What started out as a typical deer hunting morning on Oct. 27 in Cedar Lake for Jesse McGarr turned into somewhat of a “big” day.
At close to 7:10 a.m. he shot a doe with his bow from just over 40 yards that weighed 230 pounds on hoof and is estimated to be around 15 years old.
“She ran about 60 yards before going down,” McGarr said. “I knew when I first saw her that she was big and older, but I didn’t know she was that big.”
McGarr, 24 of Lowell, who is strictly a bow hunter, got into deer hunting in 2008 after a friend gave him a bow.
Unfortunately, this doe will not be an official record because Indiana does not keep track of harvested does. But it will be what future large does will be measured against.
“That is the biggest, most massive doe I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Phil Taylor, owner of Realistic Taxidermy and Realistic Processing as well as being an official Indiana deer check station located in Lowell. “Although the state doesn’t keep records on does, I called down to the DNR in Indianapolis and talked with the biologist and also talked with other check stations and nobody has heard of a doe this size. The largest doe I ever heard of was about 159 pounds. I had to check to make sure it wasn’t an antlerless buck. It wasn’t, it was a hundred-percent doe.
“The head is so enormous, it dwarfs any buck’s. I think it was about 15 years old. Its teeth were about all worn down. After doing this for 28 years I see a lot of deer, but nothing close to this. It was so long and so big.”
Taylor mentioned that an average doe weighs between 110 and 115 pounds with larger ones getting up to 130 pounds. Their life expectancy is three to five years.
“He’s (Jesse) hunted a place there that has been kind of untouched,” Taylor said. “Those animals are smart. To live that long and to get that big is really something.”