This 17 point Wabasha County buck known as "Hollywood" scoring 212 2/8" was taken by Jason Eiring and on display in booth 408.

I attached some pic­tures of the buck I har­vest­ed in east­ern Min­neso­ta on Oct. 30, 2018 at 12:10 p.m.

After see­ing a cou­ple of does being pushed that morn­ing by some small­er bucks, one being about 120-inch 9‑pointer, I decid­ed it was def­i­nite­ly going to be an all-day sit. The tem­per­a­tures were mild and the stand was super com­fy, plus I had snacks packed for the day. As I turned around in my stand, I was over­look­ing the mighty Mis­sis­sip­pi. Why would I want to be any­where else? An added bonus: I was sit­ting in the small core area of very large buck folks had nick­named “Hol­ly­wood.”

This buck had been seen on cam­era on Oct. 19 in the dark check­ing scrapes and had also been cap­tured on Oct. 23 in broad day­light. These recent sight­ings had giv­en area hunters a ton of con­fi­dence that they could get crack at this trophy.

In hunt­ing camp, we had five guys whose dream it had been to put Hol­ly­wood in the back of their truck for the trip home; I was one of those hunters. Anoth­er hunter had spot­ted this buck the pre­vi­ous hunt­ing sea­son, but he’d been just out of range and couldn’t close the deal. Hol­ly­wood had sur­vived the rest of the archery sea­son and more cru­cial­ly the Min­neso­ta gun sea­son. A young man on a neigh­bor­ing prop­er­ty was for­tu­nate enough to find both sides of Hollywood’s shed antlers that fol­low­ing winter.

Bar­ring a crazy acci­dent, we knew Hol­ly­wood would be around the next hunt­ing sea­son for us to pur­sue via Mark Schuh from Schuhters Out­Post. I was the fourth guy in the rota­tion to sit this par­tic­u­lar stand and to tar­get this elu­sive buck. So Tues­day, Oct. 30 final­ly came around and I was on the stand tak­ing my turn. After see­ing the rut­ting activ­i­ty in the mid­dle of the morn­ing that mild morn­ing, things slowed down a bit. The clock struck noon, and nature was call­ing. But some­thing told me that even though it was mid-day and activ­i­ty was qui­et, I need­ed to stay put. I sat back down after eat­ing a snack and relaxed.

Five min­utes had passed when I turned around and looked down the bluff where I had seen the pre­vi­ous­ly men­tioned 9‑pointer harass­ing a doe ear­li­er. To my sur­prise I spot­ted a large-bod­ied deer about 70 to 80 yards down the hill. I popped back up to my feet and pulled up my Swarovskis for a bet­ter look. At first glance he was behind some brush but he clear­ly was a good buck. When he emerged from behind some brush I imme­di­ate­ly rec­og­nized him as Hol­ly­wood. I couldn’t believe my eyes and I was instant­ly in a pan­ic think­ing about how I could turn this mag­nif­i­cent crea­ture around and get him close enough for a shot with my compound.

I instinc­tive­ly grabbed my grunt call and threw some grunts his way. He stopped dead in his tracks and turned his head and peered up the hill at me for what seemed like min­utes. He then turned his head back to the direc­tion he was going and con­tin­ued on his way. With pan­ic set­ting in, I grabbed for my lit­tle plas­tic fun­nel and gave him a snort wheeze. Again he stopped and looked up the hill, except this time he start­ed rak­ing some near­by branch­es, and I thought to myself, “Oh boy this time I got his attention.”

Unfor­tu­nate­ly after he was done try­ing to show his dom­i­nance to this intrud­er buck, he turned his head and was on his way again. In total des­per­a­tion mode, I grabbed my doe estrous can and tipped it a cou­ple of times to see if I could change his mind. This time he didn’t even take a glance as he moved away from me. Set­ting the can down, I tried my snort wheeze a sec­ond time and ham­mered it as loud­ly as possible.

At this point Hol­ly­wood was feel­ing threat­ened and need­ed to find out what buck want­ed a piece of him so he made a hard right turn to start walk­ing up the steep embank­ment toward my loca­tion. I gath­ered my thoughts and fer­vent­ly clipped my release on my bow and wait­ed for him to close the dis­tance. It didn’t take him long, and before I knew it, he was at 24 yards behind some brush. Look­ing ahead of him, I saw an open­ing for a clean, eth­i­cal shot. I raised my bow and come to full draw.

Hol­ly­wood walked par­al­lel to me but was in some brush that pre­vent­ed a clean shot. He passed through a small open­ing and I decid­ed not to release. He walked a few more steps, then turned 90 degrees and was head­ing right at me and emerged out of the brush at 20 yards. With him now fac­ing me head on, I had no eth­i­cal shot because of the extreme angle due to the tree­stand height and slope upon which he stood. After only a step or two he turned and head­ed back into the brushy area.

As he was turn­ing, I gave him the known “murmp” when he was broad­side in his turn­ing motion, then I put bright fiber optic dot behind his shoul­der and released my arrow. I instant­ly saw the wound where the arrow entered this beast as he spun to dash away. He ran back down the hill to where he first appeared and head­ed in the direc­tion he was orig­i­nal­ly head­ing. As I watched him head away, I was antic­i­pat­ing him get­ting the wob­bles and drop­ping based on my obser­va­tion of the entrance wound place­ment. But to my sur­prise, he walked out of sight still on his feet.

I imme­di­ate­ly called Schuh and told him the news and heard him cel­e­brat­ing on the oth­er end of the phone. He shared my sto­ry two oth­er hunters who had come in for lunch. I told him what I observed after the shot and he said he felt con­fi­dent and that we would give him a cou­ple hours.

After some time passed, I descend­ed to look for my arrow and to see if there was blood where the arrow struck the buck. I could not recov­er my arrow but did find bright red blood that con­tained small air bub­bles. I con­tin­ued to see spots of blood and then noticed some of the blood had small pieces of corn it.  My heart sank as I imme­di­ate­ly start­ed ques­tion­ing my shot: Had I hit stom­ach or intestines? I returned to my tree­stand and wait­ed to hear from Mark.

After call­ing my step dad (who intro­duced me to hunt­ing) and a close friend to ask for their prayers that this once-in-a-life­time white­tail buck would go down with­out suf­fer­ing and that we’d recov­er him, I sat with waver­ing emo­tions. I came to tears think­ing about recov­er­ing this buck and how blessed I was to lay eyes on such a crea­ture much less get an oppor­tu­ni­ty to har­vest him. As two or so hours passed I climbed back down the tree­stand and met up with Mark and the oth­er hunters. We dis­cussed the sit­u­a­tion and decid­ed to let anoth­er two hours pass before we start on the blood trail.

After the gru­el­ing two hours, we head­ed back into the woods to my stand. We had been fol­low­ing the blood for rough­ly 15 yards when we recov­ered the arrow, which had been a pass through but must have stayed in this beast for a bit before it fell out. The arrow looked good so we con­tin­ued on dis­cov­er­ing some­what spot­ty blood. After we went anoth­er 40 yards fol­low­ing the blood we observed an improv­ing blood trail. That boost­ed our emo­tions as Mark led the way.

Sud­den­ly Mark stopped, turned around, and point­ed ahead with a fist pump. I could not con­tain my emo­tions any longer and broke down cry­ing before I even laid eyes on him. I was so thank­ful God had allowed me this oppor­tu­ni­ty, and I held it togeth­er to har­vest an absolute buck of a life­time. After I pulled it togeth­er we all walked up to Hol­ly­wood and I placed my hands on him. I thanked him for his life and for the oppor­tu­ni­ty. And the cel­e­bra­tion began.