3rd Times the Charm
3rd Times the Charm
December 6th, 2015. Blue Earth County. A day Jeff Harrison will never forget.
The day started out like any other for Jeff, he simply does like he always does, throws on the camo, gathers his things and heads to the woods. This day was different though, the fog was thick, creating a damp atmosphere and he was muzzleloading. For those of you that use a muzzleloader, you will understand that is not an ideal combination. Jeff, who days earlier was prepared to fill his freezer with a nice 8 pointer until a pit-bull came flying through the woods chasing after them! What are the odds of that?! A frickin pit-bull in the woods! If it wasn’t for that pit this story wouldn’t even exist!
He arrived at his stand around 6:30 am. As he sat in his stand (playing on his phone like most of us do) he heard a noise that is impossible to describe. What he was hearing is the grunt of a world class buck. He thought to himself “what the hell was that this isn’t anything I have ever heard in the woods or on any TV show” and he went back to his phone. He sat there, waiting when something caught his eye….
Two bucks started making their way to him! He sat and watched as these 2 came in, he noticed the bigger one, he also thought “How have I never seen this particular giant? He wondered to himself” (For those unfamiliar, bucks during the rut can travel 25 miles or more in search of mates). These 2 bucks were concerned with this hot little doe just 40 yards from where he sat.
As he watched, they started walking sideways towards each other, eyeing each other up, attempting to show who was the dominant buck was of the area. With the hair on their backs standing and ready to lock horns, he got into position to take the larger buck. As he aimed, pulled the trigger, all he heard was a “click”. The gun didn’t fire. He scrambled as these two were only yards away presenting a once in a lifetime opportunity. He got his gun ready, aimed. “CLICK” miss fire for the 2nd time in a row!! Was it the moisture in the air? Was it packed too tight? Too Loose? Bad Spark? Many thoughts raced through his mind.
Defeated he sat there as he watched, this World Class Buck runoff. Sitting there with many thoughts and “what ifs” going through his mind, a lone doe stayed in front of him, or so he thought. He decided to watch her a while and make sure his gun was ready to go just in case something came back.
About 30 minutes or so went by and this 207 inch, World Class Buck came back. He turned around (this doe must’ve been something for the eyes) because he came back.
Jeff was ready this time. The buck walked within 30 yards of him and he fired. Smoke filled the dense fog air and he watched as many as 15 other deer ran off that he didn’t even know were there. The swirls in the fog were breathtaking he said. Emotional he waited, it got quiet and he got down out of his stand checking for blood and finding 1 little drop. He made a critical decision to go back to his stand to wait it out. About an hour and a half went by and he said “I just couldn’t take it anymore” He wanted to make sure he didn’t bump the buck and keep running, but he had to go look. He tracked the blood trail for roughly 150 yards and there he found a once in a lifetime giant! To go from an incredible high in seeing this buck, to an incredible defeated low and back to a high again in such a short amount of time is something you cannot explain unless you have experienced something similar.
I was there as he brought the deer to Randy Tetrick at TK Taxidermy in Lakeville. Let me tell you, seeing this monster up close and personal, it was an honor to be there. The stories you hear, the friends you meet, the experiences that you feel while being part of a small fraternity of Men and Women, boys and girls that hunt our great state of Minnesota
makes everything we do worth every minute we spend together in the woods.
Thank you, Jeff for allowing me to tell this fantastic story and to be part of this amazing experience!
President – Minnesota Hunting Club