Deer hunting virtues like patience, perseverance, and dedication are often rewarded for those willing to stay in the treestand, especially during the magical November rut. Jared Horner of Blanchester Ohio spent three years of his life chasing a giant non-typical buck that routinely haunted his dreams. During this period, he had several close encounters with the top-heavy bruiser, but the buck always managed to make all of the right moves.

On November 12, Horner found himself spending his vacation days back in his dream buck’s stomping ground. A recent shoulder injury had the Ohio hunter packing a Horton crossbow instead of his old compound bow on this particular trip. Just two days prior to this hunt, he spotted the monster buck about 600 yards away in an opening across the field. Once again, the buck was safely out of range and Horner began to wonder if this three-year journey would ever come to an end. His memory of that hunt was suddenly interrupted when he spotted a buck slowly working its way down the fencerow. After temporarily losing sight of the deer, Horner was relieved when the buck cautiously stepped out of the opening in the fence.

Three years of anticipation and waiting caused a surge of emotion to overtake Horner’s mind. He couldn’t believe his dream buck was standing within 30 yards munching on a pile of corn dropped by the farmer’s combine. All at once, the buck turned his head to look back across the field and Horner was given the shot he had worked so hard for. A gentle squeeze of the trigger sent a screaming arrow flying toward the buck’s kill zone and an echoing smack confirmed the hit. The buck only ran about 20 yards before crashing into the thick underbrush of a nearby woodlot. For Jared Horner, three years of suffering had finally paid off with a massive 17-point bruiser with forked G2’s that would green score 199 4/8. Congratulations Jarred for reaching the end of a long journey and a hard earned trophy-class buck.–Travis Faulkner