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