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Hold off for the BIG One!

Robert Marren

Pennsylvania hunter heeds brother's advice

By Robert Marren

On November 26, 2012, my brother Bill and I left camp at 5:30 a.m. to go rifle hunting on our place in Tioga County, Penn.

Before leaving, our brother Chris came downstairs to wish us well on a safe hunt. Later that day, I would remember his advice: "Hold off for the big one."

As Bill and I drove to our hunting area, all was quiet in the truck. I was feeling anxious about my spot, because I'd seen a lot of buck sign nearby the day before when I was in the area helping Bill set up his stand.

There were many fresh rubs, scrapes and turnpike trails which made the decision easier to hunt there instead of my early season stand. The place I'd hunted in archery and muzzleloader season was good, but it had gone dead and wasn't showing much new sign.

At 6:50, I heard the first shot. I thought to myself, how can that person possibly see well enough to shoot yet?

All was quiet until 7:30 when I heard something moving toward my right.

I looked up and saw two hunters moving through the woods about 100 yards away, and another guy walking about 50 yards from my stand.

I stood up and waved but they did not respond at first. Then they stopped, regrouped and walked away from the area, so they must have seen me.

It got quiet again for about an hour, then I heard another sound, this time behind me to my left.

Robert MarrenI turned slowly, expecting to see more people, but saw nothing. I waited, then turned back again and spotted two deer coming toward me.

I brought my .30-30 to my shoulder and looked through the scope. Immediately I could see brow tines and four points on one of the beams.

"This is a shooter!" I told myself.

It faced me head on, so I lowered the crosshairs to inside its left front shoulder for a heart shot.

Slowly, I squeezed the trigger. At the shot, the buck jumped into the air and ran uphill toward me. It quickly expired right there on the main trail.

As I approached, all I could see was antlers - an 11-pointer!

This was my buck of the year and possibly my buck a lifetime. It weighed about 150 pounds.

I'm guessing it will score about 150 inches and I plan to have it measured when I get it back from the taxidermist.

I called my brother Chris and told him thanks for his advice. I'd held off for the big one!

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