I recently came across a Pennsylvania hunter that had shared pictures of a buck he had 3 years worth of sheds from. I had to know more about the story behind this buck and asked Hunter Goss if he would share his story with us. It is a good one and coming from one of the highest pressured whitetail states in the USA I find it to be very impressive too!
The buck first showed up on camera in October of 2013. He was a 9 point buck when he was just 2 1/2 years old. Hunter found his left side shed from that year in March but never located the match. He continued watching him all summer long. The buck now sported a 10 point rack in 2014 as a 3.5 year old. Hunter and his family had pictures of him all fall that year. His uncle ended up actually shooting at the buck the last week of archery season that year but he clipped a branch and only got an inch or two of penetration. His uncle and dad tracked him to the top of the mountain just to make sure he wasn’t dead. It made his uncle sick but he was glad when he later showed up on camera the last day of rifle season and showed no sign of injury.
The cool part is that in February Hunter found the shed off his left side again! It was under the same hemlock tree he found his shed last year only 2 feet apart! Once again they watched the buck all summer up until archery season started. They didn’t see him again until November when he popped up on one of their cameras. The first day of the 2015 rifle season one of Hunters other uncles missed him while the buck was chasing a doe. About an hour later Hunters mom shot a buck and while his dad was walking out to her treestand to help her he stopped to look at a picture of her buck. He heard something behind him and turned around to see this buck standing 30 yards away. By the time he got up to shoot the buck had made it 100 yards. His dad shot at him because he saw was moving pretty slow trying to get up the side of the mountain. He missed and had hit a rock just in front of the buck. The buck disappeared until the last day of the season when once again he showed up on camera. They had pictures almost daily of him until he shed his antlers. Hunter again was able to find his left side that February. Just like the last 2 years they watched him all summer but were only able to get one picture of him in July. They saw him spotlighting a couple times a week. The next encounter came the first week of November 2016 when the same uncle who hit him when he was 3 1/2 watched the buck work his way into 50 yards but could not get him to turn even with a grunt. On one Sunday morning after turning the clocks back Hunter woke up to his dog barking, he looked outside and the buck was standing under the apple tree in the pasture field 100 yards from the house. The first day of rifle 2016 Hunters brother shot the buck at 7:30 in the morning. He scored him just for fun and it came out to 143 3/8 inches and the taxidermist scored it at 148 1/8 inches both gross scores. The buck was 5 1/2 years old when he was finally taken.
So there you have it, 4 years of being able to hunt one buck in Pennsylvania. It goes to show us all what it takes for these magnificent animals to reach 4, 5, 6+ years of age. They have to dodge danger year after year, getting lucky is certainly going to play its role. This is just the story from one family that was able to hunt the buck. Add in other places the buck traveled , crossing roads, other hunters, predators, and it’s amazing any buck can make it too 5.5! They can only be lucky so many times, but for every time they are lucky I’m willing to bet they were smarter 100 other times to avoid a dangerous situation. I hope you enjoyed this story from Hunter as much as we did!
-Relive the Hunt –
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