By Rob Potter
CALLICOON November 23, 2007 In the first few days of the 2007 regular firearm deer hunting season, successful hunters from around Sullivan County have entered their bucks in the Democrat’s 34th annual Big Buck Contest.
The current leader of the contest is Eddie “Eb” Herling of Pond Eddy.
On opening day, Saturday, November 17, Herling, who is a member of the Mahogany Ridge Hunting & Fishing Club, shot an 8-point buck on club property in the Town of Highland.
On Monday, Nov. 19, Herling took the buck to Rod’s Taxidermy in Callicoon, which is one of the official stations for the Democrat’s Big Buck Contest. Rod Smith, proprietor of Rod’s Taxidermy, measured the length of the buck’s two antlers, the width from outside to outside between the antlers and the number of points that were at least 1 inch. The buck’s total score was 74 1/4.
Herling said he got to his tree stand about 5:45 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 17. A little more than an hour later, at 7:10 a.m., he spotted the buck.
Herling then took the deer with one shot to the neck from about 90 yards away with his 7400 model Remington 30.06.
“I hit him with a solid shot, but he fell over a little ridge,” Herling said. “I immediately went down and dragged him back up the hill. A couple of days before, I saw a bear in that area and I didn’t want the bear to get the buck. I wanted that buck.”
Herling said that he has been hunting with his cousin, Peter Finck, who is also a member of Monticello’s Mahogany Ridge Hunting & Fishing Club, for 23 years. This buck is the biggest Herling has ever shot.
Herling said that Finck and some of the other club members jokingly told him to sell all of his rifles because he would never again shoot another buck like this one.
So, was Herling excited after taking the big buck?
“Excited?” he replied. “I don’t even remember the rest of the day!
“I woke up the next day with an adrenaline rush,” Herling added.
The Democrat’s Big Buck Contest is open to hunters who shoot a buck during the regular firearm season here in Sullivan County or in Wayne County, Pa.
The season in Sullivan County continues until Sunday, December 9. The Pa. season begins on Monday, Nov. 26 and ends on Saturday, Dec. 8.