With three boys (ages 5, 7 and 18) Bill Pulse does not have the luxury of being a trophy hunter. Pulse’s main objective in the stand is to fill the freezer. But despite his doe-whacking ways, he was still able to take this massive 23-point buck during Missouri’s archery season. Here’s how he did it.
Pulse is a firefighter/paramedic and during the fall he has a good amount of time to spend in the woods. He hunts a stretch of rolling timber outside of Parkville, Missouri near the Kansas border. The area edges the suburbs and while it’s not known for producing trophy bucks, it has a high deer density. By November, Pulse had already killed two does.
On November 4, the rut was on and Pulse was in his stand waiting on a buck. He perched in a tree at the bottom of a wooded bowl where he had seen two nice bucks earlier in the year. The plan was to draw them in by rattling. Soon he spotted a buck up the ridge and another, smaller buck also worked its way around Pulse’s stand. Then out of the corner of his eye he spotted one huge tine 40 yards away, through the timber.
Pulse blew into his grunt tube and urged the buck into rage. The deer thrashed a tree and then came in grunting. “I’ve never seen something so nasty,” he said “I had no idea how big this deer was, other than it was the biggest deer I’d ever seen in my life.” The buck came in on a line and Pulse drew his bow, a Darton that was made in 1988 (Pulse fondly calls it his BowTech Banjo). He picked a softball-sized opening in the brush below his stand and when the buck tromped through it, he squeezed the trigger on his release.
But the arrow hit a branch and sounded a harmless ‘thud.’ It was one of the most depressing sounds Pulse had ever heard. “My heart hit my shoes when I saw my arrow in the tree,” he said. But the buck didn’t totally spook. He started making his way up the ridge, while Pulse knocked another arrow. At 40 yards Pulse fired again as the buck quartered off. This time his aim was true and he hit the deer square. After a short tracking job he found the buck dead, 40 yards up the ridge. “He looked like a rocking chair tipped over,” Pulse said. While the deer’s rack is incredible, his body size is perhaps even more impressive. Pulse never got his buck weighed, but you can see just how enormous he is in this picture. For reference, Pulse stand 5’10” and weighs about 200 pounds.
Pulse and a buddy hustled to get the deer out of the woods and quartered. And with good reason, the Missouri Youth Hunt was coming up and Pulse wanted to get his son a deer. Just two days later Pulse was able to help his seven-year-old son, Garrett take this great 9 pointer.
This was Garrett’s first buck. As you can see from the photo, camo facepaint is turning into a Pulse family tradition.
There aren’t many trophy bucks where Pulse hunts, but he says if you put in enough time in the woods, anything can happen. “People say ‘he got lucky’ but I put my time in … you can ask my wife, she can verify.”
Here’s Pulse’s mounted buck next to a deer his grandfather killed. Bill’s grandfather’s deer scored 164 and it was always Bill’s goal to top it one day. With this buck, it’s safe to say he did.
Pulse’s buck is essentially a mainframe 12 pointer with a whole mess of extra junk. The inside spread on his buck was about 21 inches and its green gross score was 209 3/8.
Bill Pulse killed this incredible 23-point buck during the Missouri archery season. See more photos of this buck and the story behind the hunt.