An isolated tamarack swamp stand. Favorable morning wind conditions. When a Wisconsin bowhunter ties the two together with help from HuntStand, a weekly BBA winner is crowned.
As countless HuntStand Hunting app success stories have shown, an outdoorsman (or woman) with a solid pre-hunt plan is a mighty powerful thing. Berlin, Wisconsin’s Charlie Klassa used a pair of waders, and his HuntStand Hunting app, to lay out a great rut-hunt this fall, and it paid off handsomely. For his efforts, Klassa nailed down a Week 5 win in our Big Buck ALERT contest that will net him an ALPS OutdoorZ Bino Harness X with Vital X rangefinder pocket, AND makes him eligible for our Grand Prize Drawing: A choice of either a sweet new binocular, OR a cutting-edge riflescope, from hunting optics specialist Leupold (contest details below). Enter now to join the fun!
Here’s Klassa’s exciting story in his own words:
“Experienced bowhunters realize that knowing the weather and wind direction is critical to success, and the HuntStand Hunting app is fantastically accurate in predicting both,” Klassa wrote. “I have found that the hourly wind direction and wind speed predictions are very accurate, and I rely on and trust the data. I used HuntStand to help me punch my Wisconsin archery tag this year with the buck you see above.
“The particular stand I chose to sit on the fateful day lies deep within our tamarack swamp, roughly three-quarters of a mile from the nearest road. I call it the ‘Poison Stand’ since the tree is surrounded by poison sumac. I typically wait until the rut is going strong prior to going anywhere near this location to hunt. This year, I cleared the stand out in mid-August, and put a game camera on the trail I use to access the stand. Once the rut heated up, I decided it was time to go into the Poison Stand. “The wind direction for the day I hunted was actually a terrible direction for the location, but I decided to go in since the wind was going to be very light until 10 a.m. My plan was to hunt the Poison Stand until the wind picked up, then move to another location. I trusted the data on the wind speed to help me make this decision. Our swamp was very wet this year and it’s tough going walking in. I wore chest waders and packed all of my clothes in on my back in a large pack. When I got to the Poison Stand, I pulled the trail camera chip on my way in and got dressed at the base of the tree. I had high hopes for the morning.
“By about 8 a.m. I hadn’t seen a deer or heard anything at all on a very quiet morning. At this point, I pulled out my phone and checked the trail camera SD card I had pulled walking in. To my surprise, there were no mature bucks on it at all from August through the start of November. Not one! There were yearlings galore and a good handful of 2.5-year-olds, but nothing else. I put my phone away, but still stuck to the plan of waiting to leave when the wind increased, based on my HuntStand weather information. Another hour passed and I heard a deer moving in the brush. As it got closer, I heard the unmistakable sound of antlers rubbing hard on a tree. I stood and got ready. After five more minutes, I could make out the rack of a large buck at 50 yards. Suddenly, a buck grunted deeply from the opposite direction… behind me. I turned and saw another heavy-racked buck, about 18 inches wide, but with short tines. He was walking as if he owned the place. As soon as I saw him, the buck I saw first snort-wheezed. The short-tined buck then snort-wheezed back!“Carefully, I turned around to see the buck I initially saw coming in, with his ears laid straight back. He had a much nicer rack than the short-tined buck and was definitely a shooter. I got my bow ready just as he hit an opening at 21 yards. When I shot, I did not see the arrow in flight. After the shot, the buck ran toward the short-tined buck, which was now only 15 yards away from him. Then the buck I shot stopped where the short-tined buck stood; about that time, three young bucks showed up to see what all the noise was about. When a forked-horn buck got a bit too close to the buck I had shot, the larger deer tried to gore the young forkie. I was in absolute disbelief—I was now convinced I had missed. I reached for another arrow wondering what had gone wrong. Just as I nocked another arrow, the big buck laid down. He never got up. To my astonishment, the buck simply flicked its tail, lowered its head to the ground, and that was it. He was dead, just 30 yards from my tree. This hunt is proof-positive that trail cameras are great tools, but they never tell you the full story.“2018 has been quite a year; my 9-year-old boy Jackson killed a 17-inch 8-point (photo above) at 230 yards during the first morning of the Wisconsin youth rifle hunt. I took my 6-year-old boy Mason out that evening, and he shot a nice 8-point (photo below) as well. Both of their bucks dressed out near 200 pounds. As for my buck, he dressed out at 217 pounds and green-scored 155 inches, gross.“After all the excitement of the youth deer hunt, my 3-year-old boy Elijah felt left out. Every night as I tucked him in he asked me, ‘When can I go deer hunting?’ After I shot my buck, I went home to get Elijah and my ATV. It was a lot of work dragging a large buck the 400 yards to where I could get the ATV to it, while carrying my son…but it was well worth the energy. I would carry my boy over my shoulder 40 feet ahead, set him on a bog, then drag my buck to him and repeat.Above, is a photo of me with my buck that 3-year-old Elijah took! It’s actually a great photo! I couldn’t be more proud of him; he shot his first buck (with a camera!)
“Thank you Team HuntStand, for developing a quality tool to assist in making this memorable day possible.”
To enter the HuntStand 2018 Big Buck ALERT contest, simply send us a few clear, high-res. digital photos (three to five) of your 2018 buck (accepted NOW THROUGH DEC. 15) along with a brief story of your hunt that explains how the HuntStand app played a part.
Be sure to tell us if your buck was known to you or a newcomer, then describe the area where your stand sits, or where the encounter took place, as well as the fateful day’s wind and weather conditions, and of course, the blow-by-blow account of the exciting action as it unfolded. Include your full name, age, successful hunt date and state, weapon used, and also be sure to include your mailing address. Your e-mail subject line should read: Big Buck Alert! Send your photo(s) and requested info to: [email protected]Team ScoutLook will choose 12 weekly winners that we will share with the extensive HuntStand community; EACH weekly winner will receive BOTH the Bino Harness X (valued at $49.99) AND Vital X rangefinder pocket (valued at $19.99) from ALPS OutdoorZ (see above).In addition, at the end of the 12 weeks, all weekly winners will be placed in a drawing for our Grand Prize. The Winner will GET THEIR CHOICE of a Leupold BX-2 Tioga HD 8X42 binocular (shown above, a $389.99 value) OR a Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 CDS riflescope (see below), a $389.99 value. Good luck out there this fall from all of us here at Team HuntStand, and let us know when (and how) you score!