Recently, a father and son in Idaho took down a huge nontypical buck after tracking the deer for more than two years. After patiently waiting in 100-degree weather, Hunter Crownover and his dad, Wayne, had a small window to take the buck, and they made the best of the rare opportunity.
Hunter spoke with OutdoorLife and shared he and his father’s wild deer hunting story with the outlet. He grew up going on outdoor adventures with his dad who taught him everything he knows about hunting. The 23-year-old said he’s gone on bowhunting trips with Wayne since before he could walk. As bowhunting season began in Idaho, Hunter and his dad prepared to go out on opening day. Little did they know they’d finally take down the untypical buck that was two years in the making.
Previous to the 2020 bowhunting season, Hunter spotted the nontypical buck and kept an eye on it. He shared its whereabouts with his dad who found the huge deer on public land near Boise on opening morning. But the buck never gave Wayne a chance to shoot him. The next day, other hunters were in the area and the father and son lost track of the deer. Fast forward to 2022, and the family members found the buck once again.
“It was the week before the season started this year, and I was scouting in the same area. I ended up finding him in the same spot he was two years ago,” Hunter told OutdoorLife. “So, we knew how he was moving around, and we kind of already knew how to hunt him. Our plan was to get to the very top of the mountain by daylight so we could find him and bed him.”
That’s exactly what the father-son duo did as they woke up before 4 a.m. on August 15th. They headed back to the public hunting grounds and hiked to the top of the mountain before sunrise. About half and hour later, they saw the nontypical buck off in the distance along with a second buck. The hunt was on.
Bowhunter Says the Long Wait for the Nontypical Buck ‘Was Worth It’
After spotting the two deer, Hunter and Wayne followed the bucks as they bedded down near a single tree close to a small spring. The bowhunters then had to play the waiting game on a scorching hot Idaho day. At the time, they thought they may have a better chance at bagging the large four-point buck. But their fortunes would change soon enough.
“We slowly slipped within 35 yards of the four-point. And we were just waiting for him to stand up,” Hunter said of the four-point. “Then, next thing I know, the nontypical gets up and starts feeding uphill toward us. He gets to about 70 yards and starts walking right at us.”
The father and son stayed hidden as the untypical buck kept moving towards them. As it closed in around 35 yards from Hunter and Wayne, the deer turned broadside. The two men readied their bows as the buck walked along and stopped just past a bush.
“He gave me about four inches of clearance,” Hunter said. “So I pinned him behind the shoulder, let it go, and I smoked him.”
The buck then walked about 50 yards before succumbing to his wound. After more than two years, and a long day in the sun, Hunter had killed the largest deer in his lifetime. Following the kill, they rough scored the rack at 204 inches. By the time they dressed out the buck and got back to camp, it was well past midnight.
“We had left at 4 that morning, so it was a 20-hour day for us. We were out of water, exhausted, and dying from the heat,” Hunter said before adding … “It was worth it.”