Long Island Buck With Four Beams Threatens New York State Archery Record
On the afternoon of Monday, Oct. 26, Bjorn Holubar headed into the woods near Brookhaven Long Island to hunt a thicket where he'd discovered several big rubs the day before. He walked out a few hours later with this remarkable 200-class 20 pointer, an amazing quadruple-beamed buck that has an excellent chance to break the New York state archery record.
The buck’s right antler is a very respectable six-point horn …
… but the left side features an incredible array: two nearly equally matched main beams sprout from the base of the skull. The first sports five tines with heavy palmation; the second adds another three big points and more palmation.
Finally, what looks like a drop tine is actually a third left-side beam sprouting from the base of the skull, complete with a brow tine and three more points.
A green score by a Boone & Crockett official measurer grossed 209 4/8 nontypical. But such a unique rack will likely go before a scoring panel to ensure an accurate final tally after the 60-day drying period.
Danny Azzato, owner of Fish and Wildlife Unlimited Taxidermy in Oakdale, New York, says he has prepared many Boone & Crockett mounts in his 35 years in business, but this one tops them all. His check of the books convinces him that Holubar’s buck has a real shot at the New York state archery record.
“I think it’s going to do very well, because honestly I don’t think it’s going to shrink much,” Azzato says. “It’s so massive, so heavy, I can’t see it shrinking very much. But we’ll see in 60 days.”
Holubar’s hunt started with a walk in the woods Sunday, Oct. 25, on a property he has hunted for years. Exploring a trail he’d never used before, he spied several massive rubs and active scrapes in a hardwood thicket with lots of acorns on the ground. He returned Oct. 26 with a climber stand and located a choke point he’d picked out from a topo map of the area.
“Since it was my first time in the tree, I had to clear shooting lanes,” Holubar says. To cover the racket he made snapping off branches, he pitched an epic mock battle. “I had a grunt call and a rattling box, and I was hitting those while breaking brush, thrashing leaves and kicking up dirt. I was making elephant noise; it was loud.”
He worked quickly and was soon 18 feet up a tree. For an hour-and-a-half nothing happened.
Then Holubar spied antlers in the brush and grunted. The big deer stopped in his tracks and began demolishing a sapling while pawing the ground. “I thought, ‘Good, he’s pissed,'” Holubar recalls. He estimated the deer, still obscured by the thick cover, to be out of his range.
It took 15 minutes for the buck to start moving again. When Holubar would lose sight of the deer he’d grunt and the bruiser would start thrashing saplings again. Finally, the buck stepped out at what Holubar figured was 30 to 35 yards. “He cleared a tree, I whistled to stop him and let the arrow go,” he says.
“I heard a nice crack and he dropped, then got up and snowplowed about 25 yards. As soon as he turned I saw how wide he was. All I could see was horns.”
“I’ve shot a Booner caribou and a Pope & Young elk before, but when I saw this deer I was like, ‘Holy mackerel,'” says Holubar (with buddy Billy Lester, left). “After he piled up I started skimming down the tree as quick as I could in my climber, and I was still 8 feet off the ground when I jumped out of my stand!”
When Holubar paced off the shot later, he was shocked to find it was 46 yards. The buck was so much bigger than the average 140-lb. Long Island deer that he misjudged the distance. The scarred 6 ½-year-old field dressed at 205 lbs, and his 27-inch neck carried fresh puncture wounds.
“He was a fighter, and no doubt that’s what drew him to me,” says Holubar, crediting the ruckus he made while clearing his shooting lanes for luring the buck in his direction. “I think he was fighting mad at the thought of two rivals going at it on his turf. He was a monarch.”