Ever Try a Whort-Sneeze?
If you see shelves bearing "Sneeze(s) in a Can" in your favorite sporting goods store this summer, don't laugh. Just pull out your wallet and thank Larry Finley.
After losing the battle to stifle a sneeze last November, the deer hunter from London, Ky., barely had time to wipe his nose before a 226 7/8-inch (composite score) whitetail ran into his bullet.
Larry is among 13 friends who lease 880 acres on the Ohio River in Pendleton County.
Because many members had stumbled across sign indicating a very large buck was living within their jurisdiction, not even the worst weather imaginable could keep them home when the rifle season commenced.
"It was warm that weekend, actually the worst hunting conditions you could ask for," remembered Larry, who chose to hunt from a borrowed ladder stand overlooking a sign-riddled hollow he'd discovered the first year he joined the club.
Opening Saturday was a bust, but Sunday's hunt was a short one.
"My allergies were killing me," Larry said. "After a while, I sneezed … not very loud. Next, I was just sitting there with my head back when I heard a shot."
When he sat up and looked around, Larry saw this buck charging downhill. He didn't think twice before squeezing the trigger.
After sitting there for about 30 minutes, Larry got down and began to look for blood. When he found some, he returned to the clubhouse to recruit helpers.
Powerless to do anything but gawk, Jeff Yelton's gaze shifted back and forth from the deer with the strange rack to his watch. Always one to follow the rules, the hunter from Chesterton, Ind., knew it wasn't yet light enough to legally squeeze his muzzleloader's trigger.
He was almost convinced something was wrong with his too-slow watch.
He KNEW something was wrong with the animal's antlers.
The left side of the rack was normal, if not extraordinary. If Jeff had bothered to count the points, he'd have tallied six long (typical) ones on that side alone.
But it was the right side that kept him from counting, which demanded attention. All that junk couldn't be antler, could it?
Jeff's question wasn't answered until four days later, because the deer disappeared before the man's timepiece gave the okay to shoot.
Jeff was back in that power line stand on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Close to 8:00, he saw the second buck of the morning about 150 yards down the right-of-way.
He eventually realized it was the buck with the messed-up antlers, and when it came to within 80 yards, he squeezed off a shot.
The right side of this Porter County, Ind., buck's rack is 26 inches larger than the impressive, 6-point left antler. It's easy to see why Jeff was confused when he first saw the deer.
Its BTR composite (true gross) score is 198 7/8.
A miscalculation of where the buck was standing when the bullet struck almost resulted in Jeff believing he'd missed. Ed Waite tells the whole story, which should be a lesson to all, in RACK magazine this fall.