Apollo cancer survivor bags a buffalo
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Frank Stefaniak's already-interesting den is about to get something special.
The room is a monument to a life spent outdoors. There are mounts of deer he's taken across Pennsylvania. There's the mountain lion he shot in Montana, one big enough to make the Boone & Crockett Club record book. There's a black bear from Maine, a walleye from Lake Erie and an old, tooth-worn raccoon from when he had hounds.
Soon, though, the room will also be home to a shoulder mount of a buffalo.
“He's going to look like a Greyhound bus coming through the wall. I can't wait,” said Stefaniak, of Apollo.
He shot the animal on a Missouri preserve in September. Its horns scored 62 inches. If that holds up after the required drying time, it will make Safari Club International's record book as the 17th largest all-time taken with a handgun.
Stefaniak, who has one arm because of a long-ago hunting accident, shot it with a Smith & Wesson .460 magnum. That he was around to shoot it at all is a bit of a miracle.
Stefaniak was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer in his head and neck in August 2011. Thirty-four radiation and three chemotherapy treatments followed.
“The doctors told us there are four stages of cancer, with four the worst, and four stages within that, A, B, C and D, with D the worst. He was fourth stage between C and D,” said his wife, Livina. “Last year at this time, we didn't think he had long.”
He was declared cancer-free in April. A follow-up in August confirmed it.
Years of testing remain, but he felt well enough this fall to take his son, Shane, on a hunt. He tried to tempt him into an African safari. But Shane chose a boar hunt, with the goal of taking one with the same 7mm magnum rifle Stefaniak used to shoot a boar in the winter of 1974-75, when his dad took him after returning from the Marine Corps. Shane succeeded, taking an animal that weighed more than 300 pounds.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-838-5148.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Allegheny County deer falls short of record status
- Survey says hunters like deer seasons as is
- Rain hampers bear, deer seasons; fishing interest increases
- PETA offers underwater drones to target animal cruelty
- Penn State study revealing how deer react to hunters
- Frye: Possible record buck to get final score
- Pa. bear hunters off to good start
- Outdoors notices: Dec. 14, 2014