My 10 Point, 2005 Public Land Marsh Buck...Despite the Obstacles!
By Dan Infalt
The weather radio at work suddenly stole my attention away from the Boss man, who had been ranting about what he wanted me to do in the afternoon to make up for leaving early for hunting the evening before. I stopped my mindless nodding in agreement and jumped to attention. I grabbed Boss Man by his shoulders and said, Did you hear that, Man? A cold front is moving in!!! I got to get to the woods. You are going to have to get someone else to do this job. I hit the door running, I knew if I hurried I could get my boy, Rat Slayer, and be in a great staging area 2 hours before dark.
I flew into the driveway, and jumped out of the truck as it screeched to a halt. Satan, my pet name for my lovely wife, was there to greet me. I told her to fetch me a quick sandwich so I could hit the woods. She said, "Honey Dearest" (yep, that's what she called me) ..."You can't hunt every afternoon!
"WHY NOT!" I yelled.
There are chores piling up and you're going to have to start pitching in. Her voice was starting to sound angry, and I knew she meant business.
So I said, "If you really need me here, I can give up tonight. You have been a real sport in letting me hunt every day so far. One day home won't kill me, even if we are finally going to get a cold front. Go up stairs and get my tool belt, and I will start with the leak under the bathroom sink."
As she went upstairs, me and Rat Slayer gave each other a wink and made a brake for the door. As we got into the truck, Satan came flying out of the house and jumped on the hood, but I was able to get her to roll off after the second turn.
I knew the cold front would mean deer movement...work would HAVE to wait!
We got to the public marsh parking lot at 4PM and headed into the marsh. Rat slayer would set up in one staging area, and me another. We would cut off all the bedding areas in that part of the swamp. 4:45 I was at my tree and pumped up. You could sense the approaching front, and I knew the deer would be moving.
It didn't take long. 15 minutes later I saw a lone buck moving thru the cattails in our direction. He was heading right for Rat Slayer, but veered and turned towards me. I turned my bow cam on and started recording as he closed the distance.
When he got to about 40 yards I recognized him as one of the bucks we were glassing using this bedding and staging area during the late summer. He was a decent 10 point and would make a fine trophy for the public grounds.
Suddenly I heard footsteps behind me and watched the buck's easy going attitude turn more tense as he continued slowly forward, straining to see what was walking in the woods behind me.
I started to think it could possibly be one of the even larger bucks I was seeing during the summer. So I glanced back, but it was only a doe and a fawn.
They were downwind of the buck and making some noise in the brush. It was apparent that the buck was a little nervous about the noise that he could not identify. He cautiously eased forward until the endless briars and bushes finally allowed a small opening for a shot at 20 yards. It was easy to get my bow drawn back while his attention was on the noise in front of him.
My lone sight pin settled just behind his shoulder and the string released forward sending a screaming shaft of carbon at the buck's boiler room. At the sound of the shot the tensed up buck dropped down and almost ducked the arrow! But God was on my side today. The arrow hit the buck's spine and dropped him in his tracks. The does ran for their lives. and suddenly the woods got quiet.
I sat in the tree for a moment and just took it all in. Despite all the CWD killing's the DNR has done, despite the Boss man's attempts to force me to stay at work, despite being married to Satan, and despite all the other hunters in the public marsh, I came through with a decent buck.
I got down and headed for Rat Slayer's stand. He knew right away...Dad is here early without his stuff packed. He smiled and said, "How big?"
Dan Infalt wisconsin public marsh buck