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Ty Schaefer Buck: Pennsylvania's New No. 4 Typical of All Time

Ty Schaefer 172-Inch BuckAs Ty Schaefer and his grandfather rode in the back of the pickup truck, staring in amazement at Ty's first archery kill, the young hunter thought back to a nearly identical scene two years earlier.

Back then, Ty had just shot a big 16-pointer in gun season, and he and his grandfather had shared a similar ride in the back of Ty's father's truck.

"He told me that day that I'd never kill another buck this big for the rest of my life," Ty recalls his grandfather saying.

It took him just two years to prove his grandfather wrong — thanks to a massive buck that would rank as one of the finest ever taken by a Pennsylvania bowhunter.


Even at only 23 years old, Ty doesn't lack in hunting experience. He killed his first deer with a gun at 15, then took five in the span of six years. His 16-pointer, which was estimated to be 5 1/2 years old, was shot during a drive in 2010.

Before the 2012 season, though, Ty began seriously considering archery hunting. A number of his friends from work bowhunted, and it would give him an excuse to spend more time in the woods to scout for gun season. Ty did some quick research and bought a used bow from another hunter.

"I literally bought it a week before the season," Ty says.

Armed with extensive knowledge of the land and access to several properties around his Fayette County home, the new bowhunter hit the woods. But other than a brief, far-off sighting of what looked to be a mature buck, his bow career got off to an inauspicious start. October came and went with Ty seeing only limited deer activity.

Although he knew the area had potential to produce quality bucks, Ty didn't know that after the end of the 2011 season, at least two other local hunters had captured trail camera pictures of a buck whose headgear would push 150 inches.

"I had no idea at all about the buck," Ty notes. "Including my uncles, we have four cameras out, but we hunt a little bit of a different location than where my house is."

A New Stand


On Nov. 8, Ty got off work early and prepared to hit the woods. Some of his recent bowhunts had been busts, due in part to the effects of Superstorm Sandy sweeping through the area. He considered heading to a stand he'd frequently hunted, but with time running short that afternoon, he wondered if he'd have enough time to hike the 30 minutes to the stand.

Ty gave his mother a call, and she reminded him that a nearby neighbor had granted him hunting access. With that property only five minutes or so from his front door, the bowhunter decided to give it a try.

He found his way to the spot around 3:15 p.m., only to discover what barely amounted to a platform stand. But set up in a staging area between a grass field and a nearly impenetrable thicket, it appeared to be in a prime location. Ty decided to try hunting right there.

There was deer movement within minutes. Around 4:30 p.m., Ty saw a buck chasing. A grunt to gauge the deer's reaction brought no response, so Ty grunted again. But the deer disappeared.Shortly after that, a doe stepped out of the thicket behind the stand. She then fed within shooting distance for more than 20 minutes. Then Ty heard a buck grunt in the same direction from which the doe had appeared.

"When he stepped out, he was already 25 yards away," the bowhunter recalls. "I knew he was big. I just didn't know how big."

The buck began walking to Ty's left. As the archer turned and drew, the buck stopped. Ty settled the 20-yard pin a bit high and released.

"He kicked a little bit, but I had never shot a deer with a bow, so I didn't know how well I'd hit him," Ty recalls. "I watched him run, and he hit a downed tree about 40 yards away and went down."

After a brief search, Ty and his dad found the brute. And that's when the animal's true size became obvious.

"We were in shock," Ty says.

A Ghost Buck

As Ty texted photos of the deer and friends from around town came to visit, word spread about the nearly perfect 10-pointer. After seeing the buck, a local hunter knew it was the same one that had appeared on his trail camera in late winter 2012 after already dropping one antler.

Another hunter also told Ty he'd captured the buck on camera between the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Others said they had spotted him in fields at night. But one common theme was that no one reportedly had ever seen the buck during legal shooting hours.

"It's pretty mountainous here, but there's a good bit of farms with corn fields around the area," Ty says. "Plus, the area he came from, even though it's only 100 yards or so from a road, is so thick you can't crawl on your hands and knees through it."

Ty had the buck scored by Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young official measurers, and the results exceeded his highest expectations. With four tines longer than 10 inches and only 3 3/8 total inches of deductions, the buck would officially net 172 4/8.

Bob D'Angelo, Pennsylvania Game Commission's Big Game Scoring Program Coordinator, confirmed it will be the state's No. 4 all-time archery typical when the record book is updated for 2013.

What's Next?

On the evening of the kill, Ty and his grandfather took nearly the same ride in the back of the truck as they had two years prior, when the elder hunter had offered what at the time had seemed infallible words of wisdom.

"He said, 'Ty, you need to understand that you'll never kill another buck this big in your life," the young bowhunter remembers with a laugh. "I told him 'Pappy, that's the same thing you said two years ago.'

"He was speechless."

With the same bow he began with in 2012, Ty went into the 2013 season in hopes of topping his personal best yet again. The young whitetailer of course has many who doubt he'll ever do it, but the hunter himself isn't one of them.

"I'm a complete believer in Pennsylvania's antler restrictions," he says. "I see bigger and bigger deer every year. A lot of people say that I'm lucky. I say, if you spend a lot of time in the woods, something good will happen."

Kyle Heuerman

Any serious whitetail hunter knows that it's not often that we get a second chance on the buck of a lifetime, or even a first chance for that matter. But luck was on the side of Kyle Heuerman and his girlfriend Jennifer Weaver when they put an arrow through this 196-inch Illinois brute. Read the full story.

Joe Franz

We estimate he was 7 1/2 years old. That's based on photos from 2010, when he clearly wasn't over 3 1/2. When I got him he weighed over 300 pounds on the hoof, as suspected. Official B&C measurer Glen Salow came up with a 'green ' gross score of 258 7/8 inches. After the 60-day drying period, he again taped the rack. This time he got a gross non-typical score of 261 3/8, with a net of 230 7/8. The gross score evidently makes this the highest-scoring wild whitetail ever harvested on professional video. Read the full story.

Jon Massie

Jon's no stranger to free-ranging whitetails across the central plains, having guided a number of clients to trophies and harvesting many big ones himself. In fact, going into 2013 he'd shot two net Boone & Crocketts: one a non-typical scoring over 200, the other a typical from public land. With such success behind him, Jon felt all of his hunting dreams already had come true. At least, he did until a buck he'd never seen showed up on one of his trail cameras. Read the full story.

Tom Boyer

Knowing I couldn't even come to my knees without breaking the little concealment we had, I decided to lie on my left side, using my left elbow for as solid a rest as could be achieved within the slight incline of the old fencerow. But when I shouldered the rifle, the sight of the crosshairs oriented at a 10-4 o'clock angle was definitely a different look from the normal 12-6 position we all practice from. Even so, I didn't figure that would matter if I aimed at the right spot and squeezed off a clean shot. I settled the crosshairs where I needed to place the bullet and steadied the rifle. Whispering 'fire in the hole ' while floating the crosshairs on the spot, I gently squeezed the trigger until the recoil removed the buck from my view. Read the full story.

Teddy's Buck

With a whopping 40 inches of non-typical growth, he has a gross Boone & Crockett score of 215 3/8. The rack's 21 6/8-inch inside spread certainly helps to show off its unique character. He was just a special deer, and very much a result of patience in both management and hunting. Read the full story.

Ryan Sullivan

Ryan Sullivan was only 19 when, during the 2013 season, he arrowed an Arkansas buck of gigantic proportions. Like many of his fellow Arkansans, Ryan is a deer and duck fanatic. For several years, however, he gave up most of his duck season to lock horns with the world-class buck. Read the full story.

Junior Key

Junior's outstanding whitetail is the biggest ever recorded from Monroe County, and he ranks as one of the Bluegrass State's top bucks from the 2013-14 season. This great non-typical also is the latest member of Kentucky's all-time Top 30 list. Read the full story.

Mikell Fries

At 16 yards, Mikell took aim at the giant and released his arrow. In an instant, the shaft had passed through him. The deer instantly whirled and ran out of sight . . . but then, within seconds the archer heard him crash to the ground. 'I remained in the stand for several minutes to gather my thoughts and calm down, ' Mikell says. 'I'm sure the entire encounter only took a few minutes, but it seemed an eternity. ' Read the full story.

Bill Robinson

Three double-digit tines of 10 2/8 to 13 5/8 inches, plus 7 1/8- and 9 3/8-inch brows and a 21 3/8-inch inside spread, add plenty to this regal crown. Put everything together and you have a gross 9-point frame score of 193 6/8. That's as big as it sounds. Typical asymmetry and 11 6/8 inches of abnormal points total 25 1/8 inches of deductions, so as a typical, the deer nets 'only ' 168 5/8. But the 8×5 rack's total gross score of 205 4/8 is much more reflective of its stunning size. Regardless of score, the Robinson buck is clearly a marvel of nature. Read the full story.

Nick Drake

The action was fast and furious right from the get-go. At daybreak a doe busted through the cedar thicket with an eight-point suitor following close behind. The doe, however, wanted nothing to do with her pursuer and jumped into a nearby pond in an attempt to flee the buck. This, however, wasn't the last of the action. Nick continued to watch several bucks harass does throughout the morning, but chose not to take a shot at them. Read the full story.

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