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Adirondack Bowhunter Still-hunts His Way to a New York Giant

Colt Russel was still-hunting back to the truck when he arrowed a giant, New York whitetail.

Adirondack Bowhunter Still-hunts His Way to a New York Giant

The author is extremely blessed for the opportunity to have a chance at a true Adirondack Giant. (Photo courtesy of Colt Russel)

Breaking News Buck

Three years ago, I started getting pictures of this Adirondack giant. From what I could see in 2020, he was a big 14-point; but he showed himself a few weeks before archery season and then vanished until the last two days of rifle season. However, after that appearance he was gone again until next season. 

On Sept. 6, 2021, I had one, brief video of this buck in velvet. I figured based on what had happened with him the year before that I would never see him again. I knew he was an absolute monster, especially for my area because we just don’t see bucks like that around here. 

I hunted one area the evening of Sept. 29, and on Sept. 30 I had no intention on hunting the spot again. However, I made the last-minute decision to hunt there because I had two nice 8-points on camera which were also my target bucks. 

The Hunt

I hadn’t been in the woods very long when I had a close encounter with a mature doe, but I could not get a clear shot. So, I continued checking trail cameras and still hunting. I was about a mile-and-a-half back into my lease at roughly 6:00 p.m. when I decided I wanted to head home for dinner. 

new york archery breaking new buck
A trail camera photo of Colt’s non-typical. Colt had several years’ worth of trail camera photos of the buck before finally arrowing the deer. (Photo courtesy of Colt Russel)

I walked nearly the whole way back to my truck, but I was still looking for deer. However, I didn’t have an arrow knocked because I just wanted to get home to eat. When I was about 250 yards from my truck, I noticed the body of a deer about 60 yards into the woodline. I instantly knocked an arrow and continued down the trail. 

When I was 10 yards into the woods I drew back. I could tell that the deer was a buck, but due to the dim light under the canopy, I couldn’t see exactly how big it was. I figured it was one of the 8-pointers I was after. Everything happened so quick that I didn’t have time to get excited. It was maybe 10 seconds from when I first saw the deer until I had released the arrow. 

The Kill

When I shot the first arrow, it hit a little high and he dropped. When he dropped, I could see the rack and that’s when the panic really set in. I then ran over to put another arrow in him and he was finally dead. 

I was in disbelief when I picked him up and took it all in for a minute. I counted his 20 points and all I could think was, who the heck is going to believe me when I say I just shot a 20-pointer? 

new york archery breaking new buck
One of the most surprising things about this hunt to Colt was how fast the word spread about the deer. Colt had people reaching out to him just hours after killing the non-typical. (Photo courtesy of Colt Russel)

It took some convincing for close friends and family to believe me that I needed help with this buck. When my great friends and family finally showed up, they were in just as much disbelief as I was, because you just don’t see deer like this around here. 

One thing I could not believe was how fast everyone found out about the deer. I thought it would take a couple of weeks for the state to hear about it; but it was just hours and I had friends from all across New York getting ahold of me. I’m just extremely blessed for the opportunity to have a chance at a true Adirondack Giant.


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