December 21, 2022
West Virginia native Brian Lockhart ended a three-year quest on a great Ohio buck in the fall of 2022. Brian had three years’ worth of trail camera pictures of the deer, but he’d always receive pictures of the buck in the summer then the giant would disappear during the hunting season.
During the summer of 2022 the buck blew up, adding on 50-60 inches of antler at 5 years old. With no sheds from the buck or other clues on his whereabouts, Brian decided that when season arrived, he’d hunt a spot on the 70-acre farm that he never really gave much thought to. Brian was eager to hunt the new spot, but an injury late in the summer nearly cost him his chance to hunt the buck.
“I had torn my labrum in my shoulder, which required surgery,” Brian says. “I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to hunt this fall. My doctor is a hunter, and he assured me I’d be able to go once season rolled around.”
Since Brian needed to heal from the surgery, he had his good friend John go into the farm and hang stands for him. This turned out to be a blessing. Finally, Sept. 28 arrived, and Brian was ready to get after the target buck that had eluded him for the past three years.
A cold snap had pushed through the southeast part of Ohio, making conditions ideal. Situated in the “new” part of the farm, Brian felt good about his chances that evening. The first deer to show was a nice 130-class 10-point.
“I then looked down at my phone, looked back up and there the big buck was on the same trail as the young 10 was on,” Brian recalls. “I wasn’t quite ready, so when I was reaching for my bow, he caught me. I thought it was over.”
The stare down lasted nearly eight minutes, and Brian couldn’t move. Finally, after what seemed liked an eternity, the buck turned away for a spit second, giving Brian enough time to grab his Mathews V3 and draw. Brian shot the giant at 16 yards while he was quartering away hard.
Concerned about the shot, Brian decided to wait until the next morning to follow the trail. After returning the next morning with friends, the blood was spotty at first. The group almost gave up the search, but Eric, one of the friends that came along, looked up and said: “There he is!”
“We had been within 25 yards of the dead buck for over an hour,” Brian says. “But the lack of good blood and thick brush made it difficult to find him. We were all elated and blown away at his size.”
The Meigs county, Ohio, giant unofficially grosses 206. A great buck!