While her 1,000-acre cow ranch in Spink County was amid the rut on November 13, South Dakota bowhunter, Shauna Woodward saw bucks pursuing does and fighting among themselves. In 2021, she first saw the buck on the land, but it was a juvenile deer. The record drought had impacted many bucks in the area, and their antlers were brittle and falling off by the time the 2022 deer season began.
Hunting Moose, the name she gave to a deer she had seen for two seasons, Woodward sat on the ground and peered between the cedar tree branches. Just fifteen yards away, she saw a little four-point buck emerge from the brush, but she couldn’t see it using her bow. With great caution, she reached a raised blind close to the cedars’ edge. As she listened, she could make out the sound of the deer darting out from under the cover and racing past her twenty yards away.
Woodward waited for Moose to appear before drawing her Hoyt 50-pound bow. He started grunting, and then he started running after the doe, which caught her attention. She waited for him to get to the 20-yard opening, then led him slightly before shooting. Though it pierced the animal entirely, the arrow struck the buck farther back than Shauna had intended. She left the blind and went home, giving the Moose time to bleed out.
Woodward and her husband Richard returned to the location to search for Moose. They trailed cautiously and carefully. Two hours later, she discovered the buck dead within 80 yards from where it was struck. The approximately 175-pound moorland cow was somewhat disheveled due to the rut. But even with his peculiar palmated rack, he was in fantastic condition, boasting twelve points or more. Scores have not been recorded for the approximately 6.5-year-old deer. A taxidermist will take the dimensions in due course, but according to Woodward, the figures don’t mean anything to her.
Bagging Moose is enough to make her happy; for her, it’s all about teaching her children and grandchildren the value of responsible hunting.