Buckmasters Magazine

‘Squiggles’ Makes a Mistake

‘Squiggles’ Makes a Mistake

By Tony Hough

You never know when a giant might mess up and make a daytime appearance.

Mark Krall and his hunting buddies retrieved trail camera photographs in late October of a distinctive buck they nicknamed Squiggles.

It’s not uncommon to see an uptick in mature buck photos on trail cameras that time of year, which might be considered the pre-rut, when bucks are cruising and hopeful. But catching them afoot in daylight in November is a rarity, unless they make a mistake or throw caution to the wind during the pursuit of a hot doe.

Mark was hoping that might be the case when he headed afield on the cold and calm morning of Nov. 15, 2013.

He first saw a few does about 6:30, some of them wandering as close as 45 yards before jumping a nearby fence. They weren’t in a hurry, and they didn’t seem bothered. The next whitetail to arrive made the hunter from Solon, Iowa, sit up and take notice.

“I had just leaned up against the tree with my old bow in hand when, all of a sudden, I heard a buck grunting back where the does had come from,” Mark said.

Slowly, he turned toward the sound and saw a buck on the move at 35 yards.

“I knew the buck was a shooter, and that’s all I knew,” he said.

Mark drew when the deer was behind a tree. When it jumped a fence and stood at 25 yards, arrow left bow. Because the buck had taken a step forward as Mark released, he wondered if the arrow hit the deer too far back to be fatal.

The buck went up a slight hill, slowing with every step. It stopped at 70 yards, and Mark pleaded, “Just drop right there, big boy.” But the animal started walking again, both slowly and lower to the ground. Not long after it stopped in some waist-high grass, Mark lost sight of it.

By then, it was 7:00, and Mark decided to wait an hour before taking up the trail. He found the arrow almost immediately, and the blood was easy to follow.

He had no idea he’d put an arrow through Squiggles until he was kneeling beside the 17-pointer, which has a BTR composite score of 193 1/8 inches.

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This article was published in the October 2014 edition of Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine. Subscribe today to have Buckmasters delivered to your home.

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