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Pennsylvania Bowhunter Tags 179-inch 15-point on Opening Day

After three years of hunting this buck, Sam Musi killed him on the edge of his bedding area.

Pennsylvania Bowhunter Tags 179-inch 15-point on Opening Day

Sam's first bow hunt of the year brought him a chance at a once-in-a-lifetime buck. (Photo courtesy of Sam Musi)

Breaking News Bucks 2021

Sam Musi hasn’t punched many tags in Pennsylvania during the last few seasons, and that’s because he’s been targeting one specific buck. Although he’s had consistent pictures of the buck on his five-acre property in western Pennsylvania over the last two years, he had never seen the deer in person.

Until this year.

In July, Sam went onto a neighbor’s property (that he has permission on) to hang a cellular camera on a scrape he found while scouting. It was 3:00 p.m., and as Sam was hanging the camera, he looked up and saw tines coming through the thicket.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Sam says. “I knew it was him instantly. It was the first time I had ever seen him in person.”

Sam received a few pictures of the deer throughout the rest of the summer, and the buck was always on his camera in the daylight. In early September, Sam had another in-person encounter with the buck while glassing one evening with his son.

“After three years of hunting the buck, those were my first two encounters with him,” Sam remembers. “At that point, I thought he was killable.”

Although Sam had pictures of the buck checking the scrape in daylight, he didn’t think he could hunt near the scrape because it was too difficult to access. So, he went back into the area and hung another camera 60 yards from where the scrape was. This camera was in an area that was easier to access, and it was on the edge of a thicket that he believed was the buck’s bedding area. Two weeks before the season opened, Sam checked the camera in his new spot. And the buck was showing up regularly.

Pennsylvania Bowhunter Tags 179-inch 15-point Buck
Sam's trail camera pictures tipped him off on the buck's daytime movement. (Photo courtesy of Sam Musi)

“I was surprised, because he was actually showing up on that camera more than the one over the scrape,” says Sam.

Pennsylvania’s archery season opened on Oct. 2, and on the evening of Oct. 1, Sam received a cell camera photo of the buck on the scrape.

“I honestly thought it was too good to be true,” says Sam.

To prevent spooking the buck before daylight, Sam decided not to hunt opening morning. However, he went into his hunting location at 2:00 p.m. on opening evening. Sam purchased a saddle to hunt out of this year, and he wanted to make sure he arrived early enough so he could set up quietly.

Once Sam got set up, he had to wait a while before the action started. However, around 6:20 p.m., he heard a sound to his right.


“I looked to my extreme right, and the buck was standing there,” says Sam. “I grabbed my bow and got ready as the buck was walking. He came into an opening that was the size of a basketball, and that was the only shot I had.”

The buck was standing at just 12 yards, and Sam’s arrow hit the deer perfectly. The buck only ran 30 yards before falling over.

“I was beside myself. I was absolutely elated,” Sam says. “Reality hit that I had just killed the biggest deer of my life after three years of hunting for him.”

The buck has 15 scoreable points, and although it is unofficial, Sam and his friends green-scored the buck 179 inches gross.

“I told my wife that this is a deer of a lifetime for me,” Sam says. “This is my one time.”

Pennsylvania Bowhunter Tags 179-inch 15-point on Opening Day
Sam Musi's opening day couldn't have gotten any better. (Photo courtesy of Sam Musi)

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