The 2016 season was one I won’t soon forget! I had high hopes heading into the fall, with tags for Ohio, Illinois, Kansas and a Media Tag for Iowa! My target buck at home looked like he was finally going to crack the 170” mark after passing him the last 2 years, but after having him at 10 yards in my Whitetail Institute food plot I couldn’t pull the trigger on him. He’s a big, wide 10 point with split brows that are actually his longest points. I think he’s 5 now, maybe 6 and still looks like he needed 1 more year before he really blows up into something special.
That was really the best buck I had on camera at home, so I headed to Iowa early in the season. After 3 trips to the Hawkeye state, I saw a ton of great animals but never really saw what I was looking for. I did pass on a buck that was pushing the 170 mark, but he looked young and my landowner/friend did not want me shooting anything under 5-6 years of age. In late October I had a giant show up in Kansas on trail cam, and I immediately drove out to Kris Seymour’s house on Halloween. The buck was on a new farm, but in the general area I have been hunting the last 5 years. It took all week, hanging new cameras and 4 new stands but I finally ran into the giant on November 5th! He officially grossed 218” and netted 208”, my best buck to date! The complete story will be in the September issue of North American Whitetail this fall.
I wrapped up my season back in Ohio, never making it to Illinois, and managed to film my nephew Logan harvest his target animal. Logan’s deer was a big, wide 8 point we have been watching for a couple years and finally connected last season, coming into another one of my Whitetail Institute food plots!