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It's the Big One!

By B.A. Lambie

It’s the Big One!

My father, Bernard, and his family have been hunting the Lambie family property in southwest Pennsylvania for many years. While we’ve taken many bucks over the years, the 2006 rifle season smiled on me and I took the largest buck that anyone in our family can recall.

On Friday, Nov. 3, I placed a game camera on my property. The next day, there were only four pictures on the camera. The first picture was of a doe, but the next picture was of a big buck — a really big buck. It was one of the largest deer I had ever seen. I yelled out to Dad to come look; his jaw just dropped. This deer had 12-inch tines, a spread of more than 20 inches, and more points than you could count on both hands. We figured the buck was moving nocturnally and our chances of seeing it again were slim. But we headed out with excitement, hoping to catch a glimpse of it. We didn’t. Archery season ended with no luck.

It’s the Big One!
Massive for southwest Pa., this buck’s rack has a 22-inch outside spread and 12 1/2-inch P2s.

Gun season opened on Monday, Nov. 27. Dad, my brother Brandin and I headed out before daylight, hoping to see the Big One. At 7:15, I saw a small 8-pointer about 50 yards from my stand. It was moving through a thicket, and I wasn’t able to get a shot. No more than 20 minutes later, I heard Brandin shoot twice. I waited a few minutes and then walked up to see what he had taken. When I arrived at his stand, I could see he was a little distressed; he had missed a deer — a big deer. I had to leave to go to afternoon college classes and wouldn’t be back until Friday. Dad would be hunting with me that day.

We went out that morning and saw nothing. Bad weather was moving in; winds were gusting up to 50 mph and heavy rains were forecast. I told Dad that it was one of my only days to get in the woods with the rifle, so I was going to hunt. He agreed, and we headed out to the family farm where he grew up, and where my uncle Dave Lambie and his family still live. I decided to do some walking; I planned to keep the wind in my face and work my way around a hill where the deer often bed.

It’s the Big One!
The writer’s first look at the Big One
was through his trail camera.

Dad dropped me off and drove back through the hayfields and parked where he could come down a different ridge. We planned to meet right before dark. Once he dropped me off, I waited 15 minutes before entering the woods. I wanted him to be set up in case I spooked anything during my stalk.

I crept slowly. When the wind subsided, I stopped. After 30 minutes of sneaking around that hill, the wind slowed. I decided to have a seat. Not long after, I heard something and saw a doe about 40 yards up the hill. The grapevines and greenbriers were thick, so when the wind picked back up, I crept 10 more yards to where I had a clear view of the deer. I rested against a tree and watched as several does passed through a clearing.

Subscribe Today!One doe passed by, then another. I didn’t see any other movement, so I lowered my rifle. Then, 15 yards behind the does, I saw another deer. I picked out a flash of white antler and could tell that it was a big buck. I looked through my scope into the opening where the does had passed and waited. When the buck’s shoulder entered the scope, I pulled the trigger on my Remington Model 700 7mm Mag. The does ran, but I didn’t see the buck. I frantically scanned the woods as I worked another shell into the rifle. Then, as I took a few steps toward where I shot, I saw the buck on the ground.

I radioed Dad to tell him that I had gotten one and needed help to drag it out. I could see it was a big buck, and a few more steps provided the view that I needed — it was the Big One. The deer’s left side was sticking up, clearly showing all 8 points on that one beam.

When Dad finally got to me 25 minutes later, he was as amazed as I was. He told me it was the largest deer taken in our area and definitely the biggest from the Lambie family farm.

On the way home, we stopped at all my neighbors’ homes to show off the magnificent buck. They were in shock, too!

This article was published in the November, 2008 edition of Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine. Join today to have Buckmasters delivered to your home.

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