“Like so many big bucks, this buck seemed to only show up on a trail camera and not in front of any nearby eyeballs. He would only be glimpsed at the far end of a field just at dark or in some other safe non-hunting situation. Once he had his picture taken he was given a name, and a fitting one at that. Although a few guys on the lease had seen him the one to finally tag his ear had never seen this brute until a week before the memorable hunt. The good news, said Brian Baker, is that that hunter was me.” After I’d seen the pic of this grand buck at a wild game banquet where I spoke I asked to write the story. Like all pictures today, it was on an iPhone. Brian sketched out the story and I polished it.
The landowner had two sets of sheds from “Biggy Boy” that were both found on the 800 acre Ohio farm in Harrison County. This county is home to a lot of public land. There is over 14,000 acres of public land in the southern end of this county alone. This is home to the three Muskingum watershed lakes, Egypt Valley and Jockey Hollow. Each of these locations offers public access and hunting. This is Whitetailing’s best-kept confidential info.
I was so impressed with this region that I bought a farm there last fall and put in food plots just last week. Outstanding bucks are here in abundance and unlike Illinois where the DNR is busy walking us to the poor house Ohio DNR set license prices that even an outdoor writer can afford. Ohio licenses are less than $150 over the counter. You might want to look into it. Back to Brian’s story…
After twenty-five years of hunting, this animal still fired me up, not that I hunted harder or longer but just the notion that a real hog was on the prowl made every hunt more interesting. I normally took off the second week of November but his year I’d have to settle for long weekends when I’d burn up Fridays and Mondays in the field.
During the first two weekends, I missed two nice ten-pointers. One miss was the result of an arrow deflecting off a branch and the other by miscalculating the distance. Both shots were real doers but I’d had some bad luck. At least there were no wounded deer as a result. One of my bowhunting buddies claimed he’d noticed a “loose nut behind the riser.”
There is a unique swath of tangled timber on the west side of the farm where a tornado went through. Now that it was regrowing, it was a dog hair thicket that everyone recognized as sanctuary and stayed out. On a Monday the 15th of November, I set up on the west side of the tornado swath near a natural spring. About an hour before dark several does came in to drink. They were followed by a basket eight with incredible thick beams. It was great to see unalarmed deer walking 50 yards from my stand.
Soybeans had been recently harvested from the field behind the spring and the field had recently been chisel plowed. As I stared at the field, something on my right caught my attention and a doe showed up with a great 10-point buck in tow. I began to tense my string when I noticed a buck running a doe out in the field. It was Biggy Boy. I waited hoping he would chase her into range but it wasn’t the day.
“I stayed in the tree for over an hour after dark and while waiting I noticed the deer seemed to be licking something out in the plowed field. I wasn’t able to figure it out until the next hunt. The following Friday I was back and hunted a remote valley in the AM saving the plowed field for the evening hunt. I showered after the AM hunt and got ready for my last chance at Biggy Boy. I find scent suppression one of the most important parts of whitetail bowhunting. It was the end of my vacation days and it was 11:59. It was today or nothing. I slipped into a flat that I’d identified as a staging area and set my stand. It looked like they would pass through here on the way to the field.
I stepped over to the field edge and saw what they’d been munching on the week before. There were tiny clover plants emerging and they were very interested in them. I got comfortable in my climber and right at sunset the heavy racked 8 showed up. I reflected on the week before when Biggie Boy showed up right after him. Five minutes later a basket 8 and the nice ten-pointer I’d seen the week before meandered into the flat and began to nose the leaves looking for acorns.
Then the lead actor showed up at 80 yards and stared at the bucks below me. I was motionless. Then he came in. At 25 yards he stopped and the ten point turned to stare at me. I thought I was toast but then he swung his head to look at Biggy Boy. That is when I drew my bow. After a long squeeze, the arrow took flight and I heard the thump.
I pulled up my binocs to watch him and he stumbled at only 80 yards. He collapsed and I trembled. Next I left out an Indian yelp that was reportedly heard in two adjoining counties. I called for assistance and my buddies brought the Kubota. I sat there and kept my eyes closed for most of the 45 minutes it took them to arrive.
My buddies had texted everyone in Harrison County and they were waiting for me when we got to the farmhouse. Bowhunting is way too much fun.
Brian tagged this monster because he was persistent and he relied on scent suppression. I too rely on scent suppression and have found Sport-Wash detergent and Sport-Wash Hair and Body Soap by ATSKO to be effective in removing body odor. Paying attention to details pays big dividends. See you in Ohio.
For total Scent Control go to: ATSKO Sport-Wash