Some nice bucks including this one taken via crossbow by his youngest daughter, Paige.
I spent many a summer afternoon target shooting with my Turbo. However, unlike practice sessions with my vertical bow, it wasn’t so much to get dialed in but more because it was damn fun to shoot.
A quick look around the newly built lodge at Clear Creek provided a clear indication of the quality of bucks we would be chasing.
One of my favorites was the long-tined eight-pointer on the right.
My record quest, however, started off on the wrong foot. Two days of temperatures in the mid-70s–not very conducive to chase-phase buck movement–gave way to a day of tornado warnings. Myself and cameraman Scott Standiford hung in there on stand until the winds picked up and the satellite images on my cell phone indicated that the storms were rapidly headed in our direction. When they hit, they hit hard.
A line of storms, which spawned several tornadoes, makes a bee-line for Ohio.
Standiford climbs into the perch for an afternoon session.
Safety harnesses are a must at Clear Creek–no one is permitted to hunt without one.
Some typical pre-rut activity–a boundary scrape located on an approach trail to our stand. As per usual with boundary scrapes, this one was not revisited during our 4-days in the woods.
It was back to the oak ridges on Thursday and into a 20-foot ladder stand at the head of a deep draw. With an abundance of mast, we seemed to be in the right place.
A decided lack of deer activity on the oak ridges, left me re-thinking my strategy. With temperatures expected to drop to below freezing overnight, I hoped that the deer would stream into this food plot for some fresh greens late in the afternoon. Turnips and brassicas were the drawing cards here.
Turnips and brassicas sweeten once they get hit with frost which had already taken place several times this fall. Here, Cody Frank takes a look at the turnip crop.
Although turnips will be a main drawing card later in the season, the green tops are a deer magnet in early fall.
Purple-top protein
Prevailing winds made us opt for a ground blind stand. The previous day’s storms, however, demanded a pre-hunt rebuild.
Cody “brushes-up” our blind.
This blind, wedged between a couple of round bales, provides an option when breezes change direction.
Confident that we’d spot deer, Standiford and I hunted this blind on our final afternoon.
Sadly, neither our blind nor this unoccupied tree stand did us much good. As evening fell and camera light faded, our hunt was over. In all, it was a poor week in terms of deer movement. Three days of poor weather certainly played a part in messing with our hunt. Of the 12 bowhunters in camp, only a handful of deer were seen during time on stand. Meanwhile, on one evening’s drive alone, Standiford and I spotted 20 between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. including several nice bucks. Tough hunting, but that’s whitetails for you. The season is young.

Record Quest takes to the oak ridges of Ohio for a crossbow date with the Buckeye State’s legendary stud bucks.