Just about every serious deer hunter has a mental image of what they’d consider to be the perfect buck. For many whitetail fanatics, it’s the vision of an evenly sculpted typical rack with extra-long tines and jaw-dropping width that causes heart failure. Other hunters might prefer a non-typical monster that is carrying pop-can-thick bases with multiple kickers, stickers, drops and unbelievable mass. As a hunter, it can be extremely difficult to decide between a giant typical and gnarly non-typical rack, especially when you’re talking about choosing a whitetail that represents the ultimate dream buck.
However, a dedicated bowhunter named Stanley Suda from southern Ohio has never really struggled with this decision. At an early age, he imagined and even sketched on paper his dream buck. In fact, when Suda was only 16 years old, the young hunter actually designed a model of a bruiser non-typical buck with 29 points that he proudly had tattooed on his arm. After years of tirelessly combing the Buckeye State for a dream buck, Suda was finally able to come face to face with the ultimate whitetail this past October. Here is an inside look at how Suda pinpointed, patterned and tagged a super-sized non-typical buck of 10 lifetimes.
Chasing a Dream
At the age of 13, Suda entered the bowhunting brotherhood after arrowing his first whitetail buck. Since striking first blood, Suda has taken an impressive number of top-heavy giants with his bow. For example, back in 2003 he smoked a massive 15-point bonehead that scored around 173 during an October hunt. This particular buck made Suda think that it was actually possible for average, everyday hunters to consistently tag trophy-class monsters with the right game plan.
In October of 2006, Suda hit pay-dirt once again with a second 15-point bruiser that grossed just under 170. Over the course of the next few seasons, the massive antlers kept piling up for Suda, which confirmed his theory. However, despite all of his success, the diehard bowhunter still had not encountered a buck that looked anything like the heavy-racked non-typical that was tattooed on his arm. Like most of us, Suda began to wonder if the buck that haunted his dreams would ever pass by his stand on a cool fall morning.
During the summer of 2011, Suda and his good friend, Joshua Montgomery, decided to start River Valley Leasing & Outfitting near their homes in southern Ohio. They were very familiar with the land and both hunters had consistently harvested trophy-class whitetails from the area. The following spring, Suda and Montgomery began searching for potential mega-buck hotspots for future clients. It didn’t take very long for the two friends to gain access to several prime hunting locations.
As they continued searching for target-rich environments, the hunters discovered a farm with unbelievable potential. For the past 16 years, the owners of this phenomenal property had not permitted any type of deer hunting. Needless to say, the farm was loaded with top-heavy giants that frequently used the protected area as a safe zone to escape periods of intense hunting pressure. Without hesitation, Suda and Montgomery leased the property with their good friend Don Macintosh.
Consequently, all three hunters had heard countless stories about a legendary whitetail that had frequently been seen in the area. Stories of a ghost-like shadow buck with multiple drop tines, countless points and super-thick mass grabbed Suda’s attention. Many hunters from surrounding farms knew all about the mammoth buck with heavy headgear. With a little bit of digging, Suda found out that a neighboring hunter actually missed the buck the year before with a bow and another guy had found one of its extra-large sheds.
As you can imagine, Suda began to accept the possibility that he had finally found his dream buck. After capturing several trail camera photos of the monster that summer, Suda immediately dedicated the upcoming 2012 season to this very special deer. There was no doubt that this southern Ohio super-sized buck was a whitetail of 10 lifetimes and Suda was more than ready to hit the woods.
The Moment of Truth
According to Suda, his dream buck suddenly stopped showing up on the numerous Moultrie trail cameras he had placed across the property.
“I quickly realized the whitetail had moved onto a neighboring farm with soybean fields. As a result, my friends and I strategically planted several food plots that would help keep the buck on our property after the soybeans had turned brown. Hopefully, this move would give me an edge over all the other hunters in the area (who) were also dying to tag the giant,” explained Suda.
When the 2012 archery season opened, Suda was unable to hunt the stand that he felt would probably produce a close encounter with his dream buck due to the wind direction. Finally, on Oct. 5, the conditions were perfect and everything seemed to fall into place. An approaching cold front coupled with a full moon and the right wind direction was exactly what Suda needed to go after his dream buck.
“I climbed into the stand just before 3 p.m., and after a few short hours deer began filtering into the isolated food plot. A small basket-racked buck and several does were feeding in the field and I had a gut feeling that things were finally going to come together. About an hour later, I suddenly heard two muffled grunts directly behind my stand. Within minutes, a slick-headed doe bolted out of the thick cover with my dream buck right on her tail,” recalled Suda.
As the pair rapidly approached his stand, the hunter frantically grabbed his bow and began preparing himself for the moment of truth. Unfortunately, the wide-racked buck stopped directly beneath Suda’s tree and began sniffing the ladder steps. At this point, there was a good chance the hunt would end in disaster. Luckily for Suda, the doe entered the food plot and began feeding, which instantly grabbed the buck’s attention.
“After what seemed to be an eternity, the buck finally turned to his left and started entering the field,” Suda said. “Now, the heavy-tined bruiser was standing merely 15 yards away, but some small limbs were blocking my shot. Anxiously, I waited for the monster to take a few more steps and give me the shot that I’ve been waiting for my entire life.
“At full draw, I steadied my pin and released an arrow that would change everything for me as a hunter. The shot was perfect and I watched my dream buck run across the field and pile-up about 20 yards inside the wood line. This was definitely my finest moment in the treestand.”
Suda’s super buck carries 29 scoreable points, 6 drop tines and an incredible 23 3/8-inch inside spread. In addition, this southern Ohio brawler also sports unbelievable mass and palmation features that just make it look mean! Without question, Suda’s non-typical monster is truly a buck of 10 lifetimes and is expected to score somewhere between 230 and 240. Be sure to follow us online, and we’ll keep you updated on the official score after the mandatory drying period.
- Knowing I couldn’t even come to my knees without breaking the little concealment we had, I decided to lie on my left side, using my left elbow for as solid a rest as could be achieved within the slight incline of the old fencerow. But when I shouldered the rifle, the sight of the crosshairs oriented at a 10-4 o’clock angle was definitely a different look from the normal 12-6 position we all practice from. Even so, I didn’t figure that would matter if I aimed at the right spot and squeezed off a clean shot. I settled the crosshairs where I needed to place the bullet and steadied the rifle. Whispering “fire in the hole” while floating the crosshairs on the spot, I gently squeezed the trigger until the recoil removed the buck from my view. Read the full story.