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Lisa Brunner's Wisconsin Whopper Buck

The story began several years ago when Wisconsin hunter Lisa Bruner started noticing a young buck that had one side of his rack much larger than the other. “Uneven” seemed like a likely name for him. As he matured, his rack became more symmetrical. This deer also had another trait — he would completely disappear from her property from the beginning of October to mid-November.

In late summer of 2012, Uneven had grown into a 5½-year-old, 150-class 10-point buck. Bow season came and went, but Lisa did not get a shot at Uneven. She would have to wait until rifle or muzzleloader season to get a crack at him. Then Uneven did his usual disappearing act for about six weeks. He showed back up on the trail cameras a few days before rifle season. There was one problem, however — he had broken off three points, a G-1, G-2 and a G-3. On one of the last evenings of muzzleloader season, Lisa, with her husband Jeff filming the hunt, saw Uneven walk right under their stand. Lisa decided to let the old boy go another year.

All winter long, Lisa and Jeff wondered if Uneven could survive the winter. The winter of 2012-2013 in Wisconsin was one for the ages. Storm after storm pounded the region, the last dropping 14 inches of heavy snow on May 2. This was a winter like none even the old timers could remember.

Spring finally arrived late in May, and several dead deer were found. It would be well into June before Uneven could be identified on a trail camera. He was a good month behind in antler growth compared to the previous year. The hope that he would sport bigger antlers this year had all but ended. Uneven shed his velvet in the first week of September. As a 6½-year-old he ended up with eight points, not the 10 that he’d had in 2012, and his rack had shrunk 15 to 20 inches. But he was still a huge-bodied, heavy-antlered brute, and Lisa was not going to let him walk if given the chance.

The summer had been very dry and Uneven had been hitting a main watering hole a few times every week. Lisa set up on that watering hole opening day. Uneven was a no-show that first evening. The second evening, Lisa, with Jeff filming, saw good movement, with a few does and small bucks coming in to drink. Then, with about a half hour of daylight left, Uneven appeared to take a last drink. He slowly turned and gave Lisa a quartering-away shot. Lisa slammed the broadhead into his opposite shoulder, and though he took off in a burst of speed, Uneven expired after going 125 yards. In the end this buck is an example of how you can never truly predict antler growth, as Mother Nature was the major factor in this case. Still, this is a tremendous buck and Lisa cannot wait until opening day this season to see what it might bring!

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