Nothing stokes the fire within a passionate hunter like shooting the proverbial “buck of a lifetime.” In December I spoke to Valerie Hansen via a phone interview, a full twelve days after she tagged her personal best buck and the excited huntress was still living the hunters dream. She started with, “I can finally manage to sleep again. I was so excited about shooting my personal buck of a lifetime that I could hardly sleep for the first few nights after I shot him.”
Valerie started hunting six years ago after a friend gifted her a Hoyt bow. At first she thought that she would just shoot at targets because she didn’t think that she could “kill’ anything. Her friend urged her to give hunting a try. She agreed to this and successfully killed a doe. Hansen says, “I cried for seventy-two hours after I shot my first deer but I eventually got over it and found that I liked to eat the lean meat. You see, I have a health condition and I can’t eat red meat. Venison is lean enough that I can eat it. I’m now totally addicted and some would even say obsessed.”
After the doe, Valerie shot four bucks with archery gear. Her
passion for deer hunting led her to develop the Quality Deer Management mindset and she has become an active participant in following the philosophies of improving deer
habitat and letting the younger bucks mature. In fact, this year she acquired a two year lease on the property that she shot her trophy buck by agreeing to plant and maintain the food plots on the land. In addition, she improved the property by hinge cutting timber and as it worked out she shot her big buck as it traveled along the hinge cut area.
“I was hunting from a stick built ground blind when I noticed the big buck at seventy yards. I instantly recognized him as a shooter and began the process of opening the window and getting my gun through the opening. When I accomplished this the buck was now standing only fifty yards away but he turned forty-five degrees and I had his butt in my site. I then remembered that a friend told me that if you ‘blatted’ the deer would turn towards the sound so I blatted twice and the buck turned broadside. I then pulled the trigger and the deer jumped about two and a half feet straight up in the air. He then went about thirty yards and fell to the ground. It happened so fast that I didn’t get buck fever before or during the shot but afterwards I got all shook up. When I walked over to him, I got about ten feet away and just fell to my knees. I had no idea that he was that big. I was totally wowed by it!”
Valerie shot her monster buck on November 20 during an evening hunt in Montcalm County. Her buck is a massive 11-point that sports an incredible 21 5/8 inside spread. The mass measurements are five inches at the bases but there is some characteristic palmation and the measurements increase to almost seven inches between the G2 and G3 tines. The green score measures 167 5/8 Boone and Crockett points. In addition, the beast field dressed at 180 pounds and will yield several tasty dinners for the passionate huntress.
Valerie is indeed obsessed with deer hunting. She states, “The reason why I wear the camo make up is because I know my fair-skin would show up in the darkened blind. Plus, I just love camouflage. I also want to point out that I was wearing orange when I shot the deer but I took it off for the pictures because I like the look of camouflage. I took a lot of hits for this when the pics got posted on Facebook. I want to thank my friends, they know who you are, for letting me hunt private property and for teaching me how to successfully hunt.”