By Louie Stout
Dennis Ignowski saw the big buck from afar while scouting deer locations on public land in September. “He was headed right for one of my tree stands the day I was scouting,” said the Niles hunter. I made a mental note of that and waited until conditions were right during bow season.”
On Oct. 11, the first major cold front swept over Michiana. Ignowski checked the wind direction that evening and ventured into the woods.
Wind direction is key to deer hunters. They don’t want the wind blowing from behind their tree stands and wafting human scent in the direction of their shooting lanes.
The wind lined up perfectly.
“It was a pinch point off a swamp edge and I know the deer like to bed there,” he described. “The wind was right and I thought it was a good evening to see if he was around.
Ignowski climbed into the tree stand and waited for a while. Suddenly, his eyes caught some movement around 6:30 that evening.
It was that big buck.
“He was about 40 yards out and turned and was headed toward the swamp,” he said. “I figured it was shoot now or never. I took the shot and the arrow found its mark.”
The wounded buck bolted right by Ignowski before dropping dead 40 yards away.
“I started shaking and making cell phone calls to my wife, my dad and my friend (Tex Holmes),” said Ignowski. “Tex gave up his night and came out to help me get the deer out of the woods.”
The buck was a dandy 10-pointer that dressed out at 225 pounds.
“I’ve shot 55 deer over my lifetime, but this was the biggest overall and probably has the widest rack,” said Ignowski, whose family enjoys venison throughout the year. “It’s definitely going on the wall.”