The Droptine He Always Wanted Blaine Marion, a bowhunting veteran of 26 years, killed this trophy one evening on his family’s property in Chippewa County, WI.
It was the first shooter buck he had seen all year — he and his father had not even captured any good prospects on their trail camera and Marion had told his wife there might not be a taxidermy bill.
His family simply enjoys being out in their woods during the fall. They decided ten years ago to manage the deer population on their land by not shooting any bucks unless their antlers were outside their ears.
“Shooting a nice buck is a bonus,” said Marion. “If we don’t, we are just more excited to see what the next year will bring.”
On October 29, Marion, his son Bryce, and his nephew Daniel were all situated in the woods by 3pm; Marion and Daniel in stands, and young Bryce, who wasn’t hunting that day, in a nearby cabin.
Marion had seen several does and a buck fawn that afternoon, before this massive buck showed up trailing a doe. “His rack looked huge and he held it high,” he recalled.
When the buck was about 45 yards away, Marion drew his bow back and the deer froze. With his bow fully drawn, Marion was locked in a stare-down with the “biggest thing he had ever seen in the woods.”
Marion struggled not to blink and as seconds ticked by, the pull from his bow kept getting heavier and heavier.
He lowered the bow to rest on his leg, and the doe bolted toward his tree, luring the buck in closer.
The buck stopped broadside less than 20 yards away, but Marion was too exhausted and shaky to make the shot.
He thought it was over, until the doe turned to follow a scrape tail, and lead the buck back into range.
Marion released his arrow and heard an unusually loud crack.
The buck disappeared, and he thought his shot had hit a tree. He searched for the arrow on the ground, and found it covered in blood.
The blood trail began nearby, and Marion followed it until it dried up suddenly after only 60 yards.
It was getting dark so he consulted his father, who has a knack for tracking, and they decided to wait until morning.
Marion got a terrible night’s sleep, and the whole gang rose early and headed back to the woods. After a short tracking job they soon found the deer. Marion was thrilled to see the buck was big as he remembered, “No ground shrinkage at all!”
Sarafi Club International gave the non-typical buck a green gross score of 215 3/8 inches. Marion’s largest previous buck was a 158-inch typical 10 point, that he shot four years ago.
A True Public Land Trophy In another, wildly different, success story, Jesse Maruschak took this monster Missouri buck on opening day while hunting on public land. “I am blown away that something like this existed on public land,” he said. “Every ‘Average Joe’ hunter out there should be made aware that these bucks do exist for the guy on a budget.”
After more than 50 hours in a stand and losing out on several deer during an archery season filled with bad luck and disappointment, Maruschak was looking forward to the start of gun season, which he hadn’t participated in for years.
After camping out the night before the opener and having his bibs soaked by a torrential rainstorm, he borrowed an extra pair from a hunting buddy and set out into a familiar area.
It seemed like his bad luck would continue as Maruschak had trouble getting away from hunting pressure. “Guys walked all over us,” he said. “They sat 40 yards away; we encouraged them to move on; guys walked through areas we were watching; hunters shot deer that were working towards us…the joys of public land hunting.”
Implementing a backup plan, they decided to move to an area they had scouted on Google Earth but never hunted before. After driving for 45 minutes looking for an empty parking lot, they quickly consulted some maps and headed in. Maruschak set up on the edge of a deep hollow, aiming to catch deer as they headed for thicker cover.
Maruschak describes the area as “old school”; a mess of mature hard woods, deep hollows, fallen trees.
He sat down on a root wad and waited–but not for long.
Maruschak was hunting for meat, but when a big shooter buck came towards him at a full run, accompanied by a doe, less than ten minutes after he sat down, Marushak gave the buck his undivided attention.
As the buck scrambled up the far side of the hollow, he took the 100 yard shot.
“My Browning Model 81 barked in the woods for the first time in over two years,” he said.
The buck stopped moving, and with only a partial view of his mid-section, Maruschak fired another shot, expecting him to bound off at any second.
He continued to scan the far hill with his scope, spotted the buck walking, and fired a third and final kill shot as the horns peeked out from behind a tree.
The deer was down. Maruschak texted his hunting partner Eric, and knew he had to hurry and get his tag on the deer.
Maruschak threw on his pack, and climbed up the slippery hill, covered in fresh leaves and slick from the previous night’s rain.
Upon first glance, he thought the buck had gotten a small branch tangled in his antlers–until he realized it was his huge rack. “I was never intimidated to poke an animal in the eye to confirm it was dead like I was with this buck,” he said.
There was no cell-phone reception, so he waited about 30 minutes for his buddy Eric to show up.
Eric, thinking they were going to be tracking some does, was trying to be quiet as he approached, until he saw the rack in Jesse’s hands.
“Is that a rack?” he shouted, and the two men hugged and jumped up and down like little girls.
They field-dressed the buck and hunted for the remainder of the afternoon, looking to fill their doe tags.
Eric and Jesse split the venison they take. “My wife is the star of the kitchen,” said Marushak “She likes to experiment. Tonight we’re having tenderloin medallions with shallots and red wine vinegar.”
Jesse was raised hunting public land, and the two men having been hitting the woods together for a year. He estimated the gross green score of this non-typical buck at 191 5/8 inches.

All around the country hunters are taking unbelievable bucks. Most recently a Wisconsin archer shot a massive droptine buck and a Missouri hunter killed a public land freak.