There are very few things in life that last five years. Even college can be completed in four (although it certainly takes some longer). Some marriages don’t even last that long. Cars usually last a bit longer these days, but heavy drivers might not see that kind of longevity.
For one deer hunter, however, it took him that long to hunt and bag a 19-point buck in Wisconsin.
According to Fox News, Joshua Gawrysiak of Eau Claire says he shot the animal with a Matthews Compound Bow in Chippewa Falls earlier this month.
It was more than just the reward for a successful day of hunting. It was the end of an odyssey.
“I cannot believe this. It just amazes me,” Gawrysiak said in a Facebook Live video.
“This is the buck I’ve been hunting for so long. Here he is, I can hold him.”
“The prized buck was perhaps 5½ or 6½ years old,” the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reported, noting that Gawrysiak had previously had chances to bag the buck in previous years, but his shots missed the target.
Many hunters in the area knew of the massive buck’s existence, but the animal had managed to elude them for years, the newspaper reported.
“This year, the deer became more visible. There are hundreds of people who knew about him this year,” Gawrysiak said.
He spent the majority of the last two weeks out in the woods, trying to find the animal.
“I patterned him. I sat in that stand, knowing he’d be there,” he said. “You stand in the woods, freezing your butt off.”
The tip-off that he was about to land him was the appearance of a doe near his deer stand.
“I knew he’d follow her,” he said.
He was right. Moments later, he had his shot, and the deer ran about 75 yards before collapsing.
Now, Gawrysiak is trying to raise $3,000 via GoFundMe to get the animal mounted.
“This deer has got to be one of the smartest deer there ever was,” he wrote. “He dodged cars, bullets, arrows and poachers for a good 7+ years. (I’ve) had a history with this buck for about 5 years. I still cannot believe this is real.”
“I’m capable of getting a shoulder mount, but this deer deserves way more than that,” he wrote. “This deer is a legend.”
Thus far, Gawrysiak has received only about 10 percent of his $3,000 goal, but it’s almost Christmas season and I’m sure people are going to be in a generous mood.
Now that the hunt for the 19-point buck is over, however, Gawrysiak is in a reflective mood.
“It’s bittersweet,” he said. “The journey is over.”
“Watching this deer grow each year for the past five seasons was special and it’s sad I won’t be able to watch him grow anymore.”
But he’ll have the hunting story of a lifetime.
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