-By Brandon Wikman
Ever heard of the phrase, "Earn-A-Buck?"
Some who haven't may think it is some deer hunting game, which requires you to somehow, someway "earn a buck."
Well, to be more specific, it's a herd management program Wisconsin has for specific counties within the state that requires you kill a doe before your buck. It's a great way to reduce the deer heard and keep the male to female ratio tight.
It ultimately balances the herd and promotes the harvesting of does, which are oftentimes overlooked. As many benefits as this management program has, I must say, it's been totally killing my buck hunting luck!
The Wisconsin archery season opened a couple weeks ago, but I was in New York. I got back to school, and after class I began my quest for the doe. The very first deer I saw was a buck, a young one at that. Followed by a few scraggly-racked teenage bucks. Of course, no doe.
I went out the following night sitting over a soybean field and had a 135-inch 8-point walk within 30 yards. I could only shake my head in disgust, wishing it hadn't happened or at least I didn't see it happen. At dusk a few more walked out, in rifle range that is.
Between school and weekends I managed to get out a few more times, but couldn't quite seal the doe deal and earn myself a buck tag... Until last night! Finally. I sat in a ground blind along a field and spotted a doe walking down the hill into the alfalfa. As she edged her way along the field she spotted the blind and watched closely as I drew back. It was far too late and she was way too close. We both had each other pinned, but I managed to release an arrow just in time.
It seems does tend to get harder to hunt when you're actually anticipating killing one. Now that I've got my doe grounded, I've got an all-access pass to a big monster buck, hopefully...
Although I do have one doe down, I still have to shoot another one to earn my firearm buck tag.