New York Buck
It was the night of November 30th as I tossed and turned to the thoughts of hunting season diminishing to the required studying dedication of finals week. With an unfilled New York buck tag, I promptly decided around 2:30 a.m. to skip Friday's classes with one last attempt to bag my buck. I quickly rounded up the gear, loaded the truck, grabbed the weather report and begun my 2 1/2 hour journey from Youngstown, Ohio to the Hanging Bog State land.
As I reached my desired location, I encased myself with Scent Blocker gear as I was immediately accompanied by gusty winds and light rain which influenced my decision to stalk. After pulling my knee high rubber boots over my pants, I searched high and low throughout my truck only to discover I had forgotten my knife. Luckily, I already had the intent of visiting my buddy Dan Taylor at Whitetail Country during lunch; which now suddenly became quite convenient as I was in need of purchasing a new knife. I ruggedly shrugged my shoulders, grabbed my gun, locked my doors and started hiking blind off into the deep swampy thickets of New York. It wasn't long until I found a nice comfortable log where I could patiently wait for the slowly rising sun to expend enough light for a successful stalking technique. Once enough light was permitted, I determined the wind direction and headed straight into it with high hopes of spotting a bedded buck.
While I was using the noisy winds and damp grounds to sneak through the woods,
I was beginning to second guess my choice of hunting spot as there was no fresh
sign to reference. Confused in making a decision, my body told me to make room
in the bladder before heading on. As I listened to my body, I stood there observing
my surroundings when I saw something that resembled a deer's face only 25 yards
away in some cattails. After telling myself "Eh, I'm not that lucky it's a deer",
I began to pick up where I left off and just about walked away when I thought
I should check it again. Upon reassessing the situation, I discovered it surely
was a deer and could tell it was a buck at that. It was the second week of gun
season and my standards had dropped tremendously as I clicked my safety off.
I was shooting any buck at this point, and could only see the tip of the left
main beam and the buck's neck. The buck was an expert at hiding and left me
no body shots or a clear view of his rack. I decided I was close enough and
he would surely spook if I closed the distance. I put the crosshairs on the
neck and BOOM! My ears rang as the gunshot echoed through the valley. The buck
now laid his chin flat on the ground and I knew he was still alive from past
experience as he was trying to stay low and out of view. I had no shot and tried
to sneak a bit closer when he jumped out of his bed and took off running. BOOM!
The valley rang as I fired a mercy shot through the thicket in hopes of slowing
him down. Now I was left with one shot in my gun and knew I had to make it count.
The buck ran a crossed a small opening where my crosshairs met his chest… BOOM!
I pulled the trigger and my ears went dead. The woods were silent and there
laid a magnificent buck when I arrived to the clearing. I was in total awe when
I discovered his rack! It then dawned on me I had no knife and a stomach ache
arrived on the thoughts of dragging the beast. After wrestling him into my tuck
by 8 A.M., I began to feel guilty about missing class and sped home to attend
them. The deer dressed out at 240 and all 3 shots hit home. One hit in the neck,
and two in the shoulder. The buck is heavy all around, with the tip of the main
beams measuring 5 inches in girth. The bases measure 8 inches thick, 14 inch
tines, and a 21 inch spread. It's been an all around great year for me as I
shot a 24 inch wide 8 point during the Ohio archery season as well.