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Ohio Hunter Arrows 211-Inch Giant After 2-Year Chase

A family deer drive in 2021 showed where the giant buck lived. Avery Stump spent the next two years learning the deer's habits
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ohio giant buck two year chase
Avery Stump with the 19-point buck. Courtesy Avery Stump

It took him nearly two years of legwork, but on Nov. 11, Avery Stump notched his tag on a giant, 200-class buck in north-central Ohio. The 19-year-old hunter tells Outdoor Life that he first got eyes on the buck in the fall of 2021 during a deer drive on his family’s private property in Wyandot County.

“The buck [we] saw pop up and then disappear in cover was far bigger than anything we expected to see,” Stump says. “I wanted to figure out that buck and take it. So, my family stayed out of the place we saw him while I learned his habits.”

He started right away, placing cellular trail cameras in the area that same week. Stump found a lowland spot with tall grass, thick cover, and briers, which he figured the buck was using as a bedding area. With his cameras in place, he stayed away from the spot last fall.

“I didn’t want to just go plowing in there, so I gave him space and never hunted what I believed was his sanctuary bedding area,” he says. “I walked the whole area later after [the 2022-23] hunting season to learn what he was all about. I found old scrapes and his rub lines, and got more cameras placed.”

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Using the Buckmasters scoring system, the buck was given an official score of 211 5/8. Courtesy Toby Hughes / Buckmasters of Ohio

By the time the spring of 2023 rolled around, he heard a rumor that a big buck had been shot in the area. He never could confirm if it was the same buck he was busy patterning, but for months he worried the deer of his dreams was gone. Finally, in July, his target buck showed itself on camera again.

By the time archery season rolled around in September, Stump was climbing into his tree stand on opening morning at daybreak. While climbing in the near dark, the ladder made a loud cracking sound. He figured the jig was up.

“I just froze, knowing I was close to the bedding area and the buck could be nearby. And it was just enough light that I could see a deer silhouette at 40 yards. I didn’t know for sure if it was the big buck, but then it moved away, and I hunted the stand,” Stump says. “I never had any photos of the deer whatsoever for three weeks. Just nothing. He disappeared.”

Thinking he’d blown his opportunity for the season, Stump moved his cell cams to another family hunting property about a mile down the road. Within two days he’d captured photos of a different buck—a big 9-point—and he decided to hunt there on Nov. 10.

Sitting in a ground blind that afternoon, Stump rattled and grunted to try and draw a buck into range. Pretty soon he watched one step out from 50 yards, hot on a doe’s trail. He took a closer look and expected to see the 9-pointer. Instead, he was staring at the giant buck he’d been patterning since 2021. He could see the hairs on its back bristling up.

“His head was down tracking that doe, but the shot angle was poor,” Stump says. “So, I passed.”

His confidence restored, Stump went back to the same spot with his buddy Alex Lachner the following afternoon. After quietly moving into the area and climbing a tree, the two hunters were set up in their tree saddles by 3 p.m. Lachner sat above Stump to film the hunt.

“We’d barely gotten set up for hunting when we spotted the buck coming to us from a corn field at 200 yards,” Stump says. “We watched him make a scrape, work through some thick stuff, and then make two rubs at 90 yards. Then he disappeared.”

That’s when the 9-pointer showed up to challenge the massive buck. The hunters listened as the two whitetails locked antlers.

“We couldn’t see them, but we could sure hear the racks banging, and the brush crashing about 100 yards away. Then the big buck showed, moving very slow, and he looked really whipped from the fight with that 9-pointer. We saw him lay down and take a nap for about 10 minutes.”

ohio giant buck two year chess match
The rack had 27-inch mainbeams and an inside spread of 22 1/8 inches. Courtesy Toby Hughes / Buckmasters of Ohio

Around 5 p.m., Stump and Lachner watched as the buck stood up and walked straight toward them. When the buck got to 45 yards, Stump drew his bow. The sound of the arrow nicking the arrow rest made the deer stop for a moment, but then it walked closer and gave him a quartering away shot at 30 yards.

Read Next: Ohio Bowhunter Tags Tall 10-Point, and Finally Bests His Old Man

He released and sent the fixed-blade broadhead through both of the deer’s lungs. The giant buck took a few steps and fell dead at 5:15 p.m.

Stump says it wasn’t an especially large-bodied buck, and judging from its teeth, he guesses it was around 4 years old. The deer’s rack is enormous, however, with 19 points in total. Buckmasters scorer Toby Hughes measured the buck using the BTR system and gave it an official score of 211 5/8 inches.