MAKE ONE'S BED

Field and Stream - - GIANT - —S.B.

BUCK: “SPLIT EAR,” A 160-CLASS 10-POINT HUNTER: DAVE OL­SON, FARMER LO­CA­TION: SOUTH­EAST MIN­NESOTA DATE OF KILL: DEC. 18, 2016

THE CAM­PAIGN

In De­cem­ber of 2015, with our buck tags al­ready filled, my daugh­ter and I watched this big 10-point walk within 10 yards of our blind. He had a tall, heavy rack and a big split in his right ear. I hoped he’d make it through the win­ter. When I got pics of him the fol­low­ing sum­mer, I knew which buck I wanted that fall. But I didn’t re­al­ize how much un­til late Oc­to­ber when a 150-class buck walked into easy bow range. Any other year I would have taken that buck, but I couldn’t bring my­self to shoot be­cause I knew Split Ear was liv­ing on my farm. My bud­dies all gave me a hard time about it. I got lots of pics of Split Ear in a fairly tight area near a food plot be­hind my barn, but I’d only seen him from stand twice. I have an­other prop­erty that I usu­ally hunt in the late sea­son, but I couldn’t pull my­self away from Split Ear. Fi­nally, on Dec. 18, the cold­est day of the year, I headed to the place where my daugh­ter and I had seen him a year ago. He was the first deer out that af­ter­noon. I still shake ter­ri­bly when I see a good buck, but Split Ear took enough time walk­ing into bow range that I could calm down and make the shot.

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