A New Jersey Stud Buck Returns [Big Buck HIT LIST]

A special buck. A special piece of land. When a distinctive trophy suddenly reappears after a long absence, it's time to crown our Week 10 Hit List winner.

by Mark Melotik

HuntStand Pro Contributor MORE FROM Mark

A special buck. A special piece of land. When a distinctive trophy suddenly reappears after a long absence, it’s time to crown our Week 10 Hit List winner.

CaydenHIT1 900

Unusual bucks for a particular area typically mean deer that are unusually large. That is certainly the case with this reclusive, tall-tined trophy, which New Jersey’s Tom Chew knows quite well. We’ll let Chew tell the story behind our Week 10 Big Buck HIT LIST winner:

“This is a buck I call ‘Cayden,’ after my son,” Chew said. “This buck was here two years ago, and then disappeared completely until this summer. I was out glassing from my truck with my wife and son, when a nice seven-pointer came out, followed by an eight- and a nine-point, and then, WOW. When I saw the kickers off both G2s, I instantly knew who it was. This is a very impressive deer for south Jersey, and I’m hoping for an early bow season encounter with him. CaydenHIT2 900“This is a piece of land that I’ve hunted for 36 years; it’s a special place for me as it is where I first hunted with my dad who has passed,” Chew explained. “The piece is approximately 270 acres of flatland oaks; about 70 acres were selectively cut 15 years ago, producing some nice bedding areas. This camera is on the edge of an overgrown field 12 feet up a tree, and 10 yards from where the buck is standing. CaydenHIT3 900“The largest buck I’ve taken on this tract is a 120-class, and a 115-inch-class buck is considered a shooter. I’m praying that ‘Cayden’ gives me a shot this year, as this buck will certainly blow away the 120-inch score. This area has some decent-sized farms within a two-mile radius, but in the last 20 years has been getting developed very quickly, pushing the deer to smaller pieces, and giving some the opportunity to grow older.

CaydenHIT4 900“This is a heavily hunted piece, and unfortunately, we deal with a lot of trespassers. The fields haven’t been planted the last four years, which you would think would result in less food and overall deer attraction, but the opposite has been true. Being overgrown gives this area considerably more cover and security. Also, it’s made the area less noticeable from the road, and the eyes of poachers.”

ThermacellContest 900For his Week 10 win, Chew will be sent a new-for-2017 Thermacell MR450 Handheld Repeller (see image above), valued at $35. More good news? There are two more opportunities to win a MR450 of your own.

To enter the HuntStand 2017 Big Buck HIT LIST contest, simply send us a few clear, digital trail cam photos (two to four) of a buck (or bucks) taken in the summer of 2017 (day or night images, photos accepted through Sept. 18). Include a few sentences detailing the type of terrain/area where the image(s) were captured (field edge, favorite stand site, etc.) and some info on the buck(s) pictured. Do you have any history with the buck? Is the buck a likely newcomer to your area? Is it somehow unusual or unique for the area? What weapons/seasons will you use to hunt the pictured buck(s)?

Along with your photos, include your full name, age, photo date(s) and state, and also be sure to include your mailing address. Your e-mail subject line should read: Big Buck HIT LIST! Send your photo(s) and requested info to: [email protected] 



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