Rhonda Snyder of Efland is going to circle Sept. 15 and 16 on her calendar from now on. Two years ago on Sept. 16, she used her crossbow to take an 8- and 7-point bucks six minutes apart. Two weeks ago, on Sept 15, she busted her best whitetail to date, an 11-pointer that has been green-scored at 141 points.
Snyder and her husband, Kenny, first saw the big buck on a trail camera on Aug. 17, and she quickly decided where she would spend the early part of the season.
“We’d hunted as frequently as we could (after) the season came,” Snyder said, “but the buck came by (their ground blind) the (two days) we didn’t hunt because the wind wasn’t right.”
Hunting on a small tract of land, the Snyders could only hunt the blind on an east wind because of the location of a corn feeder, 25 yards away in the woods.
Snyder said the trail-cam images of the buck got her so excited she bought four bags of Red Delicious apples to scatter near the stand.
“We put those out and hunted all day Saturday but saw the same spikes and does,” she said. “Sunday, I about decided not to go, but then I thought this might be like a contest where you have to be present to win, so we decided to go before we went to church.”
After sitting in the blind for 45 minutes, the pair saw a spike buck, a doe and a fawn. Then Kenny Snyder whispered to his wife to get her Ten Point XLT Turbo crossbow ready because the big buck was coming.
“I took the safety off at about 6:50 a.m.,” Rhonda Snyder said as the deer walked into her line of sight and stood broadside. “I was concentrating at a spot behind his right shoulder and squeezed the trigger.”
The bolt, tipped by a Rage broadhead, sliced through the deer, which quickly disappeared. The Snyders waited an hour before crawling out of the blind, and she soon found her blood-soaked arrow. Then her husband walked to the buck about 60 yards from the blind.
The 125-pound buck had a 5x6 rack, including bladed brow tines and a crab-claw G2 tine on the left main beam. Her husband put a tape on the rack and measured 141 3/8 inches gross.
Kenny Snyder said he’s been a little shocked at his wife’s focus on hunting.
“We were married 11 years before she showed any interest,” he said. “But she’s done well and understands the rush I get, and now she’s a hard-core hunter.”