The Sheldon Buck
Chautauqua County 8-Point

By Stephen Sheldon

I've hunted for many of many years and my dream has always been to take a huge mature buck. I'm sure everyone sits there and does the same thing and imagine a giant whitetail walking out within shooting range then they lay a perfect shot and he goes down. In reality, that only happens on TV after lots of footage and lots of editing. But there is still always that hope and that dream to keep driving us to hunt big bucks.

I started managing my areas five years ago and every year I saw a increase in buck sizes. I've taken many good bucks, but there was always that dream of a monster still lingering. On November 26, 2015.. Thanksgiving day, I would experience a dream come true... a picture perfect hunt I will never forget.

It started off with a morning hunt where I saw a few does, nothing too exciting. The weather was warm, around fifty degrees, so I headed out of the woods to go fill my belly with some good Ol' thanksgiving turkey dinner. Around 3 pm I decided to head back and sit in my stand again... the weather was abnormally warm. I chose one stand I thought would be an ideal spot where I have been getting great buck pictures all year. I sat there a bit with nothing moving. I figured I wouldn't see much due to weather conditions, but "hey" a bad day in the woods is better than anything.

I started watching videos on my phone of huge bucks taken on public ground. On my screen I was watching a nice buck head down a trail towards a guy when I heard grunting and crashing about a minute or two later. Then I realized... "Wait a minute, my phone is on silent. Where did that grunt come from? I put my phone in my pocket and surveyed my area. Seeing nothing, I thought it was my imagination. I suddenly caught movement to my left. Looming over my shoulder and standing 70 yards out was the biggest buck I've ever seen. I pulled up my favorite gun, a Remington 870.

Here's where it gets interesting... I lost the rear sight from my gun during the off season. I had just replaced the sight, took it out that very morning, shot the gun once at 50 yards, hit the target and thought... "Ok, it's on." Now I'm staring down the barrel at the biggest buck I've ever seen and the only thought I had was, "Man, I wish I would have shot this gun more then once."

I lowered my gun and waited to see if he would come close to me. But, he quartered away, walked 10 yards farther and turned broadside. I pulled my gun up and thought to myself, "It's now or never." I know this gun has never let me down so I had faith. I squeezed the trigger and he hit the dirt where he stood. Buck fever kicked in instantly. I started shaking and freaking out. I just filled a life dream of mine and I didn't have to pay thousands of dollars to do it!

I had this very buck several times last year on trail camera and a couple times this year, but the pictures never were the best at showing how massive this guy truly was.  Once again my buck is at Tcaps taxidermy. Bob Turk green scored him at gross 153, Net 135 5/8. If he would have had matching sides he would have been 167ish. I couldn't be happier with my buck of a lifetime.


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