The monster whitetail caught Chris Alberini with his pants down, but the savvy hunter carried his compound bow with him when nature called
|Rack Report Details
|Time of Year:
|November 21, 2022
|Middlesex County, Massachusetts
|Xpedition Denali X compound bow Bowhunting
A world-class buck that Massachusetts resident Chris Alberini had been chasing for five years caught him with his pants down — literally — this November. More on that later.
At least five other hunters were pursuing the giant whitetail. One of them hit the buck's left shoulder in 2016. That year, the buck had been a mature 8-pointer that most anybody around here would shoot, as Alberini said. In 2017, the buck added a drop tine on its right antler, and Alberini got really serious about hunting the deer.
The buck's home range was expansive. During the rut, he'd travel long distances and cross major roadways, according to trail camera data shared between the hunters chasing him. And, one of the guys missed him in 2019.
Meanwhile, Alberini identified a small piece of bedding cover sandwiched between two swamps. He hung a cellular trail camera there and captured photos of the buck each of the two previous years, though the pictures were few and far between.
This year, I hung the camera in that cover again, Alberini said. I planned to hunt there as soon as he showed up.
On Nov. 17, while hanging another trail camera miles away, the camera in the bedding area pinged Alberini's phone. The buck had been there.
I hung the other camera and hustled out," Alberini said. "I drove home, got ready and then hit the woods. I got in the tree with my saddle setup and hunted the remainder of the day. I saw does and five young bucks, and witnessed rutting activity. At dusk, a large-bodied buck chased a doe out. I have a feeling it was him.
Alberini took the next day off work and planned an all-day hunt, given the ideal wind conditions.
As I was waiting for daylight, a lot of activity was already happening, he said. At about 7:30 a.m., a doe ran out of the thicket, and the big buck ran out after her, and then corralled her back in. He did it again at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Throughout the day, five other bucks came by downwind of the thicket. They were smelling the hot doe, but they didn't want to fight the big buck. So, they'd bed down, smell the airstream, and then eventually get up and leave.
Toward the end of shooting light, a 6-pointer did the same, except he went to the thicket. When he disappeared in the cover, the big buck immediately chased him out. The small buck ran away, and the big buck stopped and turned around 40 yards away to head back toward the thicket.
I mouth-grunted to stop him, Alberini said. I shot over his back. This was my first encounter with him, so I was devastated. He bolted back to the thicket, and I climbed down and left.
With Alberini's spirits low, his wife and a few buddies coaxed him into resuming the chase. On Nov. 21, he planned another all-day hunt. He packed a lunch and coffee and headed out.
Again, does and small bucks were running all around him. At about 8:30 a.m., a really mature 8-pointer came by. Although the buck was a shooter, Alberini remembered what he was truly there for, especially because he'd already filled one of his two buck tags earlier in November with a dandy 8-pointer.
Like the other bucks, he winded the bedding area, but his demeanor was very cautious, Alberini said. He went into the bedding area, and I waited to hear some commotion.
Nothing. At about 10:30 a.m., deer activity had slowed, and for Alberini, nature called.
I hate going to the bathroom in the woods, he said, but I brought toilet paper, and there was no getting around it. I lowered my bow and then climbed down the tree. I shed my saddle and outer layers at the base of the tree. I planned to head downwind from the tree to do business, and as I took a step, I looked down at my bow. I decided to take it with me.
Good thing he did.
I walked 60 yards downwind of my stand, he said. I propped my bow against a tree and then started going to the bathroom. Instantly, I heard a commotion. I looked up toward the runway that goes past my stand and saw the big buck dogging does. Had I been in the tree, I think they would've run by too fast for a shot.
Anyway, the does and buck locked up. I believe they saw my clothes. Still squatted with my pants down, I grabbed my bow and tried to hide behind a tree. The does held tight, but the buck started walking stiff-legged directly at me. I drew when he was at about 30 yards out with his eye obstructed. He continued coming directly toward me. When he broke 25 yards, I knew I couldn't wait for him to turn broadside — I was standing there with my pants around my ankles.
Alberini's arrow drove deep into the middle of the buck's chest.
He took one bound and then stopped and looked directly at me, he said. He took one more bound plus three more steps and fell over dead. I still had to wipe and pull up my pants. It was absolutely crazy how it all happened. I called my wife right away to tell her that I got him, and I personally notified the other hunters I knew who were chasing him, too. They're great guys, and all of them were happy for me.
The heavy old buck was estimated to be 9-½ or 10-½ years old.
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