Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

The author, Jordan Senf, with his prize buck. © Shiela Senf

The author, Jordan Senf, with his prize buck.
© Shiela Senf

October 2013

The Blanchardville buck

A boy recaps bagging the biggest buck of his life – so far.

Jordan Senf

Most Wisconsinites are proud Badgers and Packers fans. But sometimes, especially in the fall, we forget that our state is so much more than football. I suspect that many people do not appreciate the diverse geography and wildlife that comprises Wisconsin. I, for example, live in a virtual ocean of cornfields. Not far to the north is a plethora of pine trees. But one of my favorite parts of the state is Blanchardville in Iowa County.

One of the things that I like about going to Blanchardville is hunting there. I really enjoy the feeling of privacy that the woods there gives us. I love to sit in a tree stand at the bottom of the valley. I enjoy having trees surround us from the back and front. For about 20 yards then, it is wide open and there arenít any trees before the terrain rises steeply. On the top of the valley there is an alfalfa field where deer come and eat. After dining, they walk a path that they made straight down the valley and right in front of my stand.

Last deer season, we were getting ready to go to my grandparentsí house in Blanchardville to hunt. I had just sighted in my .243 bolt action the week before. I was psyched to go and to hopefully get a shot at a big deer. My dad and I arrived at my grandparentsí house on the Friday before opening day at about 9 p.m. After unloading our gear we stayed up for just a half-hour before going to bed. Morning would come fast.

The next morning my dad came into the room I was sleeping in and turned the light on.

ďGet up. We are going to go and try to get a big buck,Ē he said.

It took me a little while to wake up, but when I did, I was ready to go and get settled in the tree stand. One of the great things about hunting at my grandparentsí house is that we can walk out the door and we are in our stand in 10 minutes. We left the house around 5:15 and had to get inside the pasture gate without letting the cows out. It took us about 10 minutes because a couple of them were standing in front of the gate.

But we were sitting in the stand at 5:30. We thought that it was going to be a long day without a big buck because thatís how the previous years had been. We were sitting in the stand for about an hour. It was just getting light about 6:30. Then, the biggest deer I had ever seen on the property came walking down the valley straight towards my stand. It was a 12-pointer.

I hoped he would walk in the clear where I could get a shot at him. He did. I had my scope on him the entire time. Then, when he stopped and looked around, I shot him. He ran for 15 yards and then fell in the trees.

I really wanted to jump down out of the stand and go running towards the deer, but I knew that I should wait about a half-hour to make sure that he was down. That was the longest 30 minutes of my life. When I could finally go see my deer I found it was the biggest deer, I had ever shot.

When it was all over I found out that it scored 138 on the Boone and Crockett Club scale. Itís just too bad that I wasnít in the local deer hunting contest.

I hope that others take advantage of the great outdoors of Wisconsin. I hope they appreciate the state for more than its football teams. Hunting is not only about getting the big deer. It is about hanging out with family. It is also for making memories and keeping a family hunting tradition alive.

Jordan Senf is a high school freshman who lives with his brother and parents in Cambria. He enjoys sports, especially football. He also enjoys hunting. His favorite season is deer hunting season. This is a story of the biggest deer he ever shot at his grandparentsí farm in Blanchardville.