Two area hunters take monster bucks
Neither Michael Charlton nor Greg McVay has been hunting bucks this past week.
Not because they aren't deer hunters but because they got their bucks already. Their stories, though, couldn't be more different.
Charlton, 28, of Charleroi, is what you might call the more consistent of the two. He hunted every morning and evening during archery season, logging more than 300 hours in his tree stand. McVay, 57, of Moon Township, was in his stand virtually every day this fall, too, but that's relatively new for him.
He returned to hunting two years ago, having quit the sport for decades after an employee was killed in a bear season accident.
Yet, both scored big — Charlton on a deer no one had ever seen before, McVay on a familiar local legend.
“Believe it or not, I was after two other deer that I knew were in my area. I'd been chasing those two particular deer for three years,” Charlton said.
“This deer, I had no idea he was there. I had no trail camera pictures of him, nothing. He was absolutely a surprise. A terrific surprise, but a surprise.”
“This” deer was a 10-point with a 20 1⁄2-inch inside spread to his antlers that followed a mature doe into an opening.
His rack green-scored at 161 1⁄2. That's more than enough to put it into the Pennsylvania Game Commission's record book, as well as the Pope & Young Club's.
“The pure size of everything about this deer was huge,” Charlton said.
McVay, meanwhile, had been watching his buck for two years, long enough to nickname it, “Brutus.” He was never able to get a shot at it, though, despite seeing it nine times this year.
“Once they get into the rut, though, that's when they get a little stupid, I guess,” McVay said. “He was following a doe, and that was his downfall.”
The buck stepped from behind a tree and McVay took him. It was only when he walked up to the deer that he realized the deer had 19 points at least one inch long, along with a half dozen shorter ones.
A taxidermist green-scored the buck's rack at 167. If that holds up, the buck would rank among the top 25 non-typicals ever taken in the state with a bow.
“I was shocked because for all the times I'd seen him, I didn't know he had all those little kicker points all over the place,” McVay said. “I knew he was big, but I didn't expect that.”
There's definitely one thing the two hunters have in common. They both got what might be the deer of their lifetimes this fall.
“If I never kill one bigger, I'll be perfectly fine, knowing I'm always going to have this one,” Charlton said.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-838-5148.