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The Chase for Hank the Tank

Guest blog from Greta Yira


The chase for Hank the Tank began in 2018 when my husband, Jordan, and I first got him on camera. He was a massive main frame 10, and the biggest body deer we had ever seen. We knew he was something special. However, we noticed he had been hit in the neck by an arrow which was confirmed by the neighbor as well. Not knowing the extent of the injury we were anxious for gun season. After 9 days of gun season, he went unseen, and we got no pictures of him either.


2019: We assumed he didn't make it as we had not seen him on camera all summer or most of the fall. Until the middle of October! We got him on our Browning 4K on the side of a ridge. Hank the Tank was alive!! And even better, he blew up! He was now a 13 pointer with a split G2. He was definitely a buck of a lifetime! Knowing he was still alive, Jordan made a game plan. He hunted this buck for over 25 days during archery season and 9 straight days with the gun to only see a flash of him. He would appear an hour after shooting light each night of the gun season! The season closed and the waiting game began again. We knew he made it through gun season again because we got pictures of him all throughout the winter.


2020: Knowing his core area a little better now, we started making a new game plan during the summer. We created more bedding for him and hung stands closer to those areas. Again, we didn't get a single picture of this buck all summer and fall. We knew he didn’t usually make his appearance until pre-rut/rut. And just like clockwork, there he came again at the end of October. Again, a massive 13 pointer with even more mass and tine length. As luck would have it, Jordan was already tagged out with the bow, so we waited until gun season and I was up to bat first! I was so excited to be able to get out in the woods, and after just having our firstborn, time was very limited. Knowing opening weekend of Wisconsin gun is usually the best, I had high hopes to shoot my first buck and even higher hopes to just lay eyes on Hank after he was on camera this year. We didn't see him opening day but on Sunday I was lucky enough to harvest my first deer ever, a 140-inch 11-pointer! I was beyond excited and hooked, to say the least! I have gone with Jordan many times but being the one harvesting the animals is better than I could have imagined! Jordan and his family then hunted this buck the rest of the gun season but did not see him or get him on camera.


2021: We decided to do a walk-through of the woods to see if we could find sheds or any deadheads. Although we found neither, we did find a Browning Trail Camera that Jordan had forgotten to pull earlier in the winter! Instantly knowing it was in Hank's area, we had to look at pictures quickly! Sure enough, we got him on camera with one side of his antlers in January and February! Now the work really started. We hung more Browning Defender Cell cameras, more stands and increased our food plots in hopes to figure this buck out better! We knew our hunting time was going to be limited again as we were expecting our second born in September. Jordan got out bow hunting a few weekends with no Hank spotting or having him on camera. Then one night, we were sitting at home and he got a cell camera notification and it was Hank!! He blew up even more!! This time more mass and an even bigger body. It was go time! Gun season was only a few weeks away and we knew that this was his core area during the rut! But Friday before season started, we got the news he was hit by a car. We were devastated!


Fast forward to Friday, November 26th: We slept in after spending all day traveling for Thanksgiving. I was geared up for Friday and had plans to fill my tag with a doe. We got to the stand about noon, got settled in, and were glassing and just waiting for an opportunity to fill the freezer. Sure enough, 70 yards in front of us I saw a glimpse of a huge-bodied deer behind a bit of brush. He took a few steps forward and I could not believe it was him. I could barely move, and stuttered out to Jordan “BIG BUCK”. I immediately grabbed my gun, while Jordan looked for him in his binos and started to say " That's Hank" but before he could say it I already had a round through him! He instantly disappeared. Not knowing where he went or what happened. Jordan climbed down to see if he could see him from the other side of the ridge. I saw Jordan raise his hands in the air and heard "Wooooohoooo!" The emotions started. As soon as I walked up to him I lost it. He was so incredible. Truly a once in a lifetime deer. Over 190 inches of antlers. He was laid to rest right where we got our last picture of him on camera. He indeed did get hit by a car before gun season and had a big clubbed hoof.


Hank was and will always be a legend in our home. It was such an amazing opportunity to harvest Hank the Tank with my husband right by my side. The amount of time and sleep lost over that buck made it all worth it. A true warrior and legend. And even a ghost, only seen twice with eyes in 4 years! It was even better that we got to celebrate it with all of our family and our little future hunters after the hunt. The Wisconsin gun tradition is rich in our family and this year was one that will never be topped! Over 100 days spent hunting this buck and countless hours between our family. You can find Hank the Tank on Field & Stream Magazine's Top Bucks of 2021. We will be doing a full-body mount to display the new "Yira Buck" properly in our home.



From all of us at Huntress View: Congrats on your Buck of a Lifetime, Greta, and thank you for sharing your story with us!


Follow Greta on Instagram at @gretayira.



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