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17-Year-Old Bowhunter Takes One of NY’s Top 2011 Bucks

When it comes to big bucks, the East Coast isn't the first place that comes to mind. New York in particular is known more for its nightlife than its deer hunting, but each year hunters take several Pope & Young bucks across the Empire State with a few bucks making it into the prestigious Boone & Crockett record books. Seventeen-year-old Jake Maurer beat the odds and took this beautiful buck last month in Western New York outside of Rochester. The deer scored 181 3/8" inches as a non-typical, which would easily land him in the archery record books. Here's the story of his hunt…
October 15, New York's season opener, couldn't come fast enough for Maurer and he was ready to hit the deer woods bright and early. That morning Jake passed on a small eight pointer and two does, but the remainder of the morning was slow. Jake knew there were bigger bucks in the area from trail camera photos.
Jake decided to go to a different stand for the afternoon hunt. He sprayed down everything with scent elimination spray and put some raccoon urine on his boots before heading to his stand. It was only two weeks earlier that Jake and his friend Bobby set the hang on stand in the split tree trunk which offered Jake some extra cover.
It was a cool and wet afternoon in upstate New York with the winds blowing and temperatures in the low 50s. The rain made walking in the woods quiet and with the wind it was hard to hear the deer approaching.
It was just after 6:00 pm when this buck stepped out just 50 yards in front of Jake. In a reverse case of buck fever, he first thought the deer was a doe.
"At first I thought it was just a doe, then I saw antlers and thought, oh, that's a four pointer, then no wait, that's the nine pointer! I didn't have any more time to look at him, once I saw what I thought was more than eight, I made the decision this is a shooter," Maurer says.
The buck began rubbing its antlers against a small sapling as Maurer raised his bow and began to draw. That's when the buck caught movement and busted him. With the buck looking right at him Maurer knew it was now or never and continued to full draw. Focusing on a spot in front of the buck's shoulder, Maurer squeezed the trigger and released his arrow.
It all happened so fast. Maurer watched the buck run and noted the path he took. Then he called his dad and told him the great news.
"I had set up a trail camera near this tree back in August and September and captured a couple pictures of some nice shooter bucks. My dad had seen these pictures so when I was talking with him, I told him that I thought it was the Monster. It was while I was talking to him that my heart started racing and I began to realize what might have just happened."
Maurer climbed down, found his arrow and the first drop of blood and then backed out of the woods to give the deer time. He wanted some extra help for the tracking job, so he returned later that night with his dad and friend Clayton.
"The three of us got in my truck and went back to the woods near my stand. We walked in and I took them right up to my arrow and explained the whole story again. We marked the first blood and then started looking for more. It wasn't great, a couple spots every eight yards it seemed. We even found a large footprint that threw dirt and mud up on the nearby leaves and knew that had to be him. At one point I even got back up in my stand to try and direct Dad and Clay down the path I thought he took."
The trio slowly pushed forward searching for the next drop of blood and made if 40 yards when they shined the light ahead and caught a glimpse of the deer. "He was laying down with his back to us. The flashlight lit up his tail first and went to the left across his back and then we all saw his rack laying up at an angle off the ground like a kickstand."
Maurer was in awe when he first laid his hands on the massive New York buck. The buck carried 17 points on its rack and had hooked brow tines. Jake took a buck of a lifetime in just his fourth year of hunting, truly an accomplishment.
Maurer took his buck to Bob Estes, founder of the New York State Big Buck Club, to get the deer scored. The 17-point buck green scored an astonishing 181 3/8" gross as a non-typical. Once the 60-day drying period has come to an end, Jake can have the buck officially scored and submit the scorecard for consideration in the record books. If scored as a non-typical, the buck will just miss the 185" minimum for Boone & Crockett, but will easily surpass the 155" Pope & Young minimum for a non-typical.
New York has an extremely diverse range of whitetail habitat from the suburbs just north of New York City to the pine forests of the Adirondack Mountains and the fertile farms in the western part of the state. But in all of these habitats, Boone and Crockett bucks are few and far between.
In 1998 Rich Johnson arrowed the number one archery buck in New York (pictured here), a 181 1/8" buck with fourteen scorable points. The buck was shot just 30 miles north of New York City. Then in 2007, Keith Levick took the NYS Muzzleloader record book buck in Niagra county, a massive 22 pointer that scored 221".
Finding record book whitetails in a state like New York is a challenge, but it's not impossible. Spend your winter scouting new ground and follow fresh tracks in the snow to learn where the big bucks hide. Drive back roads in the summer, glassing fields and run trail cameras to find out what bucks are in the area. If you're not finding bucks of the caliber you're searching for then you have to move on to new ground. With some hard work and a little luck, you can take a trophy deer in almost any state. Just ask Maurer.

Thought big whitetails only come from the Midwest? Think again. Jake Maurer killed this massive 181-inch buck in New York. See the photos from his hunt here.