From New York
7/21/2000
   

I have been hunting whitetail deer since 1969. I love being in the woods and watch nature around me. If I didn't, I would have given up hunting a long time ago out of frustration. It took me 16 years to baag my first one, but it was worth it. Since then. I've averaged a buck a year, most times two. In the many years I've hunted, the one most important thing I've learned is that you must get out into the field and do your homework, before and after the season.Eventually it will pay off for you as it did for me in the 1997 season. I had been scouting an unpressured area of my rother-in-laws farm. There had been a report of a large buck in the area and I had been seeing signs where he had been. I watched the movements of the deer, noting the times they were coming out to the fields. There seemed to be a focal point of about three acres they were holding up in. I found they were bedding there at night because of the stream next to the area and the quick escape routes.
On November 3rd, (my wife's birthday and bowling night), I went out for an evening hunt. It was overcast and quite cool, low 30's. I arrived at my stand around 2:30 P.M. By 3:15 deer had started making their way out to the fields. There we're already some does and a couple of small bucks in the cornfield. I applied some of my Trails End #307 to my coat sleeve and tried to lure them my way to no avail. I had bought a rattle bag for this season, so I tried rattling to see what would happen. Not long after I started, a monster buck charged out of the brush looking for the action. I applied more Trails end #307 and within seconds the bucks nose went into the air picking up the sent. I had a small treeline between me and the buck and I couldn't get a good shot at him. I could only wait. I had never experienced "Buck Fever" in my entire hunting career until that moment. I was shakingbadly and very short of breath. I looked through my 3x9 tasco scope three times at him before he ever cleared the treeline between us. Finally he stepped clear, I grunted on my grunt caller and he stopped. I raised my model 99 Savage 308 and let a shot go. As luck would have it, I missed him clean. To my amazement, he charged my direction stopping about 135 yards away and turned broadside. I made up my mind that I was going to put the remaining shots into him.I hit him with all four. Letting myself calm down
as much as possible, I came down out of my tree stand and went in pursuit of my trophy, that is when my troubles really began, I couldn't find him anywhere. I looked frantically for 45 minutes with no luck. It was dark now and I had to get home so my wife could be off to bowling. When I got home, I called my brother and told him what had happened and asked him if he would help me at first light to look for him. I didn't want to pressure the buck in case he was only wounded. The next morning we went out at 6:oo A.M. and looked for two hours with no luck. I was really devastated because I figured I had lost the buck of a lifetime. I had to get to work. My brother had the day off, so he said he would stay awhile longer. He checked the creek figuring the buck might try to go to water if he was only wounded. I had been at work for about a half hour when he called me on his cell phone and said he had found him. He said
to me, " have you ever watch those tapes by realtree and buckmasters with the moster bucks", I replied yes and he said it looked just like one of them. I was emotionally drained and releived at the same time. I got permission to leave work and pick up my trophy. What a monster in turned out to be. A 196 pound, 12 pointer. It was officially scored and registered with Boone & Crockett and The New York State Big Buck Club at a score of 177 4/4 net typical and overall gross score of 184 1/8. It ranks # 12 all-time typical in New York state and #2 all-time for St. Lawrence County where I live.I won the top award for the New York State Big Buck Club for 1997. Tim Lucas