Gun hunter bags 243-inch buck

November 19, 2007 at 11:39 AM

Illinois Outdoors

There’s luck involved in any hunt — even for Marty Sharp of Gilson, whose 20-point buck is the most impressive 2007 gun kill I’ve yet seen.

Sharp shot his buck on opening day of the 2007 Illinois firearm deer season at about 3 p.m. after letting several does and small bucks pass by his stand, which overlooks a thick patch of Knox County timber.

“If a deer is 60 yards away in there you wouldn’t even see them,” said Sharp, 46, who has been hunting deer for 35 years.

Maybe that’s why he never noticed a buck approaching while having a cell-phone conversation with his father, William J. Sharp.

“I hung up the phone and turned to my right side and there (the buck) was about 30 yards away and walking right to me,” Marty Sharp said. “There was no buck fever to it. I just grabbed the gun. He came to me broadside and I let him have it behind the front shoulder.”

Once hit the buck bolted, though fortunately for Sharp he ran in the right direction.

“He came right back to me and I shot him again,” Sharp said.

Ten minutes later, Sharp climbed out of his stand to discover “a once-in-a-lifetime buck.”

Though the deer had obviously lost weight chasing does in recent weeks, his antlers were still noteworthy. The 20-point non-typical rack had an inside spread of 24 inches and was green-scored at 243 inches by Claudia Emken of Yates City.

Calls to local taxidermists so far have turned up nothing larger, though it’s still early.

Something larger may still materialize. Not that anything will dampen Sharp’s excitement

“I hadn’t really seen his antlers until I got up to him on the group. All I thought when I saw those points was, ‘Holy Moly,’ There was drop tines and shooters out the back and all kinds of points,” Sharp said. “I called my nephew to tell him and he called me a liar. Same with another nephew. Then I called my dad and even he said I was a liar.”

But Sharp wasn’t a liar, he was just lucky.

“It’s just one of those things where I was right there at the right time,” he said. “I usually stay in the stand all day and I don’t like to get out. I’ve shot a few nices ones and it seems like they like to roam around after 11 a.m. or noon.”

Sharp said this is biggest buck ever. Taxidermist Dave Emken of Yates City has the buck and plans are to display the deer at this year’s Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic in Bloomington.

Interestingly, Sharp had never seen this buck before while bowhunting or on trail cameras.