I asked Keith about the location where he first spotted the buck and he told me, “It’s a farm where everyone hunts. I don’t do too much deer hunting there because the place gets pounded.” Soon after seeing the buck, Keith placed a trail camera on the property and started getting pictures of the deer. Knowing that the deer’s home range included a portion of the farm he approached the land owner and gained permission to deer hunt the property. Surprisingly – or maybe not for a deer of this caliber – the buck was mostly nocturnal showing up to feed between 1:00am and 2:00am.
Being the only person with permission to hunt the property, Keith took 10 days in November to hunt the bruiser during the rut. He had hunted the deer all bow season, but only saw the buck once as the deer chased a doe in the distance. Keith did not expect to see the deer again, but thought he might be back during the late season to visit the bean and corn fields.
It was the 20th of November, and Keith sat perched on a treestand overlooking a wheat field surrounded by a five acre pussy willow thicket. Out of the corner of his eye Keith noticed movement and slowly grabbed his muzzleloader. As the doe crossed by at 35 yards, Keith took aim. Right before squeezing the trigger, movement 10 yards behind the doe caught his eye. A drop tine gleamed off the antler and right away he knew, “Oh shoot! It’s him!” Keith quickly turned his sights on the brute and one shot with his smoke pole had the buck lying on the ground. The massive whitetail had over 20 points and scored 231” – Keith had put down the New York State record buck!
I asked Keith what his secret was to bagging the monster buck. He hunted this deer as he hunts all deer – with a little cover scent and then some deer scent to stop the deer in his shooting lane. His favorite scent – a fresh tarsal gland off of a previously harvested deer. Keith suggests cutting the tarsal glands off any deer you harvest and placing them in Ziploc bags in the freezer. This allows you to have fresh, natural deer scent from your local deer herd.
So when your sitting in your treestand or ground blind this fall and you take aim at that doe, look behind her to see if anything is following her, it could just be the next state record.