The Schilling Buck
Cattaraugus County 10-point

By Amy Schilling

It was Saturday, opening morning of shotgun season 2015,  all is dark and quiet as my friend and I headed to our stands. He dropped me off at the stand where I was to sit. I had never been in that stand before, but it looked like a good location for me, and I was hopeful. I didn't have any luck during bow, so I was hoping this was my lucky day. As it became daylight I watched a beautiful sunrise and said a prayer to god that maybe he could send something my way. A doe, buck or bear would be nice. I asked him to please help me fill my freezer, since I am a single mom and have two girls to feed.

As time wore on my butt was getting so sore. I text my friend and asked when he was going in... because if it was soon, I told him to come get me and I would head in with him because my butt hurt. He said, "Well, stand up !" So I stood up and more time went on. I hadn't seen anything but lousy red squirrels that populated the woods surrounding me. Boy, they made me so mad! At this time, I had enough sitting on that little seat and I had to stand again. After I had been standing a couple minutes, I looked  to my right and sure enough, without a sound, up the hill comes a buck! I said to myself, "Oh crap, I have to sit down."

From what I could tell, it looked like a six point. The buck was about 50 yards at this point, and had no idea I was there! I was thankful for that...I watched him walk at a good clip. As I watched, my heart was beating so loud and fast I swear he had to hear it. I thought, "Oh no, he's not stopping or getting closer... I have to do something. So I thought about it, as per a discussion I had with another of my hunting buddies. He had said, "Yell at the deer, get him to stop. I thought, "I have nothing to lose." It was so thick in there and I had to do something, so I yelled "HEY!"... he stopped and I shot him at about 75 yards.

At first I thought I had missed him, it all happened so fast. He ran up a little and I shot one more time. He then took off. I text my friend and said, "I think i just shot a nice six or eight. He had been sitting about 150 yards away from me and knew it was me that shot. He then saw my deer and said it didn't look right, then the buck fell to the ground and got up again. A few minutes later, my friend saw it go down. He text me and said, "I'll be over to get you." He showed up about a half hour later.

As we headed over to find the deer, we were discussing it and I told him I thought I saw a six. He thought it was an eight. We spotted the dead deer and he said, "Amy, that's no six or eight, that's a ten!... OH my god! I was so filled with emotion, I was shaking like a leaf, crying like a baby, and laughing all at the same time! That was the biggest buck I have ever seen in the woods, let alone shoot. I couldn't believe he was mine, and I had killed him and provided meet in the freezer for my girls and I. When it came time to gut it, I wanted to do it. My ex had always done it, so I truly never learned. I had three great guys guiding me! I finished the gutting and we went to get the tractor and took it back to camp.

I am so truly grateful for the opportunity I was given to harvest such a magnificent animal. It has been at least three years since I shot a deer, and to have such great friends to help me out was amazing. I am pretty much the only female who hunts at camp. I am so honored to have been accepted into such a great hunting family!

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