Kyle Wuestenhagen, 14, of Boulder Junction had a good second day of the two-day Wisconsin youth gun deer hunt.
His evening hunt would conclude with an buck on the ground – an eight-pointer with a 13-inch inside spread.
Kyle was hunting with his dad, Sonny Wuestenhagen, the evening of Oct. 7. The duo was hunting from a ground blind near their Boulder Junction residence when the chance to harvest the buck presented itself.
“I just walked out of the house around four o’clock and I walked to my stand, with my dad,” Kyle said.
There was action in the woods almost as soon as father and son were situated in the blind. Action of the whitetail variety.
“We saw a few deer — a couple of small bucks, a couple does,” Kyle recalled.
A bit later in the vigil, something larger would come through the popple woods where Kyle and Sonny were stationed.
“Around six o’clock — that’s when the eight-pointer came in,” Kyle said.
He readied his .30-30 bolt-action and when the eight-pointer offered a good opportunity, Kyle delivered the fatal shot.
“I shot it at like an angle through the heart and across the lungs,” he said.
The buck didn’t go too far.
“It ran about 50 yards into the woods.” Kyle said.
Kyle and Sonny let the scene settle down, departing the area briefly before following up. When they did follow up, all was well.
“My dad and I came back — we got the flashlights and everything — and a half-an-hour later we went out and gutted it,” Kyle said.
It was not difficult to recover the fatally wounded animal.
“We had a pretty good blood trail, so it wasn’t that hard to find,” Kyle said.
Kyle said his dad field dressed the buck, but that it’s probably the last time that particular chore will be his dad’s.
“It’s my turn next,” he said.
Father and son took some pictures and dragged the deer out of the woods. They hung the deer in their barn.
It wasn’t the first time Kyle had been responsible for hanging up some free-range venison.
“This deer would be my third,” he said. “Last year I also got an eight-pointer, and then I got a doe down south last year.”
Kyle has to wait to dine on some of that fine table-fare.
“We just took it into the butcher, it’s going to be a couple of weeks before we get any of the meat back,” he said.
For the upcoming regular gun season, Kyle hopes to fill some more tags.
“I’m going to go down south and just kill some does,” he said.
Up until now, Kyle has hunted deer only during gun seasons, but he thinks the future might hold some bow hunting as well.
Kyle was a little self-deprecating when describing his thoughts about taking up the bow.
“I was going to try it this year, but then didn’t feel like doing it,” he said. “I kind of got lazy a little bit, but, hopefully, next year I’ll start to do that.”
Kyle registered his buck in the 2012 Northwoods Youth Deer Hunt Challenge.
Craig Turk may be reached at email@example.com