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Wow! What A Buck! The VanDorsten Buck


A giant main-frame 10-Point with a 22 inch inside spread…


December 01, 2010
In late September, I went to Indian Creek Archery, a pro-shop located north of Marshall which is owned by my brother Jeff and his neighbor and business partner Dick Kipp. I started talking about trail camera pictures and Jeff quickly remarked, "Wait to you see Kipp's pictures. He has a really big one on his property."

Dick scrolled through his phone and showed me an awesome buck carrying an ultra wide rack with non-typical points protruding from the bases. Wow, what a buck! We all agreed that this buck clearly exceeded 20 inches and the group guesstimated a possible inside spread of 23-24 inches.

After viewing the incredible photographs I asked Dick, "How are you doing? You're a mess aren't you?" Kipp looked at me speechless for a few seconds and then responded, "I can't wait for the season to start! I then asked him if he was getting any sleep because this thing has to be on his mind 24/7. He then nodded, "It's difficult."

WOWWhataBuck
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When the season finally arrived Dick was out opening morning sitting in a ladder stand on the southern edge of a small woods. For the first time he saw the monster in the flesh but it walked a lane on the northern side of the woods within shooting distance of another stand that Dick wished he had chosen instead of the one that he was presently occupying.

Richard managed to see the buck on two other occasions in October and each of these times he was sitting in the 'other' stand on the northern border of the woods. On the second occasion the buck was twenty yards away standing broadside while it was still too dark to shoot. Dick could only see that there was a deer standing there with the naked eye but a look through his binoculars displayed the unmistakable wide-frame of the big buck that he was after. Of course he moved on before it was light enough to shoot.

On the third encounter the buck was observed 60 yards to the north standing in CRP grass. The deer stared in the directions of the woods and then turned and vanished into the grass.

On the evening of November 4th Dick was once again positioned in the northern woods stand overlooking the CRP field that Kipp believed the big buck was using as a bedding area. Dick's 24 year old son-in-law, Brian VanDorsten was also hunting the property that night and was positioned in the ladder stand that Kipp used on opening morning. Brian had yet to see the big buck live and had only seen the trail camera pictures of him. Brian's stand looked into the small woods separating the two stands. A couple of years ago, Dick had dropped some of the larger tree's to break up the canopy which allowed sunlight to feed the forest floor and generated lush new growth providing both security cover and a sanctuary.

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At five minutes to six Brian all of a sudden saw a massive buck standing straight out in front of him. Since it seemed to appear from nowhere Brian thinks that the deer was bedded in the woods and stood up at that time. The big buck started walking towards Dick so Brian promptly texted his father-in-law, "Big 10 going your way".

When Brian finished texting he looked up and saw that the monster buck had switched directions and was now heading straight to him. In hindsight the hunters believe that the buck winded Dick since it was approaching from the south. The deer came all the way in to VanDorsten's stand but didn't provide a shot. It eventually got behind Brian a mere seven yards away. The deer then started walking west finally giving Brian a chance to draw his 60 pound Bowtech Admiral bow. VanDorsten elected to mouth-grunt to get the buck to stop and it worked perfectly because he stopped right in the middle of a shooting lane twelve yards away. Brian kept repeating to himself "No shoulder, no shoulder" as he aligned the site pin because he had once lost a buck- that he arrowed there. His shot effectively missed the shoulder and the deer took off running and Brian last saw him leaping over the down trees as he faded from view.

Once again Brian grabbed his phone but instead of texting he called Dick and told him that he shot the big 10. VanDorsten used a Rage broadhead and the blood trail was quite evident and easy to follow. After about 200 yards Brian saw the deer lying up ahead and quickly exclaimed, "His head is up, He's still alive!" Kipp told him to go back and get his bow and Brian eased out and then took off running. Dick stayed put and watched the deer through his binoculars. When the deer didn't move he soon realized that the deer's head was not up but laying on the ground. The antlers were so incredibly wide and massive that they gave the appearance of a deer with his head up!

When the two men walked up to the fallen trophy they quickly realized that it was not a big 10 but thee big buck from the pictures. There was no ground shrinkage. He was a true giant. He is a main-frame 10-point that possesses an astonishing 22 inch inside spread. Six additional dagger points protrude from the brow tines. Later on a tape would reveal a gross green score of 185 Pope and Young points. The two hunters have been very selective with their harvesting of bucks the last few years and stayed out of the designated sanctuaries. The property has food, water and cover.

Neither men had a camera on them that night so my two brothers Jeff and Joe met them in the field and took pictures. One of Jeff's pictures was posted on the Indian Creek Archery website the following morning and within a day the buck was wildly circulating on the internet. I forwarded a picture to Woods-N-Water News editor Tom Campbell and he responded with , "WOW, What a buck! I asked Brian what kind of reactions he was getting when showing others the great trophy and he said, "It's getting a lot of Wows!

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REO Ted Schweitzer
Country Smoke House
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