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  • Wolc123

    PA chest girth chart calibration buck

      Year: 2018
      Species: Deer
      Weapon: Shotgun
      Date Killed: No value

    I first encountered this buck when he was an 8-pointer, on the last Saturday morning of crossbow season.  I had crossed over to the back side of the swamp in my parent’s woods, and hung a little hang-on stand.  

    On cold days, I often bring hot cider in a thermos, and I had just finished a cup of that when I heard leafs crunching behind me.  My crossbow was hanging on a hook, and there he stood 15 yards away, staring at that shiny silver “Stanley” thermos cup.   Needless to say, I didn’t get a shot.

    That spot is “crossbow only” for me, because it is under 500 ft from a row of double-wides in a trailer park.

     After blowing my shot at that buck that morning , I removed that stand and hauled it back across the swamp.  I put it up in a tree that scaled to approximately 525 feet from the nearest trailer, using Google maps satellite feature.  

    The following weekend, I was up in that stand with my bolt action Marlin 512, with the Bushnell banner scope that it had on it when I bought it.  Something happened to that scope that year, causing me to see two images, side by side, at 100 yards.  

    About 1/2 hour after sunset, I had again just finished a cup of hot cider, when I heard hoofsteps and splashing downwind in the swamp. 

    I recognized the tall tined light colored rack from the week before immediately.  He was moving slow. Seeing two images, I held the crosshairs in between and fired.  He stopped at the shot.  I cycled the action and fired again. That one knocked him down.  

    His hoofs were up and kicking but I couldn’t see the rest of his body.  I got down and walked over, trying to stay out of the deeper water.  When I got close, he had managed to right himself and the first thing I saw was the big antlers rising up above the bushes and cattails. 

    I removed the last Hornady sst and used an oddball sabot slug to his neck as “a finisher”,  now I had the fun job of moving more than 200 lbs of dead deer from the middle of a swamp.  He must have been a fighter, because he had lost two of his antler points, since our prior meeting. 

    My 80 year old father couldn’t help much, so I called my younger brother, who lives nearby.  He brought back a big plastic sled which we used to float the buck out of the swamp. I gutted it on dry ground. 

    We hung the deer in the shade behind my dads barn and I hunted for a doe in the afternoon from another stand.  On the drive home that evening, I stopped at a friends place, where they had a certified butchers scale.  The field dressed carcass weighed 183 lbs. 

    A few years prior, G-man had posted the PA chest girth chart on the old site.  One or two others there had expressed some doubts over the accuracy of that chart, so I used this opportunity to check it.  I believe that the 183 lb weight was slightly heavier than the weight predicted by that chart for a 42” chest girth, but it was definitely “in the ballpark”.  3158E1F3-C78C-43E0-A1F2-8D0D2E31B021.jpeg.f82efab7bbe69db05f1f2652fd9c857e.jpeg

    I discovered while skinning, that all three of my shots hit that buck.  The first one stuck him just behind the diaphragm and below the spine.  The second hit a couple inches higher and broke his back. The third to the neck, at point blank range, put his lights out. 

    I threw that “two image” scope in the garbage, and that gun has been back on the mark, since I replaced it with a Redfield/Leupold Revolution 2-7x. 


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