A number of years again I was ask to speak at a deer classic being held in early March in a small rural Maryland town about an hour outside of Washington DC. I was actually surprised by the big turnout on Saturday and I was really busy the entire day meeting and greeting other sportsmen. When I attend these events I try and pay close attention to what people are talking about and what their main interest are. In fact I ask all kinds of questions about what the hunting is like in that area and what their chief concerns are so I will better be able to communicate with them at my seminars. For example I don’t want to be talking about hunting public land if there’s very little or no public land to hunt in that area. I don’t want to talk about rifle hunting if it‘s a bow only area. That’s just common sense stuff but I always think it’s important. I attend these shows to try and help people be more successful. I’m not there to act like or be a big shot.
On this particular trip I notice that one of the biggest gripes from the hunter’s was the lack of really trophy bucks in the area. The complaint was that the area couldn’t produce trophy bucks and folks wanted to know why.
So really this led me into my little talk about genetics and other things that were totally out of sportsmen’s hands and beyond their control. If I’m talking about hunting in areas where there are poor genetics, heavy hunting pressure and bad soil content – poor food sources – that always gives me a soft landing for sportsmen on why they just can’t expect to ever get a crack at a real trophy buck regardless of the buck’s age. If there aren’t any trophy bucks in the area you sure can’t expect to ever kill one. Right? And there are a number of places like this throughout the country. Having never hunted in this area at the time I just assumed this region of the country was one of those such places.
I was scheduled to speak again at 2 p.m. and was collecting my thoughts when a polite young man named Mark came up to me with a question on his mind.
“Mr. Raglin I found a shed last week on my grandfather’s property just up the road from here. It’s a pretty good one and I was wondering if you think they’d let me bring the shed into the show,” he ask.
“I don’t know why not,” was my reply. “In fact just go ahead and go get it and tell them at the door that I said you were bringing in for me to look at. If there’s any trouble just have them come get me and I’ll make sure you get in with it.”
And that was it. He disappeared and was gone for quite a while. Just before my seminar I looked up and there he stood holding a brown grocery sack.
“The rack’s in here. You want to see it?” he ask.
I just smiled and nodded my head, “Yeah sure. Let’s see it.”
When he pulled it out of the bag my jaw dropped.
“You say you just found this.”
“Where’d you say you found this.”
“At my grandfather’s farm,” was his reply.
“And where exactly is this farm?” I ask.
“Well. From where we’re standing. It’s about 3 miles up the road.”
I could tell the shed was fresh. I’ll bet the buck had just dropped it a few days before Mark had
found it. I immediately reached into my brief case and pulled out a small tape measure. The rack was from the buck’s right side. It was a clean 5 pointer – 4 tines coming off the main beam. I don’t believe I have ever seen a more impressive typical rack from a whitetail deer buck.
The main beam on the rack was over 28 inches. The second and third points were both over 13 inches. The base measured 7 inches. All in all that 5 point rack totaled nearly 94 inches. Assuming the left side was the same or close to the same that’s nearly 190 inches. Give the deer an 18” inside spread and this buck would approach the world record score of the largest 5 x 5 of all time. I now only wished I had taken a picture of that rack.
Needless to say my 2nd seminar that Saturday was a lot different than my first one. I began the seminar by pulling that shed out of that brown paper sack.
“Guess where this shed was found fellows?” was my beginning statement. You can use your imagination for the rest of my talk. And that’s another great reason to shed hunt. Something really unique just might appear. You just never know.
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