March 28, 2012
By Tom Paul
After several missed opportunities, Tom Paul wasn't sure he'd get a shot at this Maryland Monster, but he was finally able to seal the deal on this Trophy Buck. Here's his story...
My hunting partner, Ryan Mazeska, and I spent many hours hunting this deer. It all started at the end of 2010 season when he showed up on a trail camera. We knew he was a good one even though one of his antlers didn't match the other, possibly due to an injury. We were hoping if he made it through the winter, we'd have a chance to 'fix his rack ' the following year.
The following summer Ryan found one of his shed antlers! It was his good side, which measured 75 inches. Going into the 2011 season, we hung trail cameras and let them sit for a few weeks. On our way in to hunt the farm for the first time of the year, we stopped and viewed one of the cards from the camera, hoping to catch a glimpse of the deer. There he was, almost a perfect typical 10 plus a double brow tine, we were pumped.
Around 8:30 a.m. on November 8th, the deer walked right under Ryan, who tried to stop the deer with a soft bleat. The deer spooked and ran out about 20 yards. Ryan took a shot when he had a good opportunity and we were hopeful. We gave the deer a few hours then started to track him. It was looking good at first with the blood trail, but after a couple hours the trail vanished. We spent the next day walking and tracking hoping for something but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack! We were unable to recover the buck.
A week later, Ryan went out to hunt again and checked the trail camera and the buck was back on his feet! He looked fine other than a small scar on his shoulder. I was so glad he was still alive!
It was now shotgun season and I was fairly certain where the buck was living. I was in my stand for an afternoon hunt around 2:30 p.m. and around 4:45, I saw him walking, and he stopped broad side at 70 yards.
I took the shot and connected! I could hear him crashing and breaking sticks so I just went home for a sleepless night. I found him the next morning at the bottom of the hill he was headed down. It was a good feeling to see him up close! He gross green scored 169 1/4 inches!