Family Deer Drive Produces Giant Buck Harvest

Big Game,White-Tailed Deer


Family Deer Drive Produces Giant Buck Harvest

Posted 2018-11-28T13:41:00Z  by  Steve Gullickson

Sound QDM Practice Leads to Success

Rack Report Details
Buck:180 Inches
Time of Year:November 19, 2018
Place:Chippewa County, Wisconsin
Weapon: Winchester Rifle  Rifle 

Justin Matott poses with the monstrous deer-drive buck. (Matott photo)

Practicing Quality Deer Management (QDM) isn't a guarantee that you will see a trophy deer during the hunting season. As a hunter, passing younger bucks isn't tough to do when you know you have decent age-class bucks calling your property home.

When Wisconsin resident Justin Matott went out hunting on day No. 3 of the Wisconsin gun season, he was hoping to see a good buck somewhere around 140 inches. He certainly wasn't expecting to see a Booner-caliber buck, let alone get a shot at one. That is precisely what occurred that day, though, and by the smile on his face, you can almost feel his joy.

We have always hunted as a family and we usually hunted bucks only, Matott said. Exceptions were made if it was someone's first hunt or if the season was ending and no venison was put in the freezer yet.

Conducting QDM leads to the presence of big bucks like this one. (Matott photo)Matott's family practices QDM by holding out for 8-point bucks with at least a 16-inch spread. A typical hunt for him is sitting in the stand until about 10 a.m., and then doing a few deer drives with the family until around 2 p.m. Then everyone heads back to sitting stands until the close of the day.

One drive we make is about 20 acres of grass, brush, tag alders, and swamp, Matott said. It is in the corner of a 160-acre [timber block]. We always set up the standers in the hardwoods and drive to them.

During the opening day on Saturday, Justin and his family gave this property a drive. Only one deer was seen, a respectable buck which his father spotted, just as he was getting to his spot to stand. No other deer were seen that opening day — not a great start to the gun season.

Fast forward to Monday (day No. 3). With several people involved, the morning hours passed and it was time to push the property again.

I worked my way up to the top of a ridge on the eastern side, so I could see down into the drive, Matott said.

Justin got to the location he wanted to stand and looked in the hardwoods. A deer stood about 120 yards away, looking straight at him. As he raised his gun to get a better look at the deer, the doe bolted. She wasn't alone.

Walking up on this site is one to behold. (Matott photo)Without hesitation, Justin put the crosshairs on the shooter buck and pulled two shots off as it pursued after the doe.

I could see the first shot hit the buck hard and the second also connected with the buck, Matott said.

He quickly moved closer to the buck and took a third shot.

It all happened so fast, Matott said. I could see he was down for good, and it was a good buck.

Shooting the trophy buck with his Winchester rifle that his dad bought him when he was just 12, also produced special feelings.

I have shot many good bucks before, but walking up on this deer, I knew he was a trophy, Justin said.

The 14-point buck had a spread of 19 ½ inches, double split brows, a split G2 and kicker points. A true trophy buck anywhere.

Who says practicing QDM doesn't pay off?

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