posted on August 03, 2014 08:58
By Mike Handley
On Nov. 18, the Monday following an unsuccessful opening weekend of New York's 2013 shotgun season, Tom Sheridan left the auto body repair shop early in order to rush home and hunt the remains of the day. The wind was supposed to cease gusting that afternoon in Onondaga County, and he was eager to be in a deer stand.
"I hate to hunt in the wind," the 51-year-old said. "And we'd had wind gusts of up to 40 mph."
He left work at 3:00, drove home to Jamesville and suited up, and then walked outside. His stand is less than 200 yards from his door.
The wind hadn't died, but he took off anyway.
About 10 minutes into his trek, Tom thought he spotted something "weird" in the nearby brush. Originally, he thought the wind was simply whipping the woody vegetation, but then he realized that section of brush was a whole lot whiter than the rest.
He was looking at antlers. A buck was trying to slip away from him.
Tom squinted for the next five minutes, trying to make sure he wasn't hallucinating as the antlers alternately glowed and disappeared. Only when the buck decided to lie down instead of run was Tom able not only to make up his mind, but also to thread a 12-gauge saboted slug through the thick underbrush.
Man and deer were only 30 yards apart.
When Tom knelt beside the giant, he was flabbergasted.
"I couldn't believe it," he said. "I don't know how many times I began counting points, only to stop and start again. I just kept saying ‘Oh my god … Oh my god!'"
Tom's 22-pointer is a new state (irregular) record in the BTR's shotgun category, and the whole story will appear in Rack magazine this fall.
Its BTR composite score is 201 2/8 inches. If this seems outlandish, just wait to see the scoresheet before passing judgment on this photo. It's all there!