My heaviest buck to date!

shawn_in_MA

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It's been a long but enjoyable season of playing cat and mouse with the deer. I've had some cool encounters and some very boring sits.

This past week I hunted Tues morning, Weds and Thurs a.m. and p.m., and Sat a.m. and p.m. I knew Saturday afternoon would be my last bowhunt until after Thanksgiving as we leave for Maine tomorrow morning. On Saturday morning I was sitting in a stand that I had seen a couple deer out of earlier in the week. The morning felt perfect as it was cold and foggy but I didn't see any deer. Midmorning I got a txt from a buddy who had shot a nice NH Rifle buck that morning and that was the 4th or 5th deer he had seen that morning. I hadn't seen anything and finally climbed down around 10:00. I checked a couple cameras and scouted my way out trying to come up with a plan for when I got back from Maine.

At this point in the day, I had written off the afternoon hunt. 1)I had a few things to get done around the house before leaving for Maine, 2) There was a heavy band of rain/thunderstorms set to move in around sunset 3)I figured I would head to the club to see my buddy's buck and catch up with a few of the guys who got deer this week (side note...if I showed up at the club and skipped out on a hunt to go see my buddies deer he would give me a ration of shit LOL). It seemed like a good plan, but I knew in my heart I needed to get back out there. At 2:00 I checked the weather one more time 3:00 34% chance of rain, 4:00 68% chance of rain, 4:25ish sunset, 5:00 100% chance of rain. I txt my buddy and told him I would catch up to him after dark or as soon as the first rain drops hit. I decided to sit in a stand that I could get out of the woods pretty fast in case the rain started...when this one hit, it was going to hit hard.

I sat in the ladder stand with not much going on, watching a few red and gray squirrels and listening to the blue jays making a racket off to my left behind me. At 4:20 it still hadn't started raining but you could hear thunder rolling off in the distance. I hoped it would hold off until dark but had my doubts. Not 5 minutes later I looked to my left and this buck was walking down the trail right to me and he was already within 35yds of me with nothing in between us but air. All I knew is that deer was big and had a big frame. There is no cover around this stand but it's a good observation or gun stand. It sits on the side of a skid road, but the base of the ladder is 3ft on the downhill side, putting the platform 14ish ft above the deer. All I could think was Oh Shit, what do I do now. I'm left handed and was sitting down. I watched the buck and slowly reached to my right to grab my bow off the hanger. I got the bow situated between my legs with out being seen. The deer stopped briefly and looked down the trail beyond me, but thankfully started walking again. I knew I was going to have to wait for him to walk by before I could draw hopefully without getting busted. The buck closed the distance and actually veered within 3-4ft of the base of my ladder...I was freaking out. He then veered towards a bar way in a stone wall beyond me. I came to full draw, anchored, LOOK THROUGH YOUR PEEP JACKASS and stopped him. He was Quartering away at 15yds. On the shot he let out a growl and took off like a rocket. I saw the arrow hit right where I was aiming and assumed it had buried in his offside shoulder and did not pass through. He ran about 60yds and jumped a stone wall. He almost got tangled up in a blowdown but kept going out of sight.

I didn't have time to wait with the storm ready to hit at any time. I lowered my bow, txt my wife and told her to grab boots, a raincoat and a light and drive out to come help me look.
Within a couple minutes of my feet hitting the ground the skies opened up. I could not find blood anywhere. I went to where the deer crossed the wall and found 2 little drops of blood, but they washed away before Wendy could even see them. She found a few more drops, but they were also washing away in front of her eyes. It was thunder/lightning/downpouring and pitch black. Her and Tyler kept looking in 1 direction and I was off to their left. I finally walked over to them and told them to head back home, I was going to make 1 more loop up higher but below the wall he had jumped over. We would get dry clothes and better lights and come back. Halfway back up to the wall I saw the deer laying there dead in my flashlight.

I let out a war whoop...found him. We took pics the best we could in the downpour but they didn't come very good.

I could tell he was big, I was thinking 185-190 but something about how long the deer was told me he was more. I told the guys he was 170-180lbs...because that was definitely a safe number. When we hoisted him up on the digital scale everyones jaw dropped. He weighed 217.8lbs. He is just big all around. Long legs, long body, giant head, ass and chest. No idea on score but he is 19 3/4" inside spread.
Gonna be tough for me to find a bigger one in Maine this week!!!
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41mag

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Wow, what a tank!
And you can say truthfully, I let him walk by.......:giggle:
Nice job getting it done, and one helluva deer! Congrats!
 

BobtheBear

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Shawn .... I tip my hat to you Sir !.Congratulations on a seriously monster mother of a buck !. I hunted 30 years around Upton , Blackstone , and Bellingham and NEVER saw anything close to that beast. I now live in Maine and will tell ya , finding one to beat him even up here will be a tremendous task . It's not impossible , but let's say it's unlikely . Your guy is a buck of a lifetime ! , very well done !.
 

Browseline

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Nice, big, fat buck with great antlers. Hard enough to get one like that with a rifle, say nothing of a bow. Nothing like the feeling of finding him after looking for a while. Congratulations Shawn.
 

amclimber

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Wow! What a buck. Way to get out there and make it happen.
 

BDB

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Hell of a great buck, congrats!!! I hate bow hunting in the rain for that very reason (no blood trail). Glad to hear you found him!!!
 




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