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Franklin Co. 9-point is #9

Andy Sanders of Sopchoppy, Fla. is the #9 entry in the 2009-10 “Buck of the Year” contest with a long-tined 9-point taken in Franklin County on Feb. 3. Sanders’ buck grossed 145-7/8 inches and netted 135-3/8 inches after 10-4/8 inches in deductions – most coming from a missing a G4 (6-3/8 inches) on the left antler. The unique rack has 20-5/8 and 21-6/8-inch main beams that almost touch (1-1/8-inch tip-to-tip spread) and a 13-5/8-inch inside spread.

Andy shot his buck from 50 yards away and described his hunt as follows:

“I was sitting at work the night before I took the big buck, thinking about the deer tracks I’d been seeing for the last two weeks at the intersection of the road I was hunting on.

“When I got off of work I went back to another place where I had seen some big buck tracks, but I couldn’t quit thinking about the (smaller) deer tracks that were crossing over and on top of my tire tracks each time in the woods.

“I looked at my clock and saw it was 8:30 a.m., so I got up and went over to the place where I’d been seeing the smaller deer tracks,” Sanders said.

“I got my machete out and cut some limbs back so I would have an open shot if I got the chance. It started to warm up, so I looked down at my clock and decided to sit just for an hour or so.

“I was sitting there looking down the road when I caught movement on the edge of the road. Out stepped a doe, making me think that was the smaller tracks I had been seeing on top of my tire tracks several times previously.

“I started to leave, but looked at my clock and saw it was only 10 a.m., so I decided to give it one more hour. I leaned back, and after I had been sitting there for a while, I looked down again to see it was already 10:52 a.m.

“I know a lot of people would have left, just like I started to, but I told myself that I was going to give it one more hour. Just as I went to sit back, all of a sudden I saw the body of a deer just before he hit the road.

“I brought up my .270 Remington rifle just as he got to the last few trees before hitting the road. I caught a glimpse of the side of his rack, but when I looked through my scope as he stepped into the roadway, I saw nothing but his body.

“When I shot, I immediately let the gun down because I realized what a great buck I had just taken. This will be a hunt I will never forget!” Andy said.