Drury Outdoors Team member Tom Ware posted about this 182 1/8-inch Iowa buck on the Drury site on Oct. 26. Ware started tracking the whitetail three seasons ago, nicknaming the young buck “Willy Wonka” for its distinctive W-shaped right antler. Ware passed on the bruiser last year, but hoped to take the 5 1/2-year-old this season if he got the chance.

Ware and his hunting buddy Mike Klemmensen set up in a box blind in the clover field the buck frequented. The sun was still high for the evening hunt and the pair watched a few small bucks chase some does. When the bucks paused to stare at a cedar thicket, Ware knew the big buck had arrived. He glassed the cedars and saw an enormous set of antlers rubbing a tree just inside the treeline.

“He came out and to see his rack up close in real life blew us away. He was much larger than we had thought! Klems leg started shaking and my heart was now pumping so hard I asked Klem if he could hear it. Wonka walked in front of us at 18 yards and I released my PSE EVO and it sent that Rage Extreme through that bucks vitals instantly.”

Ware attributes his success to Klemmensen’s good luck and his own land and deer management. It takes a lot of self-control to pass on a great buck, but there’s no doubt Ware made the right call last season. Sticking to his management plan resulted in an incredible buck and a great hunt.

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