Nothing can get you in the festive spirit like harvesting a 23-point buck mere weeks before Christmas.
Craig Pyhtila has been hunting since he was a youngster. The 48-year-old resident of Enfield, New York, has shot bucks over the years, including a 14-point during the 1990s, but nothing comes close to this brute of a 23-point he dropped on December 4.
The monster buck was tagged on Pyhtila’s own property in Tompkins County and it is a deer he first found several years ago. In fact, he had spotted the buck more than a half dozen times this year alone.
Bow season came and went, and the buck seemed to have all but disappeared. Worry began to set in that perhaps someone else had shot him. That thought quickly disappeared late on the evening of December 3, when Pyhtila and his son had the buck – and a doe – run in front of their vehicle while close to home. That was the sign he needed to see.
Pyhtila rose early the next morning and walked the edge of a hedgerow – only to find the big buck standing there. A 70-yard shot with a 12-gauge rifled barrel shotgun, and as they say, the rest is history.
The monster buck’s atypical antlers had a green score of 204 6/8 inches. Unfortunately, the animal had a sticker and drop tine broken off. Field dressed, the deer weighed 170 pounds.
Pyhtila will be having a pedestal mount made and he has already inquired about purchasing a set of sheds from this buck that an acquaintance found two years previous.
Friends of Pyhtila told him he would never beat his 14-point buck. Not only did he beat it, but he shattered it, showing exactly what determination and hard work can produce when you have your eyes on the prize.
Merry Christmas, Craig. That’s one heck of a gift you received.