Big Buck 411 Blog

Lesson Learned

Lesson Learned

By Mike Handley

Note to self: Don’t wear anything on your chest that a bowstring might snag.

Ohio’s Joshua Sherrick learned that lesson the hard way in 2018. Wearing his rangefinder around his neck cost him a glorious buck and gave him a whole year of regret.

Joshua leases 285 acres near his home in Cincinnati. Fifty of those – a strip barely 15 yards wide and four times longer – are wooded, flanked by cornfields. He saw a great buck taking shape on the place in June 2018, and he couldn’t wait to see its fully grown rack.

He got his wish with a 50-yard shot at the deer that fall, but his bowstring hooked his rangefinder’s strap. The arrow sailed low and left, clipping the animal’s lower leg. It bled profusely, as leg wounds do, but hours of combing the area yielded nothing.

“I was heartsick all year long, knowing I’d wounded that trophy buck and that it might have gone off and died somewhere,” Joshua told John Phillips, who’s writing the story for Rack magazine.

Meanwhile, Joshua didn’t bother to take up the ground blind from which he’d wounded the deer. It sat beside a drainage ditch, which forces passing whitetails to stop, at least momentarily.

He was hoping one of his five trail cameras would yield photos of the buck in 2019, but he got none. Either the deer had died, or it was living in the corn.

Turns out, the whitetail was just camera-shy. Joshua saw the deer for himself while driving three days before Halloween. It was a great the previous year, but it had grown even more impressive.

It was foggy and snowing – the coldest it had been to that point – when Joshua went to his drainage blind at noon the very next day. He was banking on catching the deer traveling between the corn and some nearby CRP.

Four hours later, he saw at great buck at 100 yards. To get its attention, he grunted and tried a very loud buck roar.

“The deer’s head immediately snapped up, and it looked in my direction,” Joshua said. “Next, through my binoculars, I saw the buck do a snort-wheeze and a lip curl, swing around, look again toward my ground blind, and then trot downhill toward me.”

By the time Joshua clipped his release to the string, the deer had cut half the distance. Moments later, a broadhead sliced through its vitals.

Joshua’s second-chance whitetail weighed a whopping 303 pounds. It hasn’t been scored for the BTR yet.

— Read Recent Blog! Reaping What You Sow: Brook Current’s buck has not been taped for the BTR, but it was rough-scored at 184 6/8 inches.

Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd