John Raubenstrauch hunted a buck that most would never believe came from a public hunting ground. (Photo courtesy of John Raubenstrauch)


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Two years ago, John Raubenstrauch began taking photos of a droopy-toothed male not far from his home in Pennsylvania. After sharing the photos with his children and other local youth hunters, they named the male “Soup”.

“His drooping teeth looked like tablespoons,” John says. “And who doesn’t like soup?”

Using trail cameras, John was able to figure out Soup’s routine this year: he would come out of his thick bay laurel bed every four days to feed on acorns.

“I had told my friends all year that I understood this money,” John says. “I knew where he was coming out. “

Since John was sure he knew Soup’s routine, he wanted to involve the young hunters in the hunt. So, on his first soup hunt, he took his friend’s son with him. Although the pair saw a nice 11 points, Soup never showed.

“I told my boyfriend’s son we had to wait for Soup,” John recalls.

On October 25, John was working with his friend and he knew it was Soup’s model day four and the male needed to show up. John asked if his friend’s son wanted to chase soup with him that night.

“I told my boyfriend to call his son and tell him that Soup was going out that night,” John says. “But his son decided to go hunting with his grandfather instead.”

John decided he would hunt the giant himself. That evening John sat on the floor; but not in a ground blind of any kind, he just decided to hunt sitting on the forest floor. After sitting down for a moment, John felt a movement in the laurel tree. It was the soup.

“He stuck his head out, and I thought, oh my god, he’s bigger than I thought.”

The male climbed down from the laurel 20 yards and looked straight at John. However, after an intense gaze, Soup lowered his head and looked in the opposite direction. This gave John the perfect opportunity to shoot his crossbow.

Pennsylvania Bowhunter Tags 179 inches 15 points on opening day
When the male finally gave John a chance, he struggled not to look at his antlers! (Photo courtesy of John Raubenstrauch)

“After I shot, he mullet blows and fled into the woods,” John says. “I got up and walked to my car, never going to where I shot him.”

John drove home and gathered his son and a few friends to help him with the follow-up work. However, when they returned to the shooting site, there wasn’t much follow-up to do.

“My boyfriend turned on his headlamp and spotted Soup lying dead,” John recalls. “He didn’t even walk 50 meters.

Although John hasn’t officially tagged the deer, the Pennsylvania Game Commission plans to tag him. However, Soup tipped the scales at 240 pounds after being dressed on the pitch.

“He’s a beast,” said John. “It’s unreal that we have deer like this in Pennsylvania on public land.”

John said some of the kids who helped name the male were there after recovery. And they all kept saying, “The soup is dead.

Pennsylvania Bowhunter Tags 179 inches 15 points on opening day
An impressive sum on public lands indeed! (Photo courtesy of John Raubenstrauch)




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