Predators & Small Game
Rack Report: Potential Wyoming Velvet Record Buck
Hunter: Shane Sanderson
Location: Riverton, Wyoming
Time of Year: Sept. 1, 2012
Weapon: Darton DS3800 Bow
Wyoming resident Shane Sanderson figured he had blown it when he tried to sneak into his brushed-in ground blind when there was a buck and a doe already in the hayfield. He had done everything right all summer--scouted, prepared stands, shot his bow and even headed to his blind well before the deer had been entering the field. But as he watched the wide 8-point bound in the opposite direction across the hayfield, he saw his opening day hopes begin to fade like the setting sun.
Although this was not the primary buck on his opening day list, he had witnessed this same buck on countless evening scouting trips throughout the summer. Each time the wide 8-point entered the field, he was accompanied by two other western head-turners, one of which carried a massive 10-point velvet rack. Dejected, Shane still decided to hang out in his blind, hoping that the alarm blow of the escaping deer didn’t turn his well-planned evening upside-down.
Shane first saw the big 10 on his cattle ranch in late July, and when the buck jumped the fence and entered the field with the other two bucks, he could not believe what he was seeing. “You just don’t see whitetails that size in Wyoming,” he said.
The other two in this bachelor threesome were no slouches either. One carried a handsome 140-inch, 10-point frame, and the 8-point’s rack was every bit of 24 inches wide. Regardless, Shane’s sights were set and it was the big 10 or nothing on the season opener.
For the next five weeks, Shane watched the bucks enter the same corner of his hayfield, and like clockwork they seemed to always show up about 15 minutes before the end of shooting light. Knowing he had done his homework and had a solid game plan for the Sept.1 season-opener, Shane brushed in his Rhino ground blind on the field’s edge and kept his fingers crossed that it would all come together.
Still envisioning the wide 8-point scampering across the hayfield, Shane was jolted into reality when a couple of does and a yearling eased into the field in front of him. Gripping his bow a little tighter, his hopes increased as he watched the deer feed under the evening’s lengthening shadows.
Like a western ghost, the big 10 oozed from the brush with the other 10-pointer and stood on the opposite side of the fence, surveying the hayfield. When he finally jumped over the fence several minutes later, Shane's heart about jumped out of his chest.
Time trickled by as the buck fed just a stone’s throw away without offering a shot. Without warning, the buck turned to watch a couple of does running off the field, and in one fluid motion Shane pressed his bow into service. Weeks of preparation had come to this moment, and in an instant his carbon arrow sliced through the buck’s vitals, although farther back than he would have liked.
With the late summer clouds about to open up overhead with much-needed moisture, Shane decided to wait until the next morning before he continued with the track. With his wife and kids in tow the following morning, Shane took up the washed-out blood trail and located his handsome prize a few hundred yards later.
With a green score of 170-plus inches, Shane’s buck should easily surpass the current P&Y top velvet class typical of 152 5/8 from the Cowboy State, and if he decided to strip the velvet, it would most certainly topple the state's current 154-inch top typical as well.
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Submitted on September 28, 2012