May 26, 2022
By Jason Johannes
Breaking News Buck
I began hunting this deer in 2020 after I received a few velvet pictures of him in August. I was close to sealing the deal that year, but I ultimately lost the opportunity because a branch was between me and him on Halloween night. I never saw the buck again until July of 2021.
He reappeared on my trail cameras around mid-July and never left. I received pictures nearly every other day of him on minerals or ag fields.
The Game Begins
Flash forward to Oct. 2, when I had a scrape he was hitting every morning for a week in daylight. While I hunted there on the morning of Oct. 2, he came into the scrape, but it was before legal shooting hours began. I would see him that night in a soybean field, but I never had a shot opportunity.
I hunted on and off with no luck until I had to leave for an Iowa deer hunt Oct. 25. While I was in Iowa, my New York target buck started showing up on my cell cameras in the daylight. I quickly filled my Iowa tag on a nice 10-point on Halloween, and then I drove home the next day.
On the evening of Nov. 3, it felt like everything could come together in my favorite hardwoods stand. Around 4:30 p.m., I did a rattling sequence and quickly had an average buck come in. At 5:15 I rattled again, and I immediately spotted my target buck while I was still rattling. He was 80 yards out and closing, and he actually spotted me hanging the antlers back up and grabbing my Mathews V3 bow.
After a 30-second staring contest, he committed to closing the distance. I stopped him at 42 yards, held tight to his shoulder and released the arrow. The hit was picture-perfect, with my Rage Extreme ten-ringing him!
After a two-hour wait, I took up the blood trail alone; and only 90 yards away I recovered him. He has 19 scoreable points and an inside spread of 18 inches. He was green-scored at 191 inches and officially scored after the mandatory 60-day drying period at 189 5/8 inches.
This is obviously my personal best buck, but New York deer hunting is only getting better every year. So, we’ll see what the future brings!