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Case closed on the "Tank".

by Scott Abbott 16. March 2009 09:32
Scott Abbott

Summer 2007 while glassing a bean field I located a nice bachelor group of bucks using a drainage ditch as a travel corridor to exit a swamp that they were using as bedding cover.  I didn't have my digital camera with me that day so I went back the next three nights hoping to see them repeat their movements through the ditch.  The third night was a success and they made an appearance before night fall.  Even with my camera tapped out to it's 10X optical zoom maximum, it just wasn't enough to really see what the bucks were packing.   I could tell they were all good bucks and I could see the ones left and right side didn't match.  Curiosity was getting to me, I really wanted to know what these guys were packing.

The buck all the way to the left is the "Tank".

Soon after I formulated a plan and set a game camera up to take advantage of this travel pattern they were using.  The mission was a success, as I got many photos of each of the bucks.   When checking the memory card for the first time my buddy says, "Man that bucks body is a tank!"  From there on, he was known as the Tank.   He featured a solid typical four points on his right and an odd shaped three point main frame and a kicker on his left.

The Tank in full velvet.  Impressive neck and body size for August.

We are now almost into hard antler, a cool photo showing him shedding his velvet.

Finally, hard antler.

Even though he wasn't on my "hit list", I never did see him during hunting season and did not get any more trail camera photos of him once our archery season opened the first Saturday of October.  So many times over the years hunting season closes and I have high aspirations to find the sheds of some of the better bucks I located over the previous summer / fall.  Sometimes I am lucky enough to locate some of their bone, but most times they just seem to have disappeared.  I did find the right side of the biggest buck of this bachelor group last winter, but found nothing of the tank or the "Tall Ten". 

While walking a very nasty multi flora thicket today I could see a solid four point side 30-35 yards ahead....  Five minutes later I finally wrestled my way over through the green briar and I immediately recognized the remains as the Tank.  I examined the skeletal remains as best I could for a clue to his death but I couldn't find anything to convince me of what happened.  It really is bitter sweet finding the remains of a whitetail you have history with.  I had always hoped he just moved on to another area, but this just wasn't the case.     

Closure has been found on the Tank and the case is now officially closed.  I always had a soft spot for this buck because I shot a buck here in 2003 that had similar non-typical growth on his right side (pictured below).

 

The third chapter. (The 4 Beam Buck)

by Scott Abbott 13. March 2009 15:22
Scott Abbott

Chapter One.  09/17/2008

Set up on the North end of a standing corn field facing South back toward the field my game camera snapped a series of 24 photos on September 17th, 2008 starting at 11:02 PM and ending at 11:25 PM.  This was my first "encounter" with the buck that I have come to know as "The 4 Beam Buck".  I never got another picture of him other than from this series, even while running two cameras on the property.  I hoped to catch him on my other camera as it takes much nicer photos but I had no such luck. 

Two photos from that night.

Chapter Two.  11/16/2008

November 16th, 2008 found me sitting in a lock on that has been kind to me over the years.  Not long after first light I can hear it....  The tell tale sound of chasing.  A yearling buck ran a doe right underneath my stand with a big buck and numerous younger bucks lagging behind.  I at first did not get a good look at the "big buck" because so many deer were converging on my location at once.  I didn't want to get caught glassing any of them and have a good buck come in range with my attention else where. 

I was then able to start glassing the bucks I went from dink to dink to respectable 2.5 year olds than BAM.... It's the "4 Beam Buck"!  It was an outstanding experience watching all the chasing and dominance displays he put on over the next couple hours fending off these bucks from courting his bedded doe.  Once all of the activity slowed and I was able to look around, I had seven bucks and one doe all within 60 yards of my setup.  The encounter wasn't meant to turn into a big buck and "hero" photos though as they left my area for good a few hours after they arrived.

Chapter Three.  03/13/2008

Over 40 hours into my Ohio shed season I had yet to find a shed antler.  I found some in IL and OK, but just couldn't get on any here at home.  Around 4:00 PM I put an end to the shed-less streak by picking up a yearling shed.  It sure felt good to finally pick one up.

A couple hours later found me in an area I would not have expected to find a shed.  It is an area that is full of young maple trees with absolutely no ground cover or browse to speak of....  Just tall skinny maple trees.  I was griding the area out East-West then back West-East.  I was about 3/4's through the area when I see the curl of a main beam sticking up 30 feet ahead....  I walk up to see the right side of the "4 Beam Buck"!  Darkness fell fast and I was not able to locate the other side.  I will be back out there in the morning trying my best to find the other side. 

As it lied when I found it.

Another view once I got home.

I hope to add a couple more chapters to this story over this spring / summer going into next fall.  Even if this story doesn't end with the whitetail and I making a trip to my taxidermist, I have throughly enjoyed the ride thus far.

Another Big Illinois Bowkill

by John Mueller 9. December 2008 14:14
John Mueller

            Another big IL whitetail fell to a lucky archer this fall. This time a DNR agent named Mike Goetten killed a monster near Joliet. The massive buck is a basic 10 pointer with a double brow tine and a few stickers that gross scores 198 3/8” and nets 175 6/8 as a Typical Booner.

 

            Bob Schnettgoecke who owns Schnettgoecke’s Taxidermy from Grafton, IL is mounting the buck for Mike. Here are a few pics of the beast the day the buck was mounted. The mount isn’t finished yet, but I couldn’t resist posting a few pics of this beautiful buck.

The buck is almost the size of this cow elk.

 

The cape on this buck beautiful as well.

 

Here you can get an idea of his mass.

The four main beam buck: A story of Almost.

by Scott Abbott 20. November 2008 08:30
Scott Abbott

Sunday November, 16th started no differently than any other morning.  I got settled into my stand 15 minutes prior to legal shooting light, bundled up to fight off the below freezing temps.  Roughly a half hour later I hear it; the tell tale sign of deer chasing.  Although the ground was wet and quiet, it is a sound I have come to know all to well in the month of November.  This was the kind of chasing you just know will fly right past your stand with no shot opportunity, it was fast and aggressive.  Just as I suspected, right past me they went with a half rack three point leading the chase with a good buck lagging 30 yards behind.  The big buck couldn't keep the pace with the yearling buck and doe. 

After I "knew" I had no chance to stop them in my shooting lanes at their pace, 50 yards later they stopped chasing....  I could then hear more running behind me, I saw two more bucks flying into the area.  Then another buck comes in.  Again, I can hear deer running.... Another buck and finally the final buck to the party showed up.  In the mist of all the activity converging on my stand at once I lost track of the doe, I figured she kept going.  I then took my attention back to the big buck to get my first good look, HOLY CRAP! That's the four main beam buck!  As I attempt to formulate a plan to try to call him to me, he bedded down 60 yards from my stand.  It was a sigh of relief at the time having him bed as I knew better to attempt to call to him with now 6 other bucks, all yearlings and 2.5's all within 30 yards of my stand.

 

I only got one set of photos of him all summer, all in one night.  I never saw him

again until last Sunday morning.

For the next hour I was really unable to move as the bucks were still all around me.  The young ones were rubbing and sparring like they had nothing better to do.  Movement from the big buck caught my eye so I slowly raised my binos up on him.  He took a few steps to the south and bedded back down, THERE'S THE DOE!  It was all starting to make sense now, he was on lock down with this doe.  The doe stood up walked a few steps and browsed on some green brier then bedded back down next to the big buck.  This got the attention of the younger bucks and gave them the courage to attempt to approach her.  The dominate buck would not have this, he bluffed charged them when ever they would get with in 40 or so yards of he and his does location.  A couple times he would stand up and show his dominance to the younger bucks by thrashing some of the saplings and pawing at the ground as if to make a scrape, although he did not urinate in the fresh dirt.  While he was on his feet I attempted a couple doe calls, he snapped his head staring intently in my direction but would no commit.  I then tried a series of aggressive grunts followed by a couple snort wheezes.  He acted as he never heard them.  My best guess is he figured the grunting and snort wheezing was from one of his subordinates he had been fending off all morning.

Again the doe rose from her bed and started to walk from their bedding location, I needed them to come 20 yards East to my location for a possible opportunity for a shot but they traveled around 50 yards to the South and bedded again.  I could now feel the opportunity slipping away.  Once the doe and dominate buck cleared the old bedding site, each of the small bucks cautiously worked their way over there and spent a while sniffing and flemming the two areas she had bed down.

 

Rather than brow tines, he seemed to grow double main beams in their place.

 

The morning had flown by, I checked the time and it was already after 10.  The next hour and a half they were still bedding in the location around 100 yards from my set.  This is when I see it.  A trespasser from later to find out from Michigan who has permission on the neighboring property was trespassing.  Little does he know what he did from his trespassing escapade, all of the deer scattered to the North.  He never heard or saw them. 

I was furious.  I waited until he hit an area I knew I could catch up to him on as it is rather thick on this property and I have lost trespassers in the past getting down to soon losing them in the under brush. With him finally on an old skidder trail, I got down and made my approach.  I am not getting into the conversation we had, but I made it clear to him he was trespassing. At first he denied it only to admit a few minutes later he crossed the posted signs to "see where the buck he had saw that morning had come from". 

I did not tell him that he had ran those deer off me, when he asked had I saw anything I told him no. 

Looking at the encounter in hind sight, there is no telling where that doe would have went after she rose from her bed.  What were the odds that she would have brought the big buck back to my set?  What would have happened had another buck busting them from their beds? Which way would they have ran?  Would it have ended in a big buck for me? I really do not have the answers.   All I know is I would have liked to have the opportunity to play it out to see how it would have ended. 

He would have been a welcome addition had the opportunity arose.

Hunting November - The Glory Days

by Troy Kailbourne 17. November 2008 07:41
Troy Kailbourne

The glory days are upon us, November is the Rut month here in western New York. Based on all visual data I have been seeing and comparing with other hunters and property managers like Craig and Neil Dougherty, this is the week to be in the woods!

The mature bucks are starting to get on their feet and look for estrus does. The doe family groups are busting up and bucks are seeking them out in transition areas, and thick corridors.

I myself have been watching a nice 150” class 10 pointer tend a doe for the last two days. He won’t leave her side for anything, not even the tender greens of the brassica food plot not even 50 yards from where he is holding her.

This Imperial Whitetail Winter Greens Brassica plot was put in on August 1, 2008 and is under-seeded with Imperial Whitetail Clover. The plot came up well this fall given the amount of rain we had in western New York. Successful plots like this help keep that big buck centralized on your property.  

There are a couple of nice rubs in this direct area.

This rub is found on the edge of a travel corridor next to a creek bottom. Rubs like this are common clues to where a buck is traveling from food source to bedding area.

I have seen him chase away a few nice other bucks that are shooters as well.

I am off to hit the stand for a long afternoon sit…in hopes that the glory days will pay off for me. Plus if I get extremely lucky, mabey this guy will happen by.

 

 

 

This trail cam photo was taken along the same Imperial Brassica field back in early October. Black Bears have been expanding their range so much in New York State that this year the state opened up new hunting zones for them.



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