As with every hunt for me, the real
hunt begins well before I drag my bow into the stand the first time. In this
case, it began while helping www.bluffcountryoutfitter.com
owner, Tom Indrebo hang stands on his Buffalo County
properties. After a grueling, midsummer day, Tom began talking about his Southern Wisconsin property. During the course of the
conversation, you could tell he was equally excited and frustrated. The 1000
acre property was what Tom had always wanted. A great blend of bluffs, food
plots and big woods, it was a hunter?s paradise. However, he was having a very
hard time getting hunters to book there. The problem was that everyone wanted
to hunt Buffalo County and, despite the largest buck to
ever come from this county being harvested on this farm, this property isn?t in
an area that holds a national reputation for producing slammer bucks. Though
this remaining a secret is great for the locals, it was very bad for booking
true humanitarian and people person that I am, I graciously offered to help.
Truth be told, Tom has been like a father to me over the years and I knew that
if he had the land that it must be good. When he started going on about how
great it was, I also knew it would be a fantastic place to hunt. I was so
confident of it that I contacted Mike Strandlund,
the editor of Bowhunting World, and invited him to hunt it with me before I
even scouted the farm. All that was left was looking over the place and coming
up with a time that worked for both of us.
scouting the property, it didn?t take long to realize that the land has
everything a hunter could ask for. Years of selective logging had resulted in
some of the thickest, nastiest tangles of brush I?ve ever encountered. When
combined with the steep terrain, it was clear that any amount of pressure could
never take all the good bucks out. Because of the light pressure it had
received, the strategically placed food plots and natural terrain funnels, it
promised to produce great hunting.
With scouting and slapping up a
half dozen stands out of the way, Mike and I planned a late October hunt there
together. Unfortunately, a family emergency occurred right before the hunt. I could
only spare one night away from home. Mike also ran into some traffic delays.
The net result was that I was left with an hour afternoon sit and one morning
sit before I would have to give Mike a quick tour of the stands I had up and
then head for home.
The afternoon was short, but sweet.
I passed two young bucks, while Mike was covered in does and had a brush with
an eight point that was right on the boarder of being a shooter. With a guide
and excellent chief living on the property, we were treated to a great meal and
hit the bed early for the morning hunt.
For my one and only shot at morning
before late season, I selected a stand I had put right in the middle of a doe
bedding area. I had been anxious to hunt the stand and also needed to get some
extra cover in the tree for Mike. It did provide limited cover, but you had to
be extra careful to remain undetected. To solve that problem, I brought in a 6
limb Cover System unit (www.coversystem.com)
and left it at the base of my tree to slap up after my sit was done.
About ninety minutes into the sit,
four does emerged on the ridge point my stand was covering. Studying them
closely, I was surprised to see that all were 1.5 years and older, but none had
fawns with them. Though it was still before serious breeding occurs, I took it
as a sign that the bucks were already harassing the does pretty hard. After
bedding within 30 yards of the stand for about an hour, the does got up and
slowly browsed away.
With things yet to do and the need
to get home, I grabbed the Cover System and quietly began setting it up. Just
as I was finishing, the sound of a rapidly approaching deer inspired me to grab
for my bow.
In a flash, an adult doe came
charging through the bedding area. Looking behind her, a large ten point was
not far behind. Coming to full draw as the great buck approached, I grunted and
bleated as it sliced through my shooting lanes. It wasn?t to be. He was in hot
pursuit of the doe and nothing was going to stop him. Letting down my draw, I
could only watch the great buck and hope the doe would eventually lead him back
Just as they vanished over the
ridge, the sound of another pursuer caught my attention. A 3.5 year old eight
point trotted steadily along the same path the other two had taken. Reaching my
shooting lane, he stopped to sniff the bed of one of the does that had bedded
there earlier. With my Switchback already at full draw, I positioned the 30
yard pin behind his shoulder and squeezed off the shot. With only a couple
hours to hunt Wisconsin,
I had somehow pulled it off. My Wisconsin tag
Though the property holds many bigger bucks, having very limited time made me thrilled to fill my tag with this 3.5 yr old eight point
If only I?d had a few days to hunt
the property. It truly is a hidden gem. The same can be said of Tom?s other
smaller camps. Though his main camp provides excellent hunting, his smaller
camps also are on great lands. However, they tend not to receive as much
hunting pressure. For those looking to save a few bucks, it really is a great
a comprehensive guide to cutting edge stand hunting methods, check out Steve
Bartylla?s new book. A full color, personally autographed copy of Advanced
Stand Hunting Strategies, can be purchased by sending a check or money order,
for $22.50, tax and shipping included, to the following:
Marshfield, WI 54449
sure to include your name and the shipping address.