The Story of an Enormous Bow-Shot Wisconsin Whitetail

Pewaukee's Jimmy Spataro wanted a little R&R after his wife Linda's brush with death from a brain aneurysm in October. In his 60's and fighting his own battle with fibromyalgia, he was just happy to be able to climb his treestand and hold his TenPoint crossbow. November 15, 2010, he wasn't expecting to shoot a top ten typical at 15 yards, five minutes from home in Waukesha County.
Official measurer Brian Tessman green-scored the 7x7 typical with one non-typical tine at 211 gross and 188 5/8 net. A panel of four measurers re-scored it at 210 5/8 gross, but disagreed on how to score a couple of points, so the final score is yet to be determined.
The panel's score of 179 1/8 net still keeps it as the largest crossbow-killed typical whitetail ever recorded from America's Dairyland.
If the final score matches Tessman's initial measurements and no larger deer are entered, the Spataro buck could rank as Wisconsin's ninth largest typical whitetail in the Boone & Crockett records of North American big game, and the largest ever from Waukesha County.
"I fired. I heard it hit him, hard," Jimmy recalled. "The buck took two more steps, turned left, and galloped back the way he came. I watched him for those 30 yards along the little ridge before he disappeared. It all happened within seconds."
"I remembered my cell phone was in my pocket for emergencies," Jimmy said. "I called my buddy Steve Vento (left) at about 4 p.m. He'll tell you I was very excited. I said, 'Steve, I just shot a giant buck. I don't even know how many antler points, but it must be 10, 12 or 14. Come over and help me.' Steve said he couldn't come because he was making meat loaf and apple crisp for his son! He wanted me to call him back after I found the deer."
Still in his stand, Jimmy called Linda. She was awake and feeling refreshed. He said, "I told her I just killed a monster buck with a lot of points, and asked if she was feeling up to the five minute walk, and if she would bring the camera."
Jimmy continued, "Next I called good friend Jason Harris. I was very nervous by now. He warned me to calm down and be very careful getting down from my tree stand. First, he said, I should sit and wait for at least 10 minutes. Then look for the arrow if it went right through the deer. Jason said he would join me in about 45 minutes."
After Jason, Jimmy called Randy Weisman, left a message and received an immediate return call. Randy said he would be there right away with his son A.J, wife Amy and neighbor Matt.
Spataro is a past president of Milwaukee's Italian Community Center and the National Italian Golf Tournament for Charities played at Grand Geneva Resort. Golf was his passion until his debilitating disease made the pain in his nerves and muscles too much to endure on the course.
His friend of 35 years, Michael Enea of Menomonee Falls, introduced Spataro to bow hunting about four years ago. Spataro said he liked the similarities to golf when it came to healthy time outdoors and individual challenges, as well as the social side of bowhunting and mastery of the equipment.
One problem; fibromyalgia made it more and more difficult for the elderly new bowhunter to draw the 35-pound minimum draw weight required by state law. His disability qualified him for a handicap hunting permit, and to use a crossbow during the gun or bow season.
Enea introduced him to Wisconsin's Forge Bow Company owner Steve Pagel, who, in turn, helped Spataro acquire a top-of-the-line TenPoint crossbow.
Par for the course, Spataro embraced bowhunting like he embraced golf. He read and listened. He practiced. And he became proficient, taking his first doe on Columbus Day, 2007, but this year's monster was his first buck.
He said, "If not for deer hunting with a crossbow, I wouldn't be getting outdoors in my late 60's and enjoying it as much as I do now, plus putting fresh venison in the freezer."

Fibromyalgia forced Jimmy Spataro off the golf course, so he took to the woods. His first crossbow buck? A hole-in-one.