• TOO July Buck of the Month: Mike's New Wall Decor

    This month we take another look at a great northern Ohio buck that ended a long quest for a wall hanger. We've all been down that road: Dreams of big bucks draw us to the woods every fall and for some, the wait to harvest one is shorter than it is for others. Some of us have to suffer through some rough seasons; tough ups and downs before we learn the joy that is harvesting a big buck. The 2012 season would be a special one for Mike has he killed the largest buck of his career. Congrats again Mike!

    Good things come to those who wait...

    I had the good fortune of hunting Wednesday, November 28th, right after work. I arrived at the property around 3:30. Just to give you a sense of the property I was hunting, I've attached an aerial photo. The yellow box is the two combined properties I have permission to hunt on. As you can see, there is a limited area of woods. I have three trees that I use my climber in and various places to setup on the ground. All of the property bordering on the west side is county owned and is off limits to hunting. The entire field area and the neighboring property to the north was corn. I did not see many deer while the corn was up.

    I had one trail cam set up and I caught a few small bucks and a doe with fawns on a regular basis. The best buck sign was in the small three acre patch of woods located dead center on the aerial image. This was the best deer sign I had even seen. I knew there was a mature deer using the area and I just had to figure out how he was using it. I discussed the scenario with “Gern” and he gave me some good insight to what was probably going on and how to approach hunting it, which I really appreciated! I hunted many mornings and evenings through out October and November while the corn was up trying to catch him coming or going but our paths never crossed.

    I started hunting the extreme north end of the property right off of the creek near the beginning of the rut. I witnessed my first rut activity from stand. All of the bucks were small and chasing does with fawns. I passed on a few different small bucks and a button buck. There was a lot of season left.

    On Wednesday, November 21st, I setup on the treeline right after work. The corn was down and I was on the ground in my Ghillie suit just south of the three acre woods. This tree line was mangled with new rubs. I knew that the deer liked to bed in the three acre wood on the east side and then they usually headed west to feed in the standing corn planted by Pheasants Forever. That evening I would see two different bucks and three does. I saw the buck that I shot on the 28th approximately 400-500 yards out in the CRP to the south west. He came out right at dark with a doe while I was getting ready to head to the van. Still in Ghillie suit, I crouched down and watched him. I let out some loud grunts and he started coming towards me! Legal hunting time was over, but it was pretty cool that he came towards my call before disappearing back into the field.

    On Wednesday, November 28th, I decided to start on the North end and stalk the entire treeline south all the way to the three acre woods; see the red line in the image. I didn't see a single deer as I slowly made my way to my destination. As I started to walk into the woods, I saw a massive new scrape and some new rubs on larger diameter trees. I ever so quietly walked to the X and setup behind a downed Ash tree. This is where I really learned from my mistakes in past season. In the past I would usually keep stalking until I spooked deer thinking I would see them before they would hear me. After ten minutes I saw a deer. I put up my binoculars and I saw a doe and then I saw HIM. I could not believe it. I'm finally looking at the buck that has been eluding me for so long. I watched him as they walked all the way to the east of that little woods. That distance is approximately 150 yards. I contemplated attempting a 150 yards shot a few different times. I had him in my sights but I talked myself out of it knowing full well I would probably miss and end the hunt.

    As I sit there watching these two deer pace North and South, I started seeing more deer. There was another smaller 8 pt. and more does. I don't know if they winded me or they were just staging and getting ready for the evening. After what seemed like hours, they all start moving west towards me. Then they all began to trot and HE was number four in line. There were at least a dozen deer bedded in that small wood l lot. I had a lock on him. Would he run right by me? Would I make an attempt at a moving target? No! He stopped at forty yards, facing me, and let some of the others run right by him as if he was a hall monitor. I had my gun steadied and rested on the downed Ash tree and my sight was on his brisket. BAAAM! I hit him perfectly with my Remington Accutip 3” 12ga. Slug and he went straight down and would not get up again. I got light headed as I replayed the event. It happened so quick, but in slow motion. I called my good friend Mark, who introduced me to hunting, and with a shaky voice I replayed the events. Even though I didn't reach my goal of harvesting this buck with an arrow, it was special in so many ways. Thanks for letting me share this day.

    Comments 18 Comments
    1. hickslawns's Avatar
      hickslawns -
      Awesome re-cap! I enjoyed reading it again! Congrats again Mike!
    1. Diane's Avatar
      Diane -
      Excellent job, Mike! He sure is nice!
    1. Boarhead's Avatar
      Boarhead -
      Congrats on your best deer hopefully they will just keep getting bigger.Like the board it is attached on.
    1. finelyshedded's Avatar
      finelyshedded -
      Very nice read Mike! Congrats on taking your best buck to date TOO! Your mount looks great and love your homemade plaque as well! Thanks for sharing.
    1. Fluteman's Avatar
      Fluteman -
      I forgot how great a story that was. Nice write-up, and congrats again on your vest buck to date!
    1. Curran's Avatar
      Curran -
      Great stuff Mike & congrats again on a stud of a buck!!

      "It happened so quick, but in slow motion." - That's a perfect description about the moment of truth!
    1. Archertl's Avatar
      Archertl -
      way to go mike.
    1. dante322's Avatar
      dante322 -
      congrats again. great deer! Awesome mount too!
    1. cotty16's Avatar
      cotty16 -
      Can deer season get here already?! This gives me the itch even more.
    1. xbowguy's Avatar
      xbowguy -
      Very Nice Buck Mike! Glad to see you get the one you were wanting.
    1. aholdren's Avatar
      aholdren -
      Great read, and an awesome buck Mike.
    1. Big_Holla's Avatar
      Big_Holla -
      Great stuff!! Congrats!!
    1. Big_Holla's Avatar
      Big_Holla -
      Great read!!
    1. Full bore's Avatar
      Full bore -
      Great story, Mike! Hope you have another successful season TOO.
      Love your mount!
    1. swantucky's Avatar
      swantucky -
      Great read!!
    1. RedCloud's Avatar
      RedCloud -
      Congrats again Mike on an awesome buck.
    1. MK111's Avatar
      MK111 -
      Congrats and good read.
    1. rgecko23's Avatar
      rgecko23 -
      Great read, and that mount is fantastic