Windy weekend, 23-point Monday for hunter
Jamesville, N.Y. — Extremely high winds shut Tom Sheridan out on the opening weekend of the Southern Zone firearms deer season.
He made up for it on Monday, however, bagging a 23-point nontypical buck that will rank among the largest taken in New York this past season.
The buck has been scored, after deductions, as a 184 3/8-inch nontypical.
Sheridan didn’t see a single deer on the blustery opening weekend, so he was bound and determined to get out on Monday and hunt hard. He left work that day at about 3 p.m., so he could get to his stand behind his house for the afternoon hunt.
Monday was still windy. In fact, the same high wind warnings and a swirling wind with 40-mile-an-hour gusts that plagued hunters in the Jamesville (Onondaga County) area throughout opening weekend were still in effect on Monday.
“I can’t stand to hunt in the wind; it was just frustrating not seeing anything opening weekend, so I said I had to get up there,” he said.
Living in rural Jamesville, not far from the Jamesville Reservoir, Sheridan’s stand is only about 200 yards from his house. He only made it about halfway there when he saw a buck in the thick brush.
“I walked out of the house heading toward my tree stand, and upon walking out there I came across a deer in the red brush, kind of circling, trying to find a bed,” Sheridan said. “It was just so windy it was hard to see because everything was flying, and finally I was able to determine that it was definitely a monster buck.”
But, Sheridan said, it was hard to tell at first what the buck carried for headgear because his horns were so light in color.
“It looked funny…it didn’t look real,” he recalled.
Sheridan shouldered his Remington 11-87 at about 4 p.m. and waited for a shot. He would find the buck, then lose it again as it circled, looking for a bed in the thick brush. He finally got the scope on it just as it bedded down. The deer was looking right at him as he took the shot. He fired once, and the monster never got up.
When he walked up to the downed deer, he realized the trophy he had just bagged.
“I just thought ‘Oh my God, my God,’ I could not believe it. It’s just something you dream about,” he said.
The 51-year-old Sheridan has hunted all his life, most heavily in the last 20 years after taking a couple years off. He has bagged a handful of seven and eight pointers over the years, but never anything like this buck.
After killing the buck, he ran back to his house and got one of his sons to help him haul it out with a four-wheeler.
Ron Evans of the New York State Big Buck Club scored it as a 23-pointer. Sheridan had thought it was 22 points, but didn’t count one sticker that Evans counted. It had over 210 inches of horns, and with deductions scored a massive 184 3/8 inches.
The area Sheridan hunts is surrounded by farms. The corn-fed buck weighed in at 210 pounds.