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November 8: Greg Glesinger

A 200 class trophy whitetail that took three arrows to kill on the 9th of November…is it any wonder this buck earned the name ‘Major League’?

Greg was hunting Iowa focused solely on this legendary buck he had known for seven years…half the lifetime of his son Derek. In fact, back in 2013 when the deer first showed up in Reconyx trail cam pictures, impressed with what a big deer he was then at three years old, Derek exclaimed, “That’s a major league deer!”

The description was appropriate, and would stick as the buck’s nickname.

Greg had a long history with this deer; Reconyx pictures every year since 2013, matching sheds from 2016 and 2017, and finally, two encounters in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, Major League’s antlers said he was four, but his body said he was three. It’s a good thing Greg let him grow. When his second set of antlers was found in 2017 on the same ridge as 2016, Greg knew he had discovered his core area…an 80 acre zone containing a tract of timber Greg had referred to as “The Pretty Woods.” He hung a Muddy tree stand set there in July of 2017 for Major League.

Greg and camera guy Kasey Morgan began the quest for this buck on October 27th and hunted a total of nine days for him…long days. Mature bucks were plentiful and opportunities presented themselves, but Greg was after just one deer. November 6th would bring the right wind, a rising barometer, and a decision from Greg to sit the entire day.

At 10:15 am Major League showed up from the north. Despite Greg’s attempts to grunt him into bow range, the closest he got was 50 yards with no clear shot. Major League did not make another appearance that day.

Back in the same Muddy set on the 7th, Major League showed up again, this time around 7:15 am, following a similar route from the day previous. A pattern was developing. Later that afternoon, Greg and Kasey moved the set closer to the buck’s path and further down the ridge. They hunted the remainder of the evening but never saw him.

On the 8th, from their new vantage point, they scanned the woods for the approaching giant. He never showed. Had they bumped him by moving the stands?

Greg remained committed to his new setup and hunted it again on the 9th. At 7:20 am, Major League came in tending a doe at the base of the ridge.  It took her 17 excruciating minutes, but she worked her way 130 yards towards Greg, pulling the buck behind her. The Leupold range finder clocked the buck at 35 yards. Greg was poised to take the buck he’s known for half as long as his own son Derek.

Major League seemed to be somewhat aware of the imminent danger, but was so focused on his doe that he remained on the scene. With thoughts of DOD team member Jared Lurk’s High Tower experience (Jared hunted that buck for years and put a high arrow in him when he jumped the string), Greg intentionally aimed low and on the seam of brown and white near the buck’s underside.

With his PSE Expedite at full draw, Greg released the arrow and watched as it zipped towards the target. Just before impact, the Nockturnal lighted nock danced left and right, indicating the arrow grazed a twig. That little nudge was enough to send the arrow skipping harmlessly beneath the buck. A clean miss.

The buck bolted 30 yards, but was only 40 yards from Greg. Between the noisiness of the woods and the hot doe, Major League wasn’t about to give up, neither would Greg.  Devastated about the miss but not done, Greg nocked another arrow and took aim again. This time the hit was good, albeit a little low. The Rage Trypan blew completely through the buck. Again, Major League darted off, only now he was hunched over with his tail wagging. This time he stopped at 52 yards. From Greg’s position in the stand, he could just make out the buck’s vitals between a six inch ‘Y’ in a tree directly in front of the deer. Without hesitating, he threaded the needle and sunk another arrow in him all the way up to the nock. It was the third arrow Greg had sent towards the buck that day. Major League had finally struck out on the 9th of November.

Relieved to have two good shots on a buck he’d known for seven years, Greg waited three hours in the stand before climbing down. Major League had run off in the direction of Greg’s RAM truck, so the guys went out of their way to connect with the road and had Mark pick them up to avoid bumping the deer.

Later that afternoon following a good blood trail, the team came across four bedding sites close to each other, then the blood trail began to dissipate. Major League was a legendary buck, a deer of a lifetime, thirty some inches bigger than anything Greg had killed before…so the guys backed out to resume the search in the morning.

Back on the trail the next morning, they found Major League down not far from where they stopped searching the day before. A story years in the making had come to a close. All the pictures, the sheds, the strategizing over stand placement, like the end of the ninth inning in a baseball game, it was over. Greg could shut the lights off at the ballpark and go home, now a member of that select group of bow hunters who have killed deer over 200 inches.

When I asked Greg what deer hunting would be like now that he’d achieved something most strive for but never accomplish, he candidly responded by saying, “I don’t know. It’s been such a whirlwind and everything is still sinking in.” 

Enjoy the whirlwind Greg. You earned it. You are now major league.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik.