Monster CA Blacktail makes record book
By Jeff Ervin, Elk Mountain, Inc.
07/08/12 -- It’s great news when our “local folks” in Northern California make the record book, and it’s even better when it is someone I have had the luck of befriending!
I first met Joe Frater online. He was over in China, working with his Father, who runs a manufacturing business. It was obvious from the start that Joe was a bowhunting fanatic, and he was having serious withdrawals having been there for a couple years.
Joe hooked me up with Gamehog Outdoors, a group of guys who make excellent fair-chase hunting videos, filmed right here in Northern California. As luck would have it, in the early spring of this year, Joe found himself back in his home in Valley Springs near Amador County! Not to waste any time, Joe picked up a new hunting bow, and began scouting some private land near his home for deer with the boys from GameHog.
Although a very nice buck, his brother Steven had taken a larger one the year before, see below. In the 2010 Season, Joe was able to make it home just long enough to archery hunt. Steven had captured quite a few big bucks on his trail cam over the summer, including one huge 4x4. On the last weekend of the season, Joe and his brother were watching a well-used trail, and at around 7:30 p.m. a forked horn crept down the trail. Steven noticed another big-bodied deer just behind the forked horn buck. Suddenly, the monster 4x4 that they had caught on a trail cam appeared! The buck came to 16 yards, when Steven stopped him, and sent his home-made carbon arrow rocketing perfectly through the shoulder of the big buck! The rest is history!
According to Game and Fish Magazine, “Steven’s buck officially grossed an amazing 176 3/8 points. It is now the No. 1 typical “inland blacktail” in the archery division of the California Records of Big Game.” Frater’s buck was estimated to be 8.5 years old and pushing 190 pounds on the hoof!
Both of these bow kills were caught on film, and are now available for purchase on the GameHog Video titled “Gamehog Pursuits” on their website, and many Northern California Sporting Goods retailers.
Congrats to the Frater Boys, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing Joe again at the Western Classic Trail Shoot here in Redding early May!
[Editor’s Note: Reprinted by permission of elkmtngear.com/blog. Elk Mountain Gear is the manufacturer of the SLIP™ System, a combination portable stalking blind, decoy and trekking pole that is making news among spot and stalk bow hunters nationwide.]
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