July 16, 2021
Discovering a Giant
In December 2019, my brother and I received game camera images of a tremendous whitetail buck working a mock scrape. We instantly knew this was a world class buck, and we had to do whatever we could to get on this buck the following season.
My brother and I spent hundreds of hours scouting different places in effort to find the buck’s core area. After not being able to determine the exact core area of the buck, who we nicknamed “Split G4,” we figured we’d have to stay put in the thick, small-acreage piece of woods where we had been set up the previous season.
It became clear that the best option here was to set up on the ground. So, I made a natural ground blind out of cedar boughs and dead branches about 20 yards off the mock scrape I created. Then I hung my trail camera and backed out.
Trick or Treat
It was Halloween morning when I checked my trail camera that hung over the mock scrape where Split G4 had been the year prior. I shuffled through the pictures, and I couldn’t believe it. He was alive! Just an hour before first light, he was in there tearing up that scrape.
I knew the buck certainly had to be bedded close by, and I wasted no time sneaking out of there. I grabbed all my gear and got set up to hunt my brush blind for the rest of the day.
Once settled in my blind, a doe arrived and began to throw an absolute fit over my scent downwind, I heard another deer walking in around me through the thick brush. Then I saw a flash of antlers through a little window, and I immediately recognized the buck. It was a solid 9-pointer that I had been getting regular trail camera photos of on that scrape camera. The buck worked his way in to about 10 yards of my blind, trying to figure out what the doe was going on about.
I drew back my bow and quickly stood up in the blind. The buck was about 17 yards out and quartering away hard when I touched off the release. He kicked and ran about 20 yards; then he toppled over in the matter of seconds.
I made a few calls quietly in my blind, still aware that the bigger buck, Split G4, could be close by. I was on the phone with my brother, whispering to him what had just transpired. During that call, I heard what sounded like antlers hitting branches not too far away.
I told my brother I thought the big one was coming, and I hung up the phone!
It was him, Split G4, no doubt about it. And he was 10 yards away.
Split G4 took a few more steps and broke cover. He was then standing broadside in my shooting lane, well inside of 10 yards of my blind. I waited until he turned his head away from my direction, and then I drew my bow back. I quickly rose from my knees and stood up. The giant buck whirled his head back in my direction, but it was too late. The pin was settled on the crease of his shoulder, and I let it fly.
I called my brother again, and I’m not even sure what words came out of my mouth. But I managed to get out that I had just smoked Split G4, and he was down.
He dressed out at 227 pounds. After the mandatory 60-day drying period was up, I got in touch with a couple official Pope & Young measurers, who came by my house and scored the buck together. His final gross typical score is 198 inches, and his net typical score is 191 7/8.
At that score, my buck is officially the all-time No. 1 typical whitetail taken by bow in New York state. What’s more, he’s the largest typical by any method since gun hunter Roosevelt Luckey killed his 198 3/8 state record in Alleghany Co., in 1939.
Be sure to subscribe to our magazine today so that you can catch the full-length, in-print feature of Dieter Herbert's Long Island legend in the upcoming September issue.