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Steve DeMeulenaere, Ohio

When it comes to taking a world-class buck, the sad truth is that most whitetail hunters find themselves wishing their lives away. Steve DeMeulenaere of Wadsworth, Ohio, thought he might end up being one of those eternally disappointed sportsmen — then, on Dec. 3, 1998, he crossed paths with this monster. The huge 5x5 has a 22 7/8-inch inside spread, and a measurer for the Buckeye Big Buck Club came up with a net score of 179 1/8. "I had been trying for a buck like this for 22 years, and although I had been teased many a time, I never gave up," Steve says. "Dreams do come true."

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