And it happened Saturday to Ed Muse. I started hearing rumblings about this buck yesterday morning, and I was able to catch up with Ed (who lives in Goode) this morning.
Muse was hunting a 200-acre farm in Amherst County on Saturday evening when this bruiser showed up. He had a picture of the buck from a trailcam back in August.
“I knew the deer was big,” Muse said. “I just didn’t realize how big.”
Muse has been so beside himself since he shot the deer that he admits he didn’t do a very good job of counting points. He’s relying on a friend who told him it had 21 points of at least an inch. According to a couple of folks who ran a tape to the antlers, the gross rough score under the Boone and Crockett system was somewhere in the 184-194 range.
I oftentimes lead my Tuesday column after a Saturday opener with a quick hunter anecdote before getting into a general report. I’ll have to touch on Ed’s deer for the column I’m writing today for tomorrow’s Roanoke Times. But it’s too good a story for a brief, so I’m going to save details and do a longer story about it for a feature for my Outdoors page in Friday’s paper.
Those of you who read my column in yesterday’s Roanoke Times got my opening day report. In short, I saw three yearling bucks, any of which I could have shot with my crossbow. I let them pass.
I was hunting with my crossbow because I wasn’t feeling good about how I was shooting with my compound bow. I was shooting fine with field tips but when I put broadheads on (Thunderhead 100s) I couldn’t get it to group well at all. I had switched to Thunderheads a few years ago because I was worried that I wasn’t getting the energy needed out of my fairly slow bow (old, with a draw weight of only 53 pounds) to ensure good penetration with a mechanical.
Thunderheads have done fine for me, and have shoot reasonably well. Not sure why that’s changed. For what it’s worth I tried shooting a Spitfire and it was awful. But maybe it was the arrow.
Anyway, I knew the crossbow was shooting fine (I use mechanicals with it) so decided to not take any chances.
As for hunter success on Saturday, I know at least one buddy killed a nice buck because he texted me a couple hero shots. How did the rest of you do?
Did anyone get out this morning?
Let’s hear some reports.
Also, let’s hear some plans. If this rain doesn’t get too heavy I just might go this evening. I will probably go to that spot where I saw those bucks on Saturday. Rather than the crossbow I think I’ll take my recurve. I’ve never killed a deer with a recurve, so I won’t be picky.