Central Minnesota resident David Wienhold is no stranger to big deer. Prior to the 2017 season, this 28-year-old bowhunter arrowed three Booner bucks in the past five years on the 500-acre family farm he enjoys hunting. Of those three Booners, the largest stretched the tape to 175-plus inches. But when a particular buck he had never seen before stepped out into the bean field, he knew that he was witnessing something far bigger.
David had heard rumors of a giant buck on another farm about a mile up the road, and when it stepped out for the first time on that fateful November evening, he knew it had to be that deer. Its 9-point main-frame rack was impressive to say the least. That said, it was the added multiple stickers and heavy mass that stole the show and made it so distinct.
With the rut beginning to take shape, David hit the horns in an attempt to rattle the buck into range, but the buck didn’t respond. The only buck interested was another 145-inch 10-point that had also stepped into the bean field following a group of does. Although the 10-point buck was a nice deer, and would have made an excellent addition to anyone’s trophy room, it was the Minnesota monarch or nothing for David.
The following afternoon, David moved his stand closer to where the buck entered the bean field in hopes of at least catching another glimpse of it. However, the only entertainment he witnessed was a couple of young bucks harassing does. But with snow in the forecast the following day, and the rut activity sure to increase, David knew the best opportunities were yet to come.
On November 4, with a fresh layer of snow on the ground, David went to his stand hoping to catch the Minnesota monarch cruising. David’s stand location was about 80 yards from a big swamp. On the northern side of the hardwoods was the cut bean field the buck previously appeared. The other side was a standing cornfield. In David’s experience, deer often come out of the swamp and hang around in the woods before going into the open.
As he climbed into his stand, David immediately noticed fresh blood in front of his stand with the ground tore up around it. He first thought it was a possible predator kill site. However, later investigation revealed it was a buck fight and that one of the bucks came up short. Thinking deer might stay out of the area with fresh blood in the snow, David thought about moving, but when the first group of does slipped by unalarmed, he decided to stay put.
With about an hour of light left, David heard several buck grunts coming his direction but was unable to see the source at first. However, when he stood to turn on his camera and grab his bow, he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. Zeroing-in on the movement, David could quickly tell it was the buck he was after. The buck stood in the shadows licking its body for five minutes. Needless to say, that felt like an eternity to David.
But, as if David had written the script himself, the buck started walking again toward his stand, grunting with each step. Forty-five yards quickly melted into 20, and in a matter of seconds, the hunt for this Minnesota monarch came to an end.