his head towards me.

One of the fence posts was hanging down covering part of his front shoulder so I took aim further back hoping for a lung shot. The arrow ripped through the air finding its mark and completely passing through the deer. I could tell it was a good shot as the buck bounded off and out of sight.

I sat in my stand for 20 minutes waiting for the after-shot shakes to subside. Eventually, I crawled out of my stand, found the arrow covered in blood, and saw a very distinct blood trail.

Confident that the buck was just up the trail, I brought my two nieces out to help with the track job. The excitement was high for a 6- and a 3-year-old as it was their first time tracking a deer. We stomped through the thick woods following one of the easiest blood trails I’ve ever seen.

Image0Not even 60 yards from the shot, the girls spotted the buck piled up in a tree. It was a proud moment for me introducing my nieces to my hunting passion.

Examining the deer and the mess that was on his head, I noticed that he had rope around his neck and in his mouth. I felt a huge sense of relief knowing I made the right decision and gave this deer the quickest and least painful death possible.

We’d seen this buck 12 days earlier via our trails cams, so I know the entanglement had happened within that time period.

The situation is a reminder to all citizens to think before throwing fencing or any trash away in an area where these animals live. We can all do a better job of providing great wildlife habitat.

Maurer said the venison was in good shape from the deer, and he’s working with a taxidermist to have the buck mounted.  

Categories: Hunting News, Whitetail Deer

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