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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A 4 season journey came to an end on the first Friday, 12-3-2021 here in 1B. My wife took the biggest buck of her life, and the top grossing buck off this property in the 27 years we have owned it. To my knowledge, this buck is 5 1/2 years old minimum, perhaps more and I intend to send teeth out for aging to know the truth. All that aside, this is the story of the buck I named Heartbreak.

I became aware of this buck in 2018, he was a 16-17 inch wide 8 point, nice rack and I believed him to be 2 1/2 at the time, nothing special, just a buck that had survived a couple seasons. I never thought much about this buck and we saw him after season behind our house. I had lost my father that year in August and had not run trail cameras that year so I didn't know much about him other than he was a nice animal with a lot of potential.

2019 came and we had him on cameras, a nice 9 point pushing 20 inches. He lost both his antlers before Christmas, we had corn out back and he was there every day trying to replenish from the rut to make the winter I assume. We later found both his sheds, and I confirmed some of his travels with trail cameras. He traveled with another buck who is easily identified and he shows up later in this story.

Natural material Wood Elk Fawn Horn


In the summer of 2020 I was getting good trailcam pictures of this buck, we called him the 10 point because he was this year finally a main frame 10. He was the only one we identified and I was intent on hunting him. I saw him on the opening day of archery at 80 yards, he zigged and I had zagged, very respectable buck and I would gladly have tagged him. I saw him again on Oct. 28th among a bunch of doe, the pre-rut malay unfolding. He kind of went missing before rifle season and we found a drag trail where 2 hunters had dragged a deer off our property without gutting it that had obviously run in and died here, we kind of assumed the end had finally befallen the 10 point as it was near his stomping grounds. No other camera pictures thru the winter and no shed antlers from him, what else were we to think? This was what he looked like in 2020.

Plant Deer Branch Organism Twig



As 2021 summer wore on we ran cameras and looked at buck, lots of nice deer and at the end of September we began to get pictures of a dandy 10 point. It was obvious he was comfortable here and the more I looked at him, I was convinced it was the big 10 point, and he had survived the season and finally made an appearance. I placed cameras where I had previously gotten pictures of the 10 and this buck was showing up in the same places, it had to be him. I told the wife it would break my heart to not see one of us get a crack at him, hence he became Heartbreak. We also had pictures of a buck we believed was the travel partner I mentioned above, he has a very distinguishing characteristic you can't mistake, and he has grown into a nice 8 point, 4 1/2 years old this year near as I can figure.

I hunted hard in archery, passed up all others looking but it wasn't to be. I came close a few times, here is a picture of him where I nearly killed him a year and 1 day earlier in 2020, the tree in the background furthest to the left is the tree I stood the year before. Oddly he used this trail on the opposite wind I would have wanted to hunt it, it just goes to show you need to be where they want to walk not where you want them to walk.

Plant Plant community Branch Deer Wood


Along comes rifle season. This past summer we built a new shooting house to help with mentored hunting with our children, they helped build it along side us and it was intended for them to hunt out of as well as short evening hunts after work, it overlooks the field behind our house. I watch that field every chance I get to see how the deer come and go, and who shows up out there, it is easily monitored from our upstairs windows. I had been watching it and with the weather, and pressure on neighboring lands, the time seemed right and the wife went to sit there that night. I watched from the upstairs of our house with the spotting scope and the 8 point buck was out and in a very killable spot for the wife. She said she was going to pull the trigger, 10 more seconds and this story likely would have ended differently. She was preparing for the shot when she saw this buck coming, so she held off. This buck entered the field and began to feed. I was still watching from upstairs and could see the buck feeding. At the shot I watched his posture change, hunched up as if carrying a heavy load, he never took a step and then slowly tipped over, Heartbreak was down.

I gathered the kids and we headed out to get Mom's buck. I wasn't the one who killed it but I touched his rack first, humbling and awesome to finally be that close to him. The shot was a touch high but split the difference between lungs and spine, crushing the mythical no mans land killing this buck where he had stood. 10 points, lots of mass, and another of many great chapters of hunting here with my wife and our children.

Tbrom came and took these great pictures of it and green scored the antlers at 162 6/8 gross, not a bad animal for NW PA. Hopefully he spread his genetics all over.

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Awesome story and great buck, congrats to all!
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice buck tell her congrats, is that a brownie in the photos like an A bolt 2
Yep, Browning A-Bolt II Stainless Stalker, .308 Win. shooting 150 grains for now, first deer kill with it ever. I bought it from a member here, gave it to her for Christmas last year. I shoot an A-Bolt Stainless Stalker in .270 Win. I bought new in 92.
 
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Congratulations to Mrs. RJ!! That’s an outstanding buck and a fine ending to your story. 👍
Thank you for sharing!
 

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Wow! Congratulations to the Mrs. What a great story! Thank you for sharing this. Really awesome!
 
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