By Herman Sweet
"Here we go again!" I thought, on this early November Morning. My friend Joe Rosotto and I were driving down the road behind Purina, which we refur to as the flats, looking for a place to start the day. After spending two days hunting Hinsdale, NY and climbing every mountain in sight, I was feeling all of my 68 years.
All at once , we saw a beautiful buck cross the road a few hundred yards ahead of us. Joe stopped the truck and we entered the field of red bush, each going or separate directions.
I found a spot that looked good and sprinkled some scent around the area and waited. I didn't have to wait long. There he was, all 190 lbs of him! He stopped, lifted his head, and started sniffing the air filled with doe scent. Curling his lips, he started towards me.
The silence was broken with the sound of a car stopping as four doors opened and slammed shut. The deer stopped in his tracks and slowly turned away. I knew it was now or never. Trying to remember everything I had ever taught myself; aim, take your time, and calm down. i slowly raised my Model 1300 Winchester, with 3" magnum slugs and fired. The buck flinched and was gone.
I checked the area. No hair or blood. The search was on.
My friend Joe and I criss-crossed the area for over an hour. Finally I said," I guess I must have missed." Looking over my shoulder with a smile Joe shouted, " No you didn't, there he is!" Sure enough, just above the golden rod you could see all 17 points of the rack.
We were lucky there was a man working in the area with a BOBCAT. We loaded the buck and brought it up to the road where we loaded it on the truck. It was then that we saw that the slug took out the top of his heart, making him bleed internally. I couldn't believe I got him with one shot from 92 yards away. What a day November 19, 1998 was. Not only did I get my 100th antlered animal, It was also my 50th wedding anniversary.
I couldn't wait to bring home my buck. I knew exactly where I would put it. Right next to my wife Pat's 16-point!
Herm's buck was New York's top buck for 1998 with an amazing non-typical score of 202 B&C. It is the largest buck ever taken in Chautauqua County, NY.
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