Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Perserverance Leads Massachusetts Hunter to Buck of a Lifetime


Jonathan Hopfgarten with his monsterous Massachusetts Buck near Plympton, Ma
For Massachusetts Bowhunter Jonathan Hopfgarten, his pre-season was one to forget. Two weeks prior to opening day Hopfgarten his ladder stand in his 10 year honey hole was cut up into pieces by someone with a Sawzall. He quickly replaced the stand and hopped into it opening day only to be greeted by the man who cut it down. After being confronted and yelled at Hopfgarten decided it was best to find some other woods to hunt rather than worry about this guy.

 Later that day Hopfgarten received news that he no longer had permission to hunt another promising spot due to the owners no longer wanting hunters around. Despite having many bucks on camera at these locations Hopfgarten was forced to hunt another piece of land. Jonathan Hopfgarten continued to put in his hours despite not seeing any action in the woods.

 After weeks of stand hunting a beautiful 8 point buck shows up and a low shot gave the buck a haircut on his brisket and was never recovered. One thing after another and the 2016 Massachusetts season was one to forget.

On November 18th 2016, everything changed for Hopfgarten...

Familiar with the woods and looking for a change Hopfgarten decides to try a new spot with the hopes of changing his luck. No Scents. No Calls. All natural. He positioned his XOP climbing stand on a tree not knowing the woods were about to explode.

Twenty minutes into his sit and he's watching a small basket racked buck at 50 yards strolling around but not presenting a shot. Several minutes later a spike comes in and wanders around the area for about 15 minutes. Hopfgarten draws on the spike hoping to put some meat in the freezer but in typical fashion clean misses the smaller deer. At this point Hopfgartens frustration is at an all-time high. Almost ready to climb down he sticks it out to watch the deer action unfold.

The small buck circled back around presenting himself for another shot. Just as Hopfgarten is about to try his second shot at the small buck he hears more crashing through the woods. The buck approaches Hopfgarten's stand but wouldn't give a clean shot. Ten LONG minutes later, what Hopfgarten believes is a large racked 8 point decides to hang out in the exact same spot where the smaller buck was standing when Hopfgarten missed earlier in the same hunt. At this point, Hopfgarten decides he doesn't like the shot and refuses to take it.

This area is particularly thick and shooting lanes are limited. The big buck takes a circle around Hopfgarten's climber when he finally gives a clean look 25 yards broadside behind a tree. Hopfgarten positioned himself for a shot knowing that if this buck takes two more steps he's back behind more thicket. When Hopfgarten realizes he can thread an arrow through his front shoulder he takes the ethical shot.

The shot was a great one, just behind the shoulder sent the buck barreling through the Massachusetts woods. Turned out to be a double-lung, with a rage broadhead out of a Mathews Halon with Maxima Red Arrows. The buck stopped and then Hopfgarten heard more crashing from the buck. Anxious to see the arrow Hopfgarten climbed down to find a real heavy blood trail. Immediately, Hopfgarten walked back to find his dad and hunting partner to take a walk with him. At this time, Hopfgarten still believes he shot a heavy, palmated 8 pointer. Hopfgarten tells his dad "I shot a really nice 8 or 9 point" and "I don't think he's going to have 'ground shrinkage'".

A short and heavy blood trail lead Jonathan and his father to a massive Massachusetts buck. The rage broadheads did the trick and the buck was found motionless at the end of a "red carpet". Jonathan and his father could not believe their eyes. His father trembled as he tried to get a shot with his camera of this massive buck!

Jonathan Hopfgarten with a 215lb, 197 inch rough score Massachusetts Buck


  1. This guy is a poacher. I find it funny that this guys "honey hole" was in a highly illegal area and it's unsettling to know that he has been poaching deer for over 10 years. Also I find it amusing that on the same day he "received news" that he no longer had permission to hunt his other spot...AKA he was hunting this spot illegally too. With this guys track record, I wouldn't be surprised if this deer was poached as well. I just hope that this guys "shady" hunting catches up with him and he gets caught by our local EPOs, so the real hunters can have a chance.

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  3. You must be the BIG MOUTH LYNN that cut his tree stand down behind your house.which he has pictures of and your big mouth on his phone admitting it. This deer was taken in Plymtom. You should stop spreading lies and mind your own business. Put your money where you mouth is. You should be reported to the game wardens for hunter harrassment. He is a friend of mine and I helped him drag it out. Just cause you can't get your fat ass in a tree stand don't worry about what real hunters are doing

  4. And another thing if your so sure where he shot it why don't you send the game wardens over and he will show them. And he can show them all the pictures of where he got it and where you cut the stand down. NO Balls BIGMOUTH

  5. Dont be a hater, i have known jonathan for years and have had the pleasure of hunting many hours with him, maybee your jelous or one of those people who needs to put other people down because you have nothing better to do, either way i would consider jonathan a professional hunter, always legal, and if you had the privilege of hunting with him like i have you would think so too. If it were you who had got that maybee record monster he would congradulate you not try to put you down. To bad your lifr is full of negativity but keep it to yourself, us real hunters are working hard to keep it out of ours. Must suck to be you but have a nice day. Congrats again to a great hunter, go get em jonathan!

  6. Not even close. I'm just a third party that knows both sides of the story. However, if the person who cut his stand down did something wrong than your friend would have taken action, but he didn't because he was hunting illegally and he knew he was at fault. Other than that everything else I stated is just speculation. This deer may have not been poached but he his a poacher, I find it funny how he twists that as perseverance. Maybe his definition of perseverance is; continuing to sneak into an illegal spot, after you've been asked to leave, when the person should have just called the EPOs. I'll just say this, if your "10 year honey hole" is an illegal hunting area (fact), then chances are that his other spots are also _________ (i'll let others draw their own conclusion).

  7. That's right speculation and lies. That's what gets big mouth anti hunters in trouble. Stay down in your mother's basement and if we want to hear anymore false stories we will rattle your cage.

  8. If he was poaching why wouldn't you call the game wardens? Dope!