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By Dick Scorzafava

Dick - Holy Moses Buck

Dick and the Holy Moses Buck

A limb snapped… then another, in the distance I heard something moving. Then is stopped. Was it just my imagination? I surveyed the area, saw nothing, sighed, and shifted my weight and resettled my weight. There it was again. I had heard something after all. His wide rack glowed in the sun. His head was supported by a massive neck and a wide chest. Before me in the distance, was the widest-racked buck I had ever seen. He was heading towards me very slowly with his nose pushed into the wind. In the crisp afternoon air I could see the breath escaping from his nostrils creating clouds of steam. It seemed like hours passed as I watched his painstakingly slow approach, and as I relived my experiences with The Holy Moses Buck. The Holy Moses Buck that is what I had named him for although

I was a stranger to him, he was no stranger to me.

My good buddy Siggi Sigurdson who operates SS Outfitters in Manitoba showed me the sheds from this buck when I was bear hunting with him in the spring. When I put my hands around the bases, felt their weight, I blurted out “Holy Moses can you just image seeing this monster walking through the bush in your direction.” The sheds had tremendous mass that carried out to the tips of the beams and the beams were both over 27 inches in length. We decided that we would put our heads together try to pattern this buck before the season.

A vast majority of the bucks in this spot have colossal racks and pack the weight and it is the same for black bear in this area. These animals could be considered super-animals on steroids, taking into consideration the perfect recipe of land and trophy genetics blended together and make this sweet concoction of a trophy heaven.

Siggi knew the area well where he had found the sheds because he had baited the area for bear over the last several years. He actually found both sheds outside a swamp in a very think area close to one of his bear baits.

I decided to come back in the fall, at the start of the black bear season to hunt bear and set up a strategy to hunt the Holy Moses Buck. Siggi did an outstanding job setting me on a great bait and I shot a 430 pound 7 foot 3 inch bear the first night of my hunt. This gave us the opportunity to spend the balance of the week scouting and setting up scouting cameras to figure out stand locations to hunt Holy Moses.

We found a few huge rubs and primary scrapes from the previous season that had to be made by this buck so we set up scouting cameras. I had a good feeling by the time I went home from the bear hunt that we should hopefully get some pictures of him, and I told Siggi to call me if he did.

Siggi and I spoke on the phone several times before the hunt and he had a total of 8 pictures of the Holy Moses Buck in a very thick area of new growth poplar trees. The buck had some huge rubs and a primary scrape there along the edge of the swamp. Because the trees were all to small to set up treestands we decided to put up a ground blind along the edge of the swamp and blend it into the area a couple weeks before I was scheduled to arrive.

The sixth day of my hunt began. This was the last day I would be able to hunt. I was apprehensive because I knew that today it was all or nothing. I thought about changing my position but decided with dogged determination to stick with our original choice. I hoped my self-confidence would serve me well. I took up the vigil at my blind and as the day started to fade away he returned. No, he was no stranger to me for not only had a had I held his sheds, viewed images on him he also frequented many of my waking moments as well as my dreams….

The minutes crawled by as he daintily picked his way through the cover. He kept his nose thrust into the wind straining to pick up even the slightest scent of danger. All I could focus on was his massive beams, incredible spread and releasing an arrow at the Holy Moses Buck as he maneuvered his rack through the thick poplars.

I very slowly and carefully prepared for a shot, just in case. Then I did the only other thing I could do. I held my breath, and prayed that he wouldn’t hear the deafening beat of my heart. After moments of what appeared to me to be suspended time, he finally reached his primary scrape, urinated across his tarsal glands to freshen the scrape with his scent. Next he raised his head with the incredibility wide heavy rack into a nearby tree and began the ritual of rubbing the secretions from his forehead and pre-orbital glands on the branches.

This activity gave me the cover I needed to draw my Mathews Reezen bow. At full draw I had all I could do to focus my mind on a spot in the middle of his lungs. I was shooting 22 yards from my blind and hoped that if the shot met its mark, would pass through both lungs. I slowly squeezed my release and almost instantly heard the “whoosh” as the Rage tipped Carbon Express arrow hit its mark. It was a perfect hit. The old buck lowered his head, shook his body, and briskly walked away. I watched intently out the window of my blind as he traveled not more than 25 yards, stopped and collapsed. It was over.

We had pitted ourselves against one another in the age-old primeval struggle. There could be but one victor. As I climbed out of my blind and approached the Holy Moses Buck I felt a dense of satisfaction and accomplishment. But I also felt a deep sense of respect for this great animal who so embodied the best of his species. I had accepted the challenge and one-on-one we had played the scene out till its conclusion. And as I gazed down at this magnificent animal that truly was the monarch of the woods, I realized that right here in this very area his progeny would be ready to accept the challenge in his place. The king is dead. Long live the king.

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