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Hypothetical question: would you?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Pat Lefemine 13-Jan-23
Brotsky 13-Jan-23
Cazador 13-Jan-23
Ambush 13-Jan-23
Quinn @work 13-Jan-23
Missouribreaks 13-Jan-23
2Wild Bill 13-Jan-23
[email protected] 13-Jan-23
SBH 13-Jan-23
greenmountain 13-Jan-23
t-roy 13-Jan-23
APauls 13-Jan-23
Jebediah 13-Jan-23
RonP 13-Jan-23
Vonfoust 13-Jan-23
midwest 13-Jan-23
greg simon 13-Jan-23
Bake 13-Jan-23
orionsbrother 13-Jan-23
smarba 13-Jan-23
njbuck 13-Jan-23
midwest 13-Jan-23
JayZ 13-Jan-23
smarba 13-Jan-23
midwest 13-Jan-23
Rut Nut 13-Jan-23
7mm08 13-Jan-23
Old School 13-Jan-23
Mad Trapper 13-Jan-23
fuzzy 13-Jan-23
pav 13-Jan-23
midwest 13-Jan-23
WV Mountaineer 13-Jan-23
x-man 13-Jan-23
Rgiesey 13-Jan-23
Scrappy 13-Jan-23
Old School 13-Jan-23
Scoot 13-Jan-23
Grey Ghost 13-Jan-23
fastflight 13-Jan-23
Catscratch 13-Jan-23
Bou'bound 13-Jan-23
WhattheFOC 13-Jan-23
JSW 13-Jan-23
tobywon 13-Jan-23
Joe Holden 13-Jan-23
BOWNBIRDHNTR 13-Jan-23
elkmtngear 13-Jan-23
MA-PAdeerslayer 13-Jan-23
caribou77 13-Jan-23
MA-PAdeerslayer 13-Jan-23
Pat Lefemine 13-Jan-23
Grey Ghost 13-Jan-23
molsonarcher 13-Jan-23
APauls 13-Jan-23
KSflatlander 13-Jan-23
Ollie 13-Jan-23
Bou'bound 13-Jan-23
deerhunter72 13-Jan-23
drycreek 13-Jan-23
cnelk 13-Jan-23
LINK 13-Jan-23
scentman 13-Jan-23
Grey Ghost 13-Jan-23
Corax_latrans 13-Jan-23
Lawboytom 13-Jan-23
FORESTBOWS 13-Jan-23
Candor 13-Jan-23
Bowfinatic 13-Jan-23
wildwilderness 13-Jan-23
Grunter 13-Jan-23
EmbryOklahoma 14-Jan-23
Franzen 14-Jan-23
arlone 14-Jan-23
goyt 14-Jan-23
Bowbender 14-Jan-23
tobywon 14-Jan-23
Grey Ghost 14-Jan-23
Inshart 14-Jan-23
Boreal 14-Jan-23
Stoneman 14-Jan-23
Zbone 14-Jan-23
Pat Lefemine 15-Jan-23
Pat Lefemine 15-Jan-23
Pat Lefemine 15-Jan-23
Pat Lefemine 15-Jan-23
Pat Lefemine 15-Jan-23
Catscratch 15-Jan-23
Pat Lefemine 15-Jan-23
Pat Lefemine 15-Jan-23
Zbone 15-Jan-23
JakeBrake 15-Jan-23
stealthycat 15-Jan-23
Zbone 15-Jan-23
APauls 16-Jan-23
SoDakSooner 16-Jan-23
Pat Lefemine 16-Jan-23
njbuck 16-Jan-23
Bou'bound 16-Jan-23
Blue Buck 16-Jan-23
fuzzy 16-Jan-23
caribou77 16-Jan-23
hdaman 16-Jan-23
Zbone 16-Jan-23
Grey Ghost 16-Jan-23
Bou’bound 16-Jan-23
Grey Ghost 16-Jan-23
APauls 17-Jan-23
Zbone 17-Jan-23
2Wild Bill 17-Jan-23
sticksender 17-Jan-23
Julius Koenig 17-Jan-23
Thornton 17-Jan-23
SaddleReaper 23-Jan-23
From: Pat Lefemine
13-Jan-23
This happened to me in 2020. My target buck dropped his left side. I found it. I contemplated continuing to hunt for him and if I killed him, would reattach his shed.

Would you do it?

I’ll let you know what I did and how it turned out later.

From: Brotsky
13-Jan-23
I pick box 6.

From: Cazador
13-Jan-23
It just goes to show you the owner of this site can't even post a photo correctly!

From: Ambush
13-Jan-23
If you have the left side and he's still carrying the right, then shoot him.

But if you have the left and he comes in without the right, then nope. Or hire twenty shed dogs and a couple drones and all the neighboring Amish kids to find it.

From: Quinn @work
13-Jan-23
I recognize this from the SAT test. The total area is 4,385.36 sq ft.

13-Jan-23
Yes I would continue hunting it, the challenge did not change one bit.

From: 2Wild Bill
13-Jan-23
If you were handling him after he died and the antler came free, would you reattach it? Not much different. Is the thrill of shooting a target buck who already shed one side any less thrilling? I would say no, because you have the antler. lf you didn't have the shed, I would think the excitement would be diminished.

13-Jan-23
I would likely mount him as-is and include the shed somehow but not attached. Would make for a good conversation.

From: SBH
13-Jan-23
Glunt's idea is cool. It's the one you were after and it's really how it went down. Cool to find the shed, actually adds to the memory I think.

13-Jan-23
I would mount it as it dropped. If it had the shed it would be attached to the plaque. I have done this with trail cam photos of the buck I have taken.

From: t-roy
13-Jan-23
If it’s Scarface, can I PM you my answer? I don’t want that cartel coming after me because “I knew too much”

If it was my target buck, I’d probably say yes I would. IMO, it’s no different than him still carrying both sides. Still the same deer. I see no difference in that, vs shooting him, he runs off and the antler(s) pop off when he hits the ground, or comes off in your hands when you try to load him up in the truck. I’ve seen both of those scenarios happen.

From: APauls
13-Jan-23
Depends how I felt about it at the time. Honestly couldn't really say. I usually shoot because my heart is fluttering. If I saw him with half a rack would he make my heart flutter? Maybe, due to all the time I'd put in on him, or maybe not. Couldn't tell ya until it happened.

From: Jebediah
13-Jan-23
No I would not continue to hunt him if he dropped his left side. On the other hand, if he dropped his right side, totally different story.

From: RonP
13-Jan-23
i don't think i would. i'd call it a season, at least for that buck, and wish him well until next season. i'd keep the shed and hopefully find the other side when it drops. when i kill him next season it'll make for an even better conversation piece.

From: Vonfoust
13-Jan-23
I'd shoot him then come online and make multiple threads about how dumb it is for someone to shoot a buck that had already shed.

From: midwest
13-Jan-23
Yes

From: greg simon
13-Jan-23
Hell yes I'll do it!!! Cause that's just how I roll.

From: Bake
13-Jan-23
I'd shoot him

13-Jan-23
I assume that it’s a decent buck since you’re interested in him.

I don’t think that you should worry about this kind of stuff. You should contact your good friend Rick and have him come out to your property and resolve this for you.

Had a buck that I shot whirl when the arrow passed through him. He piled into a tree and knocked one side off. Didn’t bother me a bit. Made for an interesting story.

I’m there for you Pat.

From: smarba
13-Jan-23

smarba's embedded Photo
smarba's embedded Photo
I was faced with this exact dilemma hunting mule deer several years ago. I got on a great buck that had lost an antler. Was way too early to have dropped, but we had some extremely cold snaps that some folks attributed to some bucks dropping early? I decided if the buck would have had both antlers I'd be ecstatic with him, so why not be just as thrilled with the same buck lacking an antler? He was the same age, same size, etc. I let it fly...

From: njbuck
13-Jan-23
It would depend on how i feel at the time but sitting here thinking about it I am inclined to say that he won the chess match for this year and we will continue next fall.

From: midwest
13-Jan-23
Smarba , difference being Pat had the other side.

From: JayZ
13-Jan-23
Buddy of mine was watching a couple bull elk fight. They got done and he got in front of the bigger of the two. The bull got to him and it was missing most of one antler. He passed fearing he wouldn't be able to find the broken antler. 340 type bull.

He then went down and found the broken side. Two days later he killed the bull. Reattached the antler with duct tape and tent stakes for pictures. Made for a pretty good story.

From: smarba
13-Jan-23
Agreed midwest...I went through even WITHOUT the other side!

From: midwest
13-Jan-23
Nice shot, too, Carl.

From: Rut Nut
13-Jan-23
I was thinking the same thing as Glunt...............................maybe a pedestal mount with some vegetation and the shed lying on the "ground" like you found it?

From: 7mm08
13-Jan-23
Probably would Pat.

From: Old School
13-Jan-23
I’d pass

From: Mad Trapper
13-Jan-23
Nope

From: fuzzy
13-Jan-23
Heck yeah! I killed a half shed buck in the early 80s and found the shed months later. I didn't mount him (I was a poor boy) but those antlers are still kicking around somewhere. Incidentally that was the first deer meat I ever canned.

From: pav
13-Jan-23
Pass...done it before. Difference being I didn't have the shed...but pretty sure I'd still pass.

From: midwest
13-Jan-23
To those who say they wouldn't. Even if it was a 200"+ deer on public ground and you had the shed side, you wouldn't shoot?

13-Jan-23
I’d kill him.

From: x-man
13-Jan-23
It's a much better story and mount if you don't re-attach it.

From: Rgiesey
13-Jan-23
Was hunting a buck years ago in Colorado. Kind of a bully. He came by with one antler and I shot him. A friend found the broken antler and now he’s mounted with it glued back on.

From: Scrappy
13-Jan-23
I know what happened. Pat found one side and his Amish neighbor poached the buck. Now that the court date has past Pat has gotten the head back and is having it mounted to rub it in the Amishguys face. What did I win? :)

From: Old School
13-Jan-23
Nick - a 200” on public land. That’s a once in 10 lifetimes deer. Would be hard to pass on that.

From: Scoot
13-Jan-23
I don't think I would. However, like Adam said- it'd depend on what I felt like in that moment. I've said I wouldn't shoot a certain deer in the past only to change my mind in the moment. That's ok for me- I don't need it all preconceived and planned out in advance.

From: Grey Ghost
13-Jan-23
I wouldn't think twice before the arrow was on its way.

Matt

From: fastflight
13-Jan-23
I definitely would shoot him if I bad the shed and pictures to prove it was his. If not, a hLfrack gets s pass

From: Catscratch
13-Jan-23
Yes, yes I would.

From: Bou'bound
13-Jan-23
Yes. unless the main reason someone hunts is antlers in which case No. I would not hesitate to keep after him. I’m not a mounter so the second part of your question is less important to me but if I decided to mount him I’d break out the gorilla glue.

From: WhattheFOC
13-Jan-23
I’d kill him, but I wouldn’t glue the shed back on. Would make for a cool pedestal… shed laying on the ‘ground’ and a dribble of blood down the buck’s face.

Your window is probably closed already - that other antler won’t hang on for long.

From: JSW
13-Jan-23
I've contemplated similar dilemmas in the past with mixed results.

What if he breaks off 3" point? What if he breaks off a 12" point? What if it's 2 12" points? Most of one antler?

I've faced all of these scenarios at some point. Am I hunting a particular buck or a number of inches? Right or wrong, I tend to hunt for total inches or a particular cool looking rack.

If I had the lost point or antler, I'd probably shoot. If not I generally hope he's still around next year.

From: tobywon
13-Jan-23
Yes

From: Joe Holden
13-Jan-23

Joe Holden's embedded Photo
Joe Holden's embedded Photo
Joe Holden's embedded Photo
Joe Holden's embedded Photo
Went through this back in November. Have a buck I call One Beam that's been the most consistent & recognizable buck since I bought my 42 acres in 2021. Have a lot of trail camera pictures of this buck and have seen him four times in person (2 in 2021; 2 in 2022). This year, he decided to snap his funky side off mid-October. When he showed up at 17 yards 11/11, I elected not to shoot.

If I knew with 100% confidence I could find the missing piece, might've changed his outcome. Don't regret the decision and am looking forward to getting a plan together for him this year.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
13-Jan-23
If I had the shed I'm shooting for sure. Without it I'm not sure....

Let me ask this, what if he had dropped both sides? For argument's sake, let's say he has some other distinguishing feature so you know it's him, would you shoot him without either antler? I would pass and hope to see him again next year.

From: elkmtngear
13-Jan-23
Mount him, throwing his head back, with the antler just about to separate, at a crazy angle!

13-Jan-23
Everyday and twice on Saturday so he did get to the property line lol. If I have the left side for sure. If I didn’t I’d probably have to let him walk. And I’d mount like glunt said.

Happened in PA few years back, my buddy’s kid shot his first buck. Took of running twords where I was sitting, ran smack dab into a 12” round tree and knocked both his horns off. Mind you we had already seen 2 deer that dropped and someone shot a “huge doe” that was a buck that dropped way early. First week in December. Poor kid was devastated lol

From: caribou77
13-Jan-23
So this happened to me a long time ago. Had history with a great 8 pt. Had previous sheds. Never saw him on the hoof… until early January one year. Walks out with half a rack. I struggled with it and finally decided he was no less just cause he had half a rack. I lifted my muzzle loader, took aim and…. Missed. He ran off and dropped his other shed. Never ever saw that buck again. Though I did locate the other shed. He was a mid 140s 8pt living in a small public hunting parcel next to ours. Great deer for the area.

Now fast forward to this year, at this point in my life, ( depending I guess on just how flipping giant and if I had the shed….) I would consider it a win for the buck and pray he’s around next fall.

13-Jan-23
Everyday and twice on Saturday so he did get to the property line lol. If I have the left side for sure. If I didn’t I’d probably have to let him walk. And I’d mount like glunt said.

Happened in PA few years back, my buddy’s kid shot his first buck. Took of running twords where I was sitting, ran smack dab into a 12” round tree and knocked both his horns off. Mind you we had already seen 2 deer that dropped and someone shot a “huge doe” that was a buck that dropped way early. First week in December. Poor kid was devastated lol

From: Pat Lefemine
13-Jan-23

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
This is the buck I’m referring to

From: Grey Ghost
13-Jan-23
I once guided a rifle hunter who passed on a GIANT mule deer buck because he had a broken G3 tine. I get that some guys hunt for inches of antler, but that buck was exceptional, even with the broken tine. As the hunt wore on, he continued to pass on quality 170-180" bucks, because they didn't compare to the broken tine buck. Each day he got more irritable and frustrated. He left pissed off with his tag in his pocket, vowing to never come back, and I couldn't have cared less.

Matt

From: molsonarcher
13-Jan-23
I would not shoot him. He will be there next season at this point, and probably bigger.

I shot one about 10 years ago that had one side. Once i shot him, in his death run, the other side came off. I filled my buck tag with that deer, but I also know plenty of guys this has happened to who filled out the tag as shed buck, and shot another buck later. I never did find the side he dropped before i shot him.

From: APauls
13-Jan-23
There's also that whole part of the game where I (This is totally made up in my mind so I understand if no one feels like I do) but I feel like the buck (though he doesn't know it) has to make it to seasons end, or until he loses both antlers. It's like a safe zone in the game tag. If you get there you are safe.

In our little battle, if he makes it to seasons end, he is safe. So the other question is when is he safe? To the point where you tip your hat to him in the battle and say: "Until next year, my friend" lol. That could be different for everyone.

Also, in our neck of the woods, the end of the deer season is about Dec. 1. So I am basically never in your situation. This year, they are trying to kill all the mule deer because of CWD and they just announced that we could hunt them from now until mid Feb or something. I just can't bring myself to do it. They made it through the season. I have to give the survivors the nod.

From: KSflatlander
13-Jan-23
No. The buck won the game that year and I’d wait until next. If he disappeared then he won the war…with me anyway.

From: Ollie
13-Jan-23
I used to live in Iowa and bucks would begin to shed during the late season. I had several opportunities to shoot mature bucks that had shed one antler. I chose not too. I’d rather wait for the next season when the buck would have one more year of growth. Also passed quite a few mature bucks during the rut that had busted racks. Personal decision.

From: Bou'bound
13-Jan-23
If you mount every deer you kill I get the antlers must be perfect thing but if you don’t then what do you do with the antlers that is so special. Maybe my pile of elk moose deer and caribou racks and bear and muskox skulls in the dark corner of the basement is not normal.

From: deerhunter72
13-Jan-23
I probably wouldn’t, but I won’t judge you harshly if you did. To each his own!

From: drycreek
13-Jan-23
This is a question for a trophy hunter. Did he have both his backstraps ? ;-)

From: cnelk
13-Jan-23
What did you name him?

From: LINK
13-Jan-23
Yes I would reattach it.

From: scentman
13-Jan-23
No... and bou that's a weird post;0)

From: Grey Ghost
13-Jan-23
Drycreek for the win!! LOL!

Bou, if it's any consolation, my father mounted exactly one buck out of the hundreds of deer and elk that he and my mother killed in their lifetimes. The rest of the antlers were stored up in the rafters of their garage.

When they both had passed away, and we had to sell their house, I ended up pulling all of those filthy antlers out of the rafters , and hauled them home. Why? I don't really know. But, when I see that pile of faded white antlers beside my barn, I think of all the great memories they represent, and it makes me smile.

Matt

13-Jan-23
I like cake. Frosting is fine, but mostly I like cake.

But I will say that if I had killed a half-shed buck and I had the shed…. Yeah, if I were going to have it mounted, I’d probably put the shed back on.

I haven’t ever done taxidermy other than having hides tanned, so it’s not like I need a “novelty” mount. If I had a bunch of heads on the wall already, I would probably have someone do something creative with it.

From: Lawboytom
13-Jan-23
All that matters is if you are happy with it. If you shoot him, try not to regret the decision, if not, the story continues and only time will tell if you made the right decision.

For some context, last year on Jan 2nd I passed a buck I had been after for 3 years and would have scored 180” plus. The night before he broke off his main beam after his G4 and the end of his G3. I knew there was a good chance he would make it for this year, there was another big deer that I was after (killed him standing next to the busted up buck 2 mins later), and you never know, he could be bigger next year. For 2022, the buck got heavier but shorter tines and main beams than 2021. I killed him on the 4th sit of the season and he was 8 1/2 years old.

You never know what could happen. The deer could get hit by a car, EHD, poached or move next door and not come on your property next year. I took a gamble and it paid off with killing both the bucks I was after. It could have not worked out way easier.

13-Jan-23
If he was 5 or younger i let him go.

From: Candor
13-Jan-23
Yes.

I killed a buck a few years ago that was known as "Double Drop" for his two drop tines. He was old and declining when I killed him. But his right drop tine moved up and was now on his G2 and he had broken off, within the last week or two, his left drop tine. We knew the buck for years as "Double Drop" . He was on the downhill slide when I killed him and had his left drop tine rebuilt. I think he grossed 167 without the drop. No way I would not have that rebuilt. It was how he was caught on trailcams for 5 years.

13-Jan-23
All depends on the deer for me

The older the buck or the longer I had been after him I would lean to the yes kill him still

13-Jan-23
Yes. Now if I didn’t have the missing side that would be debatable…

From: Grunter
13-Jan-23
No I wouldn't. I think that if i couldn't get him with both sides he wins for the year. I would try and find the other side because I love sheds. And give him another year to get bigger. Super nice buck though! Nice and wide

14-Jan-23
My buddy from the gym where I used to workout in Norman, Oklahoma hunted with a local attorney in NW Oklahoma. They were on a really big deer back in the very early 2000’s. This buck was a typical 10 point that was pushing the high 180’s to mid 190’s. The attorney finally got his chance on December 28th of that season.

After arrowing the buck, he waited 30 minutes or so and went to blood trail. Along the trail he found both sides broke off 30-40 yards before the point where the buck laid expired. He took the knocked off antlers and considered them as sheds. It would’ve easily scored in the 190’s and at the time would’ve been the state record if they weren’t shed from the skull. I’ve seen photos of this buck when it was alive and it was all as described.

As far as putting an antler back on a deer, I wouldn’t. I’d hunt him the next year.

From: Franzen
14-Jan-23
What is the condition of the body, and do I have plenty of meat in the freezer? If 1) is good and 2) is no, I'm shooting. Don't know what I do with the antlers, but based on your photo, I'd lean toward a euro with the missing re-attached (assuming it could be glued or otherwise fastened without looking bad). In EmbryO's story, I'd be re-attaching those with a shoulder mount all day long.

14-Jan-23
if you found one shed...by the time you see him he will probably have shed the other one anyway.

From: arlone
14-Jan-23
If you are not interested in an "official" score, go ahead and shoot it if given a chance. What you do with it is up to you, either fix the drop back on the skull or mount as killed with the shed included, either way it will be a memory for you and a story to tell friends and family.

From: goyt
14-Jan-23
I don't think that I would shoot him. I agree with the position of those above that feel that he won this season.

From: Bowbender
14-Jan-23
So the value is solely in the bucks headgear and isn’t worth shooting unless he’s wearing it? Same buck. It’s like saying your wife isn’t worth a roll because she’s wearing sweats instead of something sexy.

From: tobywon
14-Jan-23
For me, winning for the season is still being alive when the season ends. Now if it was buck season and he shed both sides and became antlerless, he’d win :)

From: Grey Ghost
14-Jan-23
"This is a question for a trophy hunter. Did he have both his backstraps ?"

Still cracks me up. LOL!

Matt

From: Inshart
14-Jan-23
Yes, and as others have said, have it mounted with the shed in some grass next to it.

With your neighbors, no way taking a chance on it surviving.

From: Boreal
14-Jan-23

Boreal's embedded Photo
Boreal's embedded Photo
Boreal's embedded Photo
Boreal's embedded Photo
Boreal's embedded Photo
Boreal's embedded Photo
A few years ago I had this buck in my woods. He had a nice 4 point rack on one side and a palmated spike on the other. When I finally got close enough for a shot he had broken off the spike side. I let him walk by me at 12 yards. Not exactly the same but I would've killed him if he still had the spike.

From: Stoneman
14-Jan-23
All things being equal… meaning if I had multiplied whitetail properties to bow hunt every year plus a trip to Kansas in the mix, I think I’d give this buck a pass and see what happens next year.

I really like venison and hopefully my freezer is already stocked, if not I would shoot a doe and go look for the other shed.

From: Zbone
14-Jan-23
Dang, he's gonna be a monster next season... Good Luck...

Curious Pat, has he already shed one side, and if so do you have dates of previous year/years?... Thanks...

From: Pat Lefemine
15-Jan-23

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
So here’s how it went down.

This buck was in Connecticut. He first showed up in December of 2020. By far the biggest buck I’ve ever seen in Connecticut after 40 years of hunting.

I was living at my Ohio farm but was due to come home for Christmas. I had two weeks to hunt. He was daylighting almost every day by the time I got home.

From: Pat Lefemine
15-Jan-23

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
He had both sides at 5:16am
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
He had both sides at 5:16am
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Just over an hour later, after a brief snow squall, his left side was gone. Probably flew off when he shook off the snow.
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Just over an hour later, after a brief snow squall, his left side was gone. Probably flew off when he shook off the snow.
I needed a specific wind since bucks like this will not tolerate any pressure in CT so I held off a few days until the wind was right. The forecast called for a South wind in the afternoon which was perfect. I would hunt then. When I went down to hunt, I could see he had dropped his left side on Christmas Eve earlier that night he had both sides so it was gonna be close. I decided to see if I could find it.

From: Pat Lefemine
15-Jan-23

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Shed was 50 yards from my stand
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Shed was 50 yards from my stand
It didn’t take long to find it. I was thrilled to get it, but disappointed that he was no longer intact. I decided to hunt him and reattach the drop. I knew this made him ineligible for a PY entry and that bothered me because he would be the only book buck I would have ever shot in Connecticut. But I decided to hunt him anyway.

From: Pat Lefemine
15-Jan-23

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Decision time?
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Decision time?
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
I waited for a better wind I got this pic a couple days after Christmas. I decided to look for his right side. It was laying less than 10 yards from where I found his left a few days earlier. Could not believe it!

Now what to do?

From: Pat Lefemine
15-Jan-23

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
My wife holding the freak buck’s rack. Literally a one in a million CT deer.
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
My wife holding the freak buck’s rack. Literally a one in a million CT deer.
Having both sheds I was able to score him and assuming a 20” spread I got 158” inches as a 9. An absolute giant for Connecticut.

At this point, I knew he was getting a pass. It felt weird shooting a buck with no horns and gluing on both antlers.

The likelihood of seeing him again was almost zero but I felt better about the decision. I’d have to wait a year.

From: Catscratch
15-Jan-23
Nice! I like this story. Hope you get a chance at him next yr.

From: Pat Lefemine
15-Jan-23

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
He was alive, but declining
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
He was alive, but declining
During spring and summer of 2021 I kept minerals out with a trail cam to see if the buck had survived and was back in the area. I kept my cams running all the way through the hunting season and no sign of him even after the rut.

Then, in early December I got this pic and it was game on. He was thinner and in decline. Rack definitely was smaller and thinner. Still a giant.

From: Pat Lefemine
15-Jan-23

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
I’m 18 yards to his left when this pic was taken.
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
I’m 18 yards to his left when this pic was taken.
I had a really sketchy wind but I took a chance. This was the last trail cam pic of this buck since I’m sitting in the tree to his left.

From: Zbone
15-Jan-23
Wow, way cool... This is interesting... So last year did you kill him on Dec 12th? Am assuming, if you did not and was still alive this season and again showing up in December... If you didn't kill him on Dec 12th last year 2021, you likely had probably about 10 days to kill him before shedding again... What happen this December 2022?

Really cool and unique getting pix of his shedding one side within 2 hours, and both sides with a few days... How long from first drop to second drop? Personally had similar pix a few years ago of of shed dropping, and it was 2 days between, which from what I've read and spoke with deerfarmers is common...

From: JakeBrake
15-Jan-23
At least you can still use trail cams

Stupid Utah

Also…you made the right call…I would still hunt if I had one side

From: stealthycat
15-Jan-23
sure

its the SAME buck .. he's just as smart with both antlers, one or neither

if we're hunting mature animals for the chase, to outsmart and kill him, what's it matter if a tine is broken or side missing ?

From: Zbone
15-Jan-23
Some of the behavior I've witnessed would swear some mature bucks act different shed than they do fully crowned hard horned...

From: APauls
16-Jan-23
Congrats Pat!!! Sounds like you killed him from that desription?!

From: SoDakSooner
16-Jan-23
Had a buck that lost most of his right antler in a fight with another buck. It was actually in the yard of the farmer's place we were hunting. I saw him later in the week and tried to shoot him, but unfortunately shot high and bounced the arrow off his back, so I guess the answer is ....yes. BTW... my brother shot the other buck.

From: Pat Lefemine
16-Jan-23

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Likely the biggest buck I will ever kill in my home state of Connecticut
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Likely the biggest buck I will ever kill in my home state of Connecticut
To see what happened watch the video below. He was, and will likely be the biggest whitetail I'll ever shoot in CT. Amazing story that ended well.

He was officially scored and entered in PY in 2022 . I still need to get him aged but I'm guessing he was 8 or 9 years old. He was getting boney when I shot him, maybe 160lbs dressed and his teeth were terribly worn. Very likely he would have died that winter. He also lost about 15" in beam and point length, and mass from the previous year.

He was an incredibly smart animal who evaded hundreds of hunters in the area. There is no lack of pressure there.

From: njbuck
16-Jan-23
Heck of a buck Pat, especially from CT. Amazing!!

From: Bou'bound
16-Jan-23
Can we do a blood trail challenge on that one. Please

From: Blue Buck
16-Jan-23
Congrats on a great buck. I'll bet it took you a while to dig your broadhead out of the tree:)

From: fuzzy
16-Jan-23
That's awesome! Congratulations Pat.

From: caribou77
16-Jan-23
Congratulations

From: hdaman
16-Jan-23
Great story with a great buck! Congratulations!

From: Zbone
16-Jan-23
That's cool Pat, CONGRATS on you Connecticut buck! Good story....

Did you kill him on the Dec 12th 2021? For some reason, I cant view the video, got a black screen...

From: Grey Ghost
16-Jan-23
"He was an incredibly smart animal...

Right up until he became conditioned to come to a bait pile in his old age. :-)

Cool story, nevertheless.

Matt

From: Bou’bound
16-Jan-23
Minerals not bait GG

From: Grey Ghost
16-Jan-23
Thanks for the correction, Bou. LOL!

Matt

From: APauls
17-Jan-23
Congrats Pat!! Heck of a buck anywhere on the planet. Connecticut....sheesh.

From: Zbone
17-Jan-23
Was able to pull up the video today... Wow way cool, great video, luved it, best kill shot I've seen in a long time... Perfect shot, perfect pass through, and cool thud almost center of the tree...8^)

I'd have unscrewed the broadhead from that tree and left it for memories everytime I walked by...8^)

Speaking of broadheads, looked like 3-blade Muzzy??? Although I shoot traditional with big Snuffers but getting old and considering going with my ILF setup of lighter limbs than all my 50+# longbows and recurves, and maybe going with a smaller more modern head in the future... That shot and penetration was impressive... If Muzzy, was that the regular 3-blade or the shorter MX-3?... Thanks

There is no greater sound in the world than on a calm crisp morning or evening than that crunch, crunch, crunch, of of the leaves as they approach, gives be the chills just thinking about it... Man, thought you were busted at first when he looked up...8^)

Feel for you and your sorrow killing a buck you've grown to know and now since the chase ends... You have shown great respect or the animal, that's cool... It's great self satisfaction too... CONGRATULATIONS!!!

As a movie critic..8^) The presentation and the overall production of the video was tasteful and well done, thanks for sharing... 5 stars, thumbs up...8^)))

From: 2Wild Bill
17-Jan-23
Congratulations Pat, great shot. I must have replayed ten times. Is that north or south of the Merrit and North Street, Round Hill or Stanwich Road?

From: sticksender
17-Jan-23
Great buck, nice shot, congrats!

17-Jan-23
Congrats Pat, that’s a fantastic NE buck. He piled quick!

From: Thornton
17-Jan-23
What if you hunted a big buck all year, found BOTH sheds, then knowingly shot him during the antlerless season with no rack? Answer to your question: I probably would.

From: SaddleReaper
23-Jan-23
Some of you may remember my story I posted here about my (was) net 200 class NY buck that I took after finding both sheds.

So Pat, yes I have and would kill a shed buck under certain circumstances. Congratulations btw!! The feelings you mentioned immediately following the shot are conflicting for sure. It's just not the same killing a strange buck or one that you haven't had the pleasure of watching for years. But when it's one you know very well, there's definitely a hint of sadness mixed with joy. I'm glad you mentioned that in your video.

Since I killed mine I've heard a few people say it's not the same when they don't have head gear. To which I would agree. Maybe some of the added pressure/ adrenaline is lost when there's not a giant rack in your peripherals before the shot, or the approaching deer resembles a "doe". But when the chase revolves around a particular deer spanning multiple years, at some point it becomes a personal endeavor to best that animal, regardless of what he might have grown year to year. The rack becomes somewhat secondary to the end goal; but admittedly I'm not sure I would ever shoot one before finding either side, since after all, the rack is equally part of the story and why we admire these creatures so much.

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