On Nov. 7th, while driving home from work, I saw the monster with a hot doe in an open field about a mile from my stand. I had already scheduled vacation from work to hunt the next day, and I couldn’t wait to get in my tree.
Nov. 8th I arrived at the stand a half hour before light. I put out 2 buck tarsal glands and a wick soaked with my favorite scent. I climbed up into the stand, got settled in and heard something immediately. I searched in the dark and made out movement coming from a thicket downwind of me. I could make out a large deer with a heavy rack.
He came in to 20 yards, smelled my scent wick, turned around and went back the way he came. It was still too dark; all I could do was sit and hope he would come back when it got light.
Dawn broke and about 7:30 I spotted movement in a thicket in front of me. I could see a doe walking in my direction, and I could hear clicking sounds. I have heard this called a buck's tending grunts coming from behind a doe.
I saw a tail flicker about 30 yards behind the doe. I knew it was a buck, but I couldn’t tell how big. The doe came up to my scent wick, got antsy and bolted about 30 yards. She finally calmed down, came back to the trail and cautiously made her way past me.
This entire time the buck stayed back in the thicket and never moved. Once the doe was past me, he started moving in my direction. When he got to about 35 yards he came into a small clearing. I saw the drop tine and realized it was the local legend!
My adrenaline really kicked in, but I told myself to keep it together, the moment of truth was coming. The buck cautiously made his way on the same path the doe had walked. This area was very thick, so I had no worry that the buck would see me draw the bow.
When he went behind a tree I came to full draw and looked ahead of him for a shooting lane. I saw a spot about 2 feet in diameter 22 yards out, and I waited for the buck to walk into it. As soon as he did I stopped him with a soft mouth grunt, settled the pin behind his shoulder and let it go.
The arrow found its mark and the buck turned and ran back into the thicket where he came from. He ran about 40 yards and stopped. I could see half my Carbon Express arrow sticking out. The huge buck looked around for 2 seconds, and crashed down right there where he stood. I was in complete disbelief and praised God numerous times.
Then I hollered to myself, “Holy S---! I just shot the legend!"
I called a couple of long-time hunting friends to help me get the monster out of the woods. After checking in the deer and hanging it up at home, I had about 60 people come to my house throughout the day and night to see him.
I've been told this buck will be the all-time largest bow kill in our county after the 60-day drying period is up.
Tale of the tape: 9-point frame with 4 abnormal points including 5-1/2” drop tine; mass measurements total 49"; rack alone weighs right at 9 pounds; 16-1/2” inside spread with outside over 20”; main beam lengths, 26" and 27"; green-score 186” gross NT and 173” net—not bad for a basic 9-point; field-dressed 245 pounds; aged at 6-1/2. Thanks, Chad Moore
Chad: Fantastic! Superb scouting and hunting all those years. To me the keys to your hunt:
- You kept your eyes open while driving to work and such, spotted the monster multiple times throughout the years and ultimately pinned down his core area; most bucks have small home ranges that shrink even more when they get 5 or 6 years old like your bruiser.
- You got permission to the new farm; fearing rejection from landowners, too many guys don’t ask; they keep hunting the same old spots and usually don’t get the big one like you did.
- You didn’t let the road worry you; you hung your stand nearby because there was little hunting pressure and you figured that is where you might get a shot—perfect!
- You chose a stand spot where doe trails curled through heavy thickets—excellent setup for bowhunting the rut anywhere in the U.S.
- You set out a trail cam and got a killer picture. You not only knew the giant was working near your stand, but now you had the utmost confidence to hunt that spot. As I’ve said before confidence is huge, especially in archery.
- You resisted the urge to hunt the buck too early; you went to your stand in the November rut, which tripled your chances of seeing that 6-year-old animal on his hooves in daylight.
- You set out buck/doe lure, which is always a good idea in the rut; doesn’t work all the time, but sure worked to attract deer near your stand.
- You picked up those “clicking grunts,” knew a buck was behind the doe and got ready.
- Also, great shot setup and execution.
An old, thick-racked animal like your Ohio monster is one of the best in my book. Nothing cooler than gnarly mass! Plus, he's got that drop-tine that has alluded me all these years, and which is still at the very core of my obsession. Envy :)
Great job man!