Martin Koerner of Marion Station, Md., thought he’d arrowed a good-size 9-pointer. A good-size buck 9-pointer. He was wrong.
Sort of. It was Oct. 19, and Koerner was bowhunting in an area he had recently seen a lot of deer activity in. That evening, more than an hour before sunset, there were already 10 does and two basket-racked bucks out and about. With time to spare, who knew what might step from the lengthening shadows and make its way past Koerner’s Ameristep Doghouse ground blind?
That’s when he saw it — a deer with tall antlers coming his way. It wasn’t the widest or the heaviest rack, but there was no question as to whether or not this deer was worth a tag.
“As soon as I saw this deer coming in, I had determined he was a ‘shooter,’ ” Koerner said. He drew his Bear Attitude and prepared for a 20-yard shot.
Koerner’s Gold Tip Hunter XT 400 arrow and 100-grain Slick Trick Magnum broadhead hit a touch forward, so he decided to head home for a few hours and give the deer time to expire. Koerner called his brother and a few friends, and the group set out later that night to take up the trail.
There wasn’t much to go on. The men found a four-inch section of Koerner’s arrow, including the nock, that had been snapped off as the deer ran, but there was virtually no blood or sign to guide them. Koerner began doing a grid search of the area where the deer had last been seen. An hour later and 50 yards away, he spotted the deer laying in a heap. The arrow had hit it in the shoulder, which led to the practically nonexistent blood trail.
Koerner called his friends and brother over, and the celebration began. It took the men a while to recognize something was a little … different about this deer, though.
“I called my brother and buddies over, and as we were admiring it, we noticed that it was, in fact, a doe,” Koerner said. “We all stood there dumbfounded and in complete shock and disbelief. None of us had ever seen or heard of a doe growing antlers to this size.”
Koerner reported the doe as an antlered-deer harvest, then took it to a taxidermy shop the next day. He plans to have a shoulder mount done, complete with an aggressive posture to highlight the doe’s snout and long eyelashes. While it won’t be the biggest deer he’s ever put on his wall — the doe is expected to score 130-135 inches — Koerner said it is “certainly the most unique and most prized mount that I will have.”