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The Boy Scout buck

November 19, 2010
Kevin Williams, Grundy County Conservation Director

In the deer hunting world all of the truly trophy bucks have nicknames. For example, there is the Breen Buck which is a magnificent animal taken by John Breen in Minnesota in 1918. So it took the name of the man that harvested it.

Then there is Old Mossy Horns. This buck was taken in Nebraska by Del Austin in 1962 and got the name because of the dried velvet that remained on his rack's huge droptines.

And the Missouri Monarch was found dead by a hunter in 1981. It is the current world record non-typical whitetail.

Article Photos

An unexpected camp out experience for the boy scout troop at Wolf Creek Park.
Photo by Kevin Williams

My friend, Dennis, and I have named a few bucks over the years, too. Some we have taken with bow and others we have not. There was the New Year's Buck that Dennis shot New Year's Eve and recovered on New Year's Day. There is one I named the Ironman Buck. That's because he had been shot by another bow hunter two days before I shot him. And I didn't find him for two days. That was one tough buck.

And there was Big Boy. Neither of us ever pulled the bow back on that deer but we had plenty of looks at him that fall and there were some close encounters but like a ghost, he disappeared never to be seen again. All we have to remember him is one photo.

Well, I was fortunate to harvest a very nice buck with my bow on Saturday. And the story around it is the reason for his newly acquired name. I was lucky enough to be drawn for one of the three bow hunting permits at Wolf Creek Park this fall. Thursday, I had received a call from the Scoutmaster in Marshalltown that his scouts were planning to camp at Wolf Creek that weekend. This troop has been camping at Wolf Creek for the past 21 years and they look forward to the Thanksgiving meal that they cook each year.

I knew from experience what that weekend has traditionally involved. Scouts burning off tons youthful energy playing capture the flag, tug of war, hide & seek, etc. "Great" I thought to myself. I just knew that the chances of seeing deer from the tree stand would go way down this weekend.

On Friday, in the early morning rain, I saw a very nice buck about 30 yards outside of my range with the bow. He was all by himself, cruising through looking for a doe. And the scouts were descending on the park that evening! By Monday he was sure to have located a doe and would likely be nowhere around. So I set a new stand that evening with plans to hunt the stand that next morning. Even though the scouts were there in the park, maybe with any luck they would sleep in until after sunrise and I would see the buck again.

Well, shortly after 7 AM, I heard a long, low grunt coming from the brush near my stand. A doe appears and not long after that the buck. A few minutes of chase ensued and then the shot opportunity for which I was waiting. Long story short, the arrow hit its mark and I was blessed with the nicest buck I have been fortunate to harvest. As I stood by the prize admiring him, I could see scouts out gathering wood for the morning fire. Of course, I had to text friends and family with the news and send a picture with this wonderful cell phone technology of today. When Dennis and my son, Sean arrived I related the story and told them I was going to walk over to the camp and see the scouts. Carrying the arrow, I explained what I had been doing that morning and asked if they cared to see the deer.

Thirteen excited boys followed me the short distance to the deer. I told them that I almost didn't hunt that weekend but that I was sure happy that I had. As they left for their breakfast, one boy said "Thanks for sharing this with us." And that's how the Boy Scout Buck came to be.



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