An Outfitted Hunt Along the Mississippi Yields World-Class Buck
Rack Report Details
212 2/8 Inches
Time of Year:
October 30, 2018
Wabasha County, Minnesota
When Jason Eiring booked a bowhunt with outfitter Mark Schuhter of Schuhter’s Outpost, he didn’t realize he’d be bringing home the largest buck of his life — a deer that Schuhter had nicknamed Hollywood and been trying to put his clients on for three years.
In camp the week Eiring killed the deer were five other hunters, one of which had encountered the buck during the 2017 hunting season but was unable to get a shot. A young man found both sheds on a neighboring property last spring. Enter October.
“Hollywood had been captured checking scrapes in the dark on October 19 and again on October 23 in broad daylight,” Eiring told. “These recent photos had us confident that someone in the group would encounter the buck.”
On October 30, Eiring, who was fourth in the rotation to hunt the stand Schuhter had positioned in the buck’s core area, was up to bat.
“After seeing a few smaller bucks pushing some does, including a 120-inch 9-pointer, I knew I’d be sitting all day,” Eiring said. “Temperatures were mild and the stand was very comfortable. Plus, I’d packed snacks for an all-day sit. I was also overlooking the mighty Mississippi River.”
However, as the morning activity began to fade, No. 1 was calling.
“Even though I’d never killed a buck between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. like many hunters have, something told me not to climb down and pee,” he said. “I stayed put. Good thing I did, because only 5 minutes later, I looked in the direction I’d seen the 120-inch buck and spotted another buck about 70 yards away.
“I quickly stood and pulled up my binos for a closer look,” he continued. “He was behind some brush, but I identified that it was a good buck. He continued on and was walking away from me as he emerged from the brush. It was Hollywood. Instinctively, I blew my grunt call.”
Hollywood looked in Eiring’s direction for what seemed like minutes before continuing his course. An anxious Eiring grabbed a little plastic funnel and snort-wheezed at the buck. Again, the buck stopped in his tracks, this time raking some branches. When finished, he continued walking away.
“In total desperation, I grabbed my doe-estrous can and tipped it over a couple of times, but Hollywood didn’t even glance my way,” he recalled. “When that didn’t work, I snort-wheezed as loudly as possible, and this time Hollywood took a hard right and was walking toward me up a steep embankment.
“I quickly gathered my thoughts and hooked up my release,” he continued. “Soon, he was only 24 yards away and behind some brush. I reached full draw, and the buck moved through an opening, but for some reason, I didn’t shoot. He walked a few more steps and was heading directly toward me with no shot opportunity."
The Mathews bow shook in his hands as the adrenaline kicked in.
“As he turned to walk back into the brush, I mouth-grunted to stop him,” Eiring said, “and when my pin settled behind his shoulder, I shot.”
Eiring expected the buck to fall within sight, as he’d seen where his arrow hit.
“The buck stopped and stood in place, then simply walked out of sight,” he recalled.
Eiring immediately phoned Schuhter to break the news.
“He was celebrating on the other end,” he continued. “I explained what I’d observed and how the buck reacted, and he assured me that he was confident we’d find the buck after a 2-hour wait.”
Eiring soon climbed down to inspect the place of impact. He found bright red blood, but after a few more steps, he found blood with stomach matter in it, and doubt set it.
“I called my stepfather, who introduced me to hunting, and a close friend to ask for them to pray that we’d find my buck,” Eiring commented. “And after waiting 2 hours, I met Schuhter and the other hunters. We elected to give the buck an additional 2 hours before trailing him.”
When the search began, the tracking team found the arrow just 15 yards from the first blood. The trail was stable, then became spotty. Within 40 yards, the blood trail improved, which boosted everyone’s confidence as Schuhter led the search.
“Schuhter suddenly turned around and pumped his fist, and we all knew it was time to celebrate,” Eiring shared. “I’m so thankful that God gave me this opportunity, and that He helped me hold it together to harvest truly the buck of a lifetime. It was an emotional moment as I put my hands on Hollywood’s antlers and thanked him for his life.”