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   I Can Change That Rack In 3 Seconds
10 Pointer

Quick Change Deer Head Hand Crafted by Gale Maroney (AKA Smiley)

My story on the development of this wooden deer head.

I have long loved the hunt more than the take of a white tail buck. What I mean by this is the kill is actually anti-climatic for me and I only found this out when I Filled my tag one year on the opening day about 10 minutes into the  hunt. Sure I had dreamed about being the 1st one in the forest to pull the trigger in years past, but until it happened to me, it was a baseless dream.

After putting down a nice 6 point buck that was giving me trouble for a least a couple of years or another buck doing just like this one was. Anyway, many times when trying to sneak quietly into my favorite Giant Cedar tree that  was to me the best hunting spot on earth I would jump a deer. That deer would bound across this 10 year old poplar slash and then snort at me before leaving the area. No mater how I used the wind I would get busted each time. :(
Then one year I purchased a 2 part skunk sent kit. What fun I had with that kit! My brother-in-laws sure got tired of smelling skunk sent prior to hunting season that year, and for many more years for that matter :).
That opening morning when I did my early sneak into the Giant Cedar nothing moved, I was mostly puzzled as almost always something would move?? I had my new Ruger Model 77R in .270Win and had tremendous confidence in this new rifle topped with a Redfield Tracker scope. I had no  more than settled into the limb, that's right, THE LIMB I would sit on in those early days of hunting for me. This limb had what could almost be called a Siamese brother and for a 23-24 year old it was all I needed.
The buck was bedded about 20 yards off the old tote road I used to access this tree and about that time another hunter started into this slash and the buck didn't pay any attention to me because I had a stick with a rag on it soaked with skunk sent with me. :)
The buck did to that other hunted just what he or another had done to me so many other times as I watched him get out of the bed I had walked by and bound around the outside edge of the slash, all that time I was grumbling because I just didn't have a clear shot anywhere. He went around me  and then came right under me within 2 feet of the skunk sent rag and proceeded to snort at the other hunter just like was done to me in the past. My shot was 14 feet down through the top of the neck. I had my opening day buck 10 minutes into that years hunt. :)
Well like I posted I liked to hunt, and always took vacation just to hunt deer. Duck season was over in those years and everyone else was pumped up each day to hunt and I was done. Sure we are allowed to party hunt here in Minnesota, but I am a do onto other as I would want them to do onto me guy and would not want someone else to fill my tag, so there I was.

Well as the years went by I took many other bucks. Some very nice ones, others very nice also but with larger racks. I always pictured a 10 pointer above my fireplace and that was that. No 8 pointer would do! not even a nice 9 pointer, no sir, It had to be a 10 pointer or bigger!

Well we were hunting a different area for several years and my collection of 8 & 9 pointers was growing almost every year some years more than one.

We had been seeing a large buck with a nice rack for a couple of years, but this guy was very hard to get the drop on. One day I made a radical change of plans, I had a stand in between where we had seen him and a big blowdown area he  liked to bed down in. My plan was to be in that stand 2 hours before legal shooting time witch is 1/2 hour before sunrise. I hit the sleeping bag early, only to hear all the commotion of the nightly poker game and then after that the anticipation of the hunt I planned, and the howling November wind that didn't let up all night. The wind was just as strong as I left camp 2-1/2 hours before sunrise and every tree with a broken branch from the big wind storm the past summer had rustling leaves. It was noisy that morning.
I loaded my rifle after the 2 hour wait on sunrise and was having an awful time of checking all the sounds out. about 15 min into legal shooting I heard a twig snap behind me, a quick look and there was movement. Brown animal, head down, the scope picked him up instantly, I was carrying a Ruger Model 77 ultra light in 257 Roberts that I had purchased for the wife a few years back. She had mandatory ACLS training  that day and it was time to break in this little gem the right way :).
I had a rack in the scope and the shot was off instantaneous. Looking back I didn't look at my target and what is beyond like we teach the students in Firearms safety Class and I struggle with that.
The shot was let go and the deer was gone.
After the mandatory 20 min wait that I cut to about 30 seconds I was on the trail in no time. Blood almost immediately.
The buck was down in a water hole 60 yards from the shot, a  bullet through both lungs.
It was my 10 pointer! I had one for the wall! I was pumped!
After season I had the pictures off the wall and the head was going to my friend Chris Kunze as he was going to be my taxidermist.
I had him complete the capping of the head and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I told him to sit on this job for a couple days as I was struggling with the 10 point minimum rule I had imposed upon myself.
I started to replay some of the other hunts and pulled out some of the racks I had nailed to the garage wall and there were too many stories to remember and all were good, but some were treasures that could not be left in the garage while one story is above the fire place.
Well that 10 pointer went to the garage with the rest of the racks and the cape was given to my friend Chris as he even buys cape's.

My Elk hunting companion is also a wood worker and has made many
intarsia displays and he is very good at it. He brought a magazine to work one day and was showing me some of the different projects he had done and on a page was a deer head with antlers. I asked him if he had ever done that project and he hadn't. I asked him if he could make that one and build it so I could change the rack any time I wanted. He said he didn't know why not, so I brought him an 8, 9 & 10 point racks.
30 days latter I had the display that gives credit to all the racks from the fork horns to the 10 pointer's I have taken over 30 years hunting.
That is the story that covers so many wonderful years hunting and sometimes bringing home venison with a rack of horns to remember the hunt for years to come.
Today all my Daughters have one of the deer heads Hand Crafted by Gale Maroney of Biwabik Minnesota on the walls of their home.
My son-in-law Anton will some day replace a 9 pointer of mine with  his own, but so far spotted fawns are not found with racks! :) :)
I  think one of his boys will do that before him by the way he is going! :)

Logan & Ryders Great-Grandpa Derflers Rack

Logan is holding the 194 5/8 Rack taken in 1963.

Art With His Trophy

Hill Annex impression Fossil

Cheney Buck

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