Have You Ever Seen a Buck This Big in the Northeast?
|Rack Report Details
|183 6/8 Inches
|Time of Year:
|November 18, 2018
|Sussex County, Delaware
|12-Gauge Shotgun Shotgun
Sussex County, Delaware, is generally not at the top of any seasoned whitetail hunter's list when it comes to monster bucks. In fact, with only 28 Booners to The First State's credit in the Boone & Crockett record book, I doubt that it would even make most hunters' top 10 list. And to be completely honest, when Delaware resident Cody Gallien climbed into his stand on the last afternoon of the shotgun season, Booner bucks were not even on his mind.
Although Gallien's season started off with a bang when he arrowed a Pope & Young 140-inch velvet buck during Delaware's early season, activity slowed significantly as the season pushed into October and November. In fact, compared to previous seasons when he would have his eye on a handful of mature bucks, as the acorns began to fall in the woodlots he has permission to hunt, it was like a ghost town.
I just wasn't seeing the numbers of deer I was usually seeing, and I was getting a little worried, Gallien said.
However, like any seasoned hunter, Cody knew the bucks were somewhere; and when he noticed the 20-acre cornfield adjacent to his hunting property was still standing in mid-November, he thought that might have something to do with it.
Every field is usually harvested by late-September or mid-October at the very latest, Gallien said. And with trails leading into the corn from every direction, I knew it was getting hit hard.
In past seasons, he had often thought about getting permission to hunt the field, but never really needed to. But with the shotgun season ending in a few days, he decided to ask the landowner for permission. When he heard those magical words, yes you can, he grabbed a hang-on stand the following day and went to work. He couldn't believe the deer sign he saw as he picked a good tree.
Every other corn row looked like hog trails, Gallien said.
He hung a stand on the field's edge that gave him good shot opportunities in both directions and waited for the big day.
Needless to say, Cody had high hopes as he climbed into the stand the following afternoon, but as the sun began to dip toward the western horizon, those hopes were dashed when only a few does showed up. With the last day of the shotgun season suddenly thrown into the picture, Cody had a decision to make. Hunt a different spot where deer activity might be a little better or stick it out where the deer sign was.
I almost went to a different spot that last day, but my gut told me to hunt the corn field again, Gallien said.
We've all been told to trust your gut. But with not a deer seen on that final day and less than an hour to hunt, doubts were beginning to settle in. With a deep sigh, Cody stood in his treestand wondering how the season would end when he caught movement 150 yards away.
I knew it was a big buck, Gallien said. But when I put the scope on him and saw the six points on one side and the big drop tine on the other, I had to sit down. I couldn't look at him anymore.
With nerves frazzled, Cody tried to control his breathing as the buck began to angle in his direction. As he looked ahead, he noticed the buck might walk through a spot where the corn was only a couple feet high. He settled his shotgun there. With a quick grunt, the buck stopped and looked his direction. With a squeeze of the trigger, the hunt was over.
Don't Miss: 20 Deer Hunting Lies Your Granddaddy Told You
Are you a deer hunter wanting to learn how to accomplish your goals? Check out our stories, videos and hard-hitting how-to's on deer hunting.
Watch all the latest video episodes