posted on August 08, 2011 07:02
By Mike Handley
The chirp of Steve Shorter’s cell phone was as welcomed as an ill-timed cough on the golf course green. That the man from Winimac, Ind., managed to sink the putt – or rather drop the buck – on Nov. 13 was nothing short of a miracle.
“I’d seen this deer during the bow season, but it was 80 yards away,” said Steve, whose family has put some impressive Pulaski County whitetails in our record book.
Steve found the perfect spot for his climbing stand a couple days before the 2010 firearms season, and he was in that tree when the opening bell rang.
A doe came through about 7:30, followed by the buck he’d seen during archery season – this time just 40 yards away. Its rack was easy to recognize because of the forked tine on the right side.
As Steve tried to acquire the animal in his muzzleloader’s scope, he bumped the butt of the gun against the cell phone in his pocket, turning it on and causing it to emit its usually not-so-horrifying melody. What are the odds of that happening?
“That wasn’t what I wanted to hear right then,” Steve admitted.
Fortunately for the hunter, the buck was in the clear when it turned to leave.
“When the smoke cleared, there he laid ... graveyard dead,” he said.
Steve sat in the stand for about two more hours, watching the deer, savoring the moment, and hoping his father, Jim, and 16-year-old son, Trent, were enjoying their morning in a buddy stand. Trent wasn’t hunting; he was there to give moral support. He’d arrowed his buck during the archery season.
Turns out, the eldest Shorter did indeed shoot an 8-pointer.
Steve’s 12-pointer, a 5x6 with a single 8 4/8-inch irregular point, wound up tallying 173 6/8 inches (194 /8 with the inside spread added).
The rest of the story, as well as photos of Trent’s gnarly 2007 buck, will appear in RACK magazine next fall. Regular contributor Lisa Price and I teamed up for this one.