8-point, 180-pound buck is prize of season opener

OUTDOORS

December 05, 1993|By LONNY WEAVER

Of all the deer I saw while making the rounds of Carroll County's deer checking stations during the season's opening morning, the most impressive was Raymond Smith Jr.'s absolutely perfect eight-point, 180-pound buck.

It was a particularly handsome whitetail sporting the best eight-point rack I have ever seen in some 20-plus years of outdoor coverage.

Smith, who lives in Union Bridge, bagged it on the outskirts of town at a range of "about 120 yards. I saw four does come ahead of him from a woods. I was using a 165-grain Winchester Supreme load in my .30-06 and he dropped on the spot."

Smith checked his deer in at Hatfield's Country Meats in Taneytown.

While I was at Hatfield's, John Stambaugh brought in a really nice six-pointer that weighed 135 pounds. The Taneytown hunter collected his trophy "along the creek out on Francis Scott Key Highway."

Larry Taylor of Taneytown said he bagged his plump three-pointer in a wood lot off of Roop Road at about 30 yards. Like Smith and Stambaugh, it was Taylor's first deer of the year.

First-day Carroll numbers were down 181 deer from the same time last year. The first day's unofficial tally, according to preliminary Department of Natural Resources figures, was 866 for the county.

By 10 a.m. C & C Taxidermy, north of Manchester, had checked in "about 30 deer. But this time last year we had at least twice that number," said owner Chris Rothlingshofer.

Really bad, mild wet weather was the first-day culprit. Still, Hampstead's Gary Ruby wasn't complaining. He nailed a beautiful eight-pointer that, according to C & C's scales, field-dressed at 165 pounds. Ruby got his shot "not far outside of Manchester, on the edge of a woods."

The second-best rack I saw that day, Nov. 27, was sported by Harold Hahn's 10-point buck taken off Tracey's Mill Road in the northern area of the county. This was Hahn's first deer in three years of hunting, and what a standard he has set for himself.

"He had two does with him in the wood lot I was hunting," the Manchester hunter said. Hahn made a single 50-yard shot with his .308.

Hahn's weighed 138 pounds, but looked much bigger to me. The DNR's Dave Long at the checking station estimated it was 2 1/2 years old. The majority of the bucks taken here are less than 1 1/2 years old.

I just missed my pal Wayne Albaugh when he brought his buck into C & C. Albaugh, who lives and hunts in the Uniontown area, took a 152-pounder sporting a beautiful six-point rack with an impressive 18-inch spread.

Another buck that really impressed me was Mark Rhodes' eight-pointer. It was Mark's first deer, and he nailed the 134-pounder on his parents' farm in the Woodbine area. Mark, an eighth-grader at Mount Airy Middle School, completed his required hunter's safety course in April.

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