One day in November a few years ago, Brian Larue and his buddy, Bob Evenson, cut out of work early. The rut was still on in Winneshiek Co., Iowa, and the bowhunters were pumped.

They had scouted and hunted their land hard all season; they knew good bucks were there and actively rubbing and scraping.

Brian sneaked toward one of his favorite stands in a walnut tree, even though he figured the northwest wind would be wrong there. When he got to the stand he found the wind was more of a straight west, okay for the deer movement in the area, so he climbed up and started hunting. He looked down and noticed a big, shiny rub, only a day or so old, at the base of his stand.

Lesson #2: The wind at your truck might, say, blow out of the north, but a half-mile away at one of your tree stands it might be more of a west or northwest, depending on how the terrain and cover affect the breeze in a spot. What you think is a bad wind might actually be a good wind for hunting a stand, so sneak in and check it out.

Brian settled in his stand, and as the afternoon wore on he started seeing deer. Does and small bucks at first, and then a giant! The buck skulked toward his stand, stopped 60 yards out and mauled a tree. Brian used the break in the action to ready his bow and calm his nerves a bit.

The brute stopped rubbing and bore for the walnut tree, and Brian let his arrow fly. He hooked up with Bob and together they celebrated the buck of a lifetime. The 22-pointer’s rack had almost 30” of outside spread, gross-scored 237 2/8″ and netted of 221 4/8.

When Brian was interviewed by the local newspaper, he said, “I would like to thank my employer for allowing me to take time off to go deer hunting. They’re just great about it.”

Lesson #1: You can’t kill a monster if you’re not out in a stand. Get a job with a company that will let you cut out early most afternoons from Nov. 5 through Thanksgiving, the rut window when 80 percent of the world-class bucks are killed each fall.