PA - A buck named Bobtail

TWIG

A good 3 year old buck
Guess the story kicks off back in 2021. Returned back to the US in early October after working most of the year in the middle east. First thing I did once home was run out and hang cameras. Spent evenings glassing and running the spotlight once the sun set. Couldn't really find a mature buck to pursue. After letting my cameras soak for 2 weeks, I only had one buck worth targeting. Went in and tagged him on the third sit. Great buck for PA. Low 120s 8 point that happened to be 4 years old. What a mistake that was. Day after my tag was filled, this guy starts showing up on cameras everywhere. My dad spent the rest of the season trying to get in front of him but to no avail.

Didn't gain much intel on him last fall. Seemed like he only showed up for the rut. Pictures petered off mid-December and then I got one picture of him in February. Never could find his sheds so it was evident that our farm was on the fringes of his range. Fast forward to this year and I completely wrote him off. Didn't even get a velvet picture of him so I figured he got hit by a car.

About the third week of October I'm in a Redneck blind overlooking a waterhole (see my pond thread) and this guy runs a doe past me at 20 yards. Didn't even have time to grab the binos. All I saw were antlers and half a tail crashing through the brush. He's back! Only having half a tail, the nickname came easy. My vacation didn't start till November but I managed to see this guy almost every sit leading up to the rut. Always chasing does. Odd, considering none of the other big bucks seemed to show any interest yet.

Full disclosure but after realizing Bobtail was still alive, I was going to give my dad every opportunity at him. I was after another buck nicknamed Ripsaw. Neat 12 point with all sorts of junk. Ended up taking a shot at him late October, wounded him in the rear leg after the arrow deflected off a limb, and spent the first week of November trying to put him down. Ripsaw didn't look good on cam and with such a wound dad and I were both trying to finish the deal. My dad ended up getting him so I was finally able to get some sleep, regroup, and chase Bobtail.

November 14th, at around 1300 I got back in the blind overlooking the waterhole. Wind was perfect for the deer. Hitting me straight in the back and right into a sanctuary. With the windows closed I knew I was in for a treat. Deer began pouring out and passing me on their way for a bean field 70 yards behind me. A family pod of does came crashing down off a ridge towards the water and it had me on my toes waiting to see what buck was in toe. Bobtail emerged from the thick directly down wind of me. At 50 yards he browsed about on vegetation out of reach to most of the other deer while the does continued feeding within 20 yards. Smaller bucks kept emerging from the brush and he'd spend the next half hour running them off. Nothing I could do at this point. With so many deer downwind, opening the window to make a shot would not go over well. Finally, the does began to move past me on my left. He covered a pile of ground in short order to catch up and in the blink of an eye he was on my left at 20 yards. Flung the window, took aim, and let the arrow fly. Watched him tumble at 40 yards.

No idea who's farm he called home but I'm sure one of my neighbors is wondering where he's at.

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Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
Atta boy, congrats bud!

Great story and great buck!!
 

SWIFFY

5 year old buck +
Hes a nice one! Congrats!
 

Howboutthemdawgs

5 year old buck +
Pennsylvania hammer! You have a pic of your dads buck?
I love hearing these success stories in “tough” places such as PA. What do you attribute to being able to grow and hold big deer like that in a state not known for such?
 

TWIG

A good 3 year old buck
Pennsylvania hammer! You have a pic of your dads buck?
I love hearing these success stories in “tough” places such as PA. What do you attribute to being able to grow and hold big deer like that in a state not known for such?

Wish there was easy tasks to point at that contribute to our success but it's a combination of things. The parcel these bucks came off of is just a 100-acre island of mature timber that's surrounded on all sides by agriculture. Most of our stands are within bow range of the property line and we may only venture on 15-20% of the property during hunting season. Sanctuaries are such a crucial part of the program. We won't even track deer till the middle of the night if they run into bedding after being hit.

Hunter density in my world is something most of you guys can't relate to. Beyond our property line I'm surrounded by outlaws that shoot multiple bucks a year. During our 2 week gun season every inch of our property line is covered by multiple guys waiting for a deer to step across the line. Guys will probably think I'm nuts but I spend more time scouting people than deer during hunting season. During archery, much of my stand selection is based purely on which neighbor is hunting where and which stand I can sit in to prevent bucks from getting within his range. This is almost always accomplished utilizing wind direction and my scent to steer deer elsewhere. During gun season we walk the property lines once or twice an evening to bump the deer back into the sanctuary and prevent them from feeding till after dark. Is it very sportsman like to interfere or block a neighbor? Absolutely not. It simply boils down to protecting the bucks till they're 3 years old.

I don't know how much poaching goes on for most of you guys but it is so abundant in PA. I've found 12 headless buck corpses while shed hunting in a single afternoon. Utilizing truck traps I've caught vehicles from out of state trying to drive into our fields in the middle of the night. I used to spend Friday and Saturday nights sitting on top of silos with a direct line to our local warden. The big outlaws all utilize chase vehicles with the shooter now so there's little law enforcement can do unless you catch them in the act. I've seen pictures and heard stories of locals with entire basement walls lined with giant PA bucks. Piles of racks stacked waist high. PA probably sounds miserable, but this is what we're dealing with.

Sorry for tangent but here's a picture of Ripsaw. Can't say that I've ever been able to match sheds off a year old buck to his later self until now.

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Howboutthemdawgs

5 year old buck +
Wish there was easy tasks to point at that contribute to our success but it's a combination of things. The parcel these bucks came off of is just a 100-acre island of mature timber that's surrounded on all sides by agriculture. Most of our stands are within bow range of the property line and we may only venture on 15-20% of the property during hunting season. Sanctuaries are such a crucial part of the program. We won't even track deer till the middle of the night if they run into bedding after being hit.

Hunter density in my world is something most of you guys can't relate to. Beyond our property line I'm surrounded by outlaws that shoot multiple bucks a year. During our 2 week gun season every inch of our property line is covered by multiple guys waiting for a deer to step across the line. Guys will probably think I'm nuts but I spend more time scouting people than deer during hunting season. During archery, much of my stand selection is based purely on which neighbor is hunting where and which stand I can sit in to prevent bucks from getting within his range. This is almost always accomplished utilizing wind direction and my scent to steer deer elsewhere. During gun season we walk the property lines once or twice an evening to bump the deer back into the sanctuary and prevent them from feeding till after dark. Is it very sportsman like to interfere or block a neighbor? Absolutely not. It simply boils down to protecting the bucks till they're 3 years old.

I don't know how much poaching goes on for most of you guys but it is so abundant in PA. I've found 12 headless buck corpses while shed hunting in a single afternoon. Utilizing truck traps I've caught vehicles from out of state trying to drive into our fields in the middle of the night. I used to spend Friday and Saturday nights sitting on top of silos with a direct line to our local warden. The big outlaws all utilize chase vehicles with the shooter now so there's little law enforcement can do unless you catch them in the act. I've seen pictures and heard stories of locals with entire basement walls lined with giant PA bucks. Piles of racks stacked waist high. PA probably sounds miserable, but this is what we're dealing with.

Sorry for tangent but here's a picture of Ripsaw. Can't say that I've ever been able to match sheds off a year old buck to his later self until now.

View attachment 47425
Well that depressed the hell of out me. Great deer btw
 

PatinPA

5 year old buck +
Wish there was easy tasks to point at that contribute to our success but it's a combination of things. The parcel these bucks came off of is just a 100-acre island of mature timber that's surrounded on all sides by agriculture. Most of our stands are within bow range of the property line and we may only venture on 15-20% of the property during hunting season. Sanctuaries are such a crucial part of the program. We won't even track deer till the middle of the night if they run into bedding after being hit.

Hunter density in my world is something most of you guys can't relate to. Beyond our property line I'm surrounded by outlaws that shoot multiple bucks a year. During our 2 week gun season every inch of our property line is covered by multiple guys waiting for a deer to step across the line. Guys will probably think I'm nuts but I spend more time scouting people than deer during hunting season. During archery, much of my stand selection is based purely on which neighbor is hunting where and which stand I can sit in to prevent bucks from getting within his range. This is almost always accomplished utilizing wind direction and my scent to steer deer elsewhere. During gun season we walk the property lines once or twice an evening to bump the deer back into the sanctuary and prevent them from feeding till after dark. Is it very sportsman like to interfere or block a neighbor? Absolutely not. It simply boils down to protecting the bucks till they're 3 years old.

I don't know how much poaching goes on for most of you guys but it is so abundant in PA. I've found 12 headless buck corpses while shed hunting in a single afternoon. Utilizing truck traps I've caught vehicles from out of state trying to drive into our fields in the middle of the night. I used to spend Friday and Saturday nights sitting on top of silos with a direct line to our local warden. The big outlaws all utilize chase vehicles with the shooter now so there's little law enforcement can do unless you catch them in the act. I've seen pictures and heard stories of locals with entire basement walls lined with giant PA bucks. Piles of racks stacked waist high. PA probably sounds miserable, but this is what we're dealing with.

Sorry for tangent but here's a picture of Ripsaw. Can't say that I've ever been able to match sheds off a year old buck to his later self until now.

View attachment 47425
Read your post yesterday then this popped up on my phone.

https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/ne...sed-37-bucks-in-monroe-county-police-say.html

I've always assumed that's how the majority of big bucks that I see end up. They just seem to disappear and some in the past were big enough that someone would have heard of them getting shot in hunting season.
 

TWIG

A good 3 year old buck
Read your post yesterday then this popped up on my phone.

https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/ne...sed-37-bucks-in-monroe-county-police-say.html

I've always assumed that's how the majority of big bucks that I see end up. They just seem to disappear and some in the past were big enough that someone would have heard of them getting shot in hunting season.

The joys of being a sportsman in PA... It's such a sad state of affairs.

I wouldn't chalk every disappearance of a big buck to poaching though. We operate in complete secrecy and I feel that to have continued success in a specific area, you almost have to anymore. Nothing gets shared on social media. Neighbors are left completely in the dark. I've got vehicles that nobody knows about. My taxidermist was specifically chosen over two hours away to remove any leaks from occurring on that end. The further I fly under the radar, the better my hunting continues to get.
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
Read your post yesterday then this popped up on my phone.

https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/ne...sed-37-bucks-in-monroe-county-police-say.html

I've always assumed that's how the majority of big bucks that I see end up. They just seem to disappear and some in the past were big enough that someone would have heard of them getting shot in hunting season.
Another Pa. guy here. I can tell you there's a culture here that many guys seem to have to "prove" their manliness & woodsman-ship each year by killing something. And if you REALLY want to prove how "good " of a hunter you are - you must kill a BIG buck. It's a sickness with some guys. I've come across deer carcasses in remote wooded areas with only the head sawed off. The whole deer was wasted - left to rot. Those carcasses (different times - different areas) were found less than 50 yds. off a remote mountain road. Real "he-men" types that pull this kind of sh*t. I doubt they could take a deer by legal means, when it's one-on-one with a deer. They aren't hunters OR woodsmen - POS criminals is the way to describe them.

We had a big buck shot (with a gun) some years ago along the road bordering our property, while our camp gate was open and during archery season!!! Gate open shows someone's at the camp!!! That didn't matter. They shot & killed the buck, then drove off quickly over the mountain. We went to look for the deer or the POS that shot, and found no blood. Later that afternoon, a camp member went down the mountain road for gas - and found where the POS came back and drug the deer off the bank onto the road to load it and drive off. Blood and hair told the story. We had been seeing that buck for several weeks along that roadside woods - but not after that day. Broad daylight, sunny day, archery season - with people at our camp. How's THAT for balls??? Call to PA. Game warden - warden came, saw evidence, watched the road for several days with decoy deployed - no other shots taken. This is Pa.
 
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