Shane Sanderson, 39, had his heart set on a 10-point buck that he has seen last August by his family ranch. Even from a distance, he could tell that it easily eclipsed all other contenders. When Wyoming’s archery season opened on Sept. 1, Sanderson took to his makeshift blind and settled in, hoping that it would pass by.
According to Realtree.com, Sanderson thought he had made a fatal mistake when he crept into the blind and startled an 8-point in a nearby hay field. This same 8-point was a constant traveling companion of the buck Sanderson was after and he had counted on seeing them together. Even though he had gone to the blind early, the mistake could cost him opening day. His heart sank as the hunter watched the buck flee the field. Sanderson chalked it up to bad luck and lay back in wait, hoping that the early fumble would not deter his chances for sighting the big 10. He had waited two months for this opportunity and prepared too much to quit now.
It did not take long for his deer to show, leading two other smaller bucks including the 8-point that he had seen earlier. All three were handsome trophy deer, but Sanderson had only eyes for the big 10. When the deer stopped to feed, the 13-year bowhunting veteran took his shot at 35 yards. The hit was clean and the buck stumbled only a short distance before it keeled over. As Sanderson admired the buck’s antlers, he knew it was the take of a lifetime, but what he didn’t know was that he just scored Wyoming’s archery whitetail record.
“You just don’t see whitetails that size in Wyoming,” said Sanderson.
After the mandatory 60-day antler-drying period, the deer was scored as a 170 3/8 typical in the Pope and Young record book. State officials confirmed the record with a press release on Monday. The bow Sanderson used was a Darton DS-3800.
Image courtesy Wyoming Game and Fish Department