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Man Finds Massive 200-class Buck Covered In Snapping Turtles

Ty Motsinger knew about a Kentucky buck from 2022 that he hoped to relocate during the 2023 archery season. Ultimately, Ty got his shot at the buck in early September; and he was surprised to find the deer with snapping turtles feeding on it.

Man Finds Massive 200-class Buck Covered In Snapping Turtles

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Heading into the 2023 season, Ty Motsinger was excited to see what the 170-class deer from 2022 had turned into. Focusing his cameras over several mineral sites, Ty received his first picture of the deer on Aug. 1, 2023, in the daylight.

“I guessed him to be in the 180s,” Ty says.

The next time Ty got a picture of the deer was on Aug. 30, and it was taken late at night. With his excitement building and the archery opener just a few days away, Ty knew he would have to get on this deer quick. It wouldn’t be long before his buddies came into town and set up their cameras and began hunting.

“I knew that a deer of this age and size would not come around again if he caught the slightest hint of us being there. I checked my red moon guide, I am a firm believer in it, and a weather front was coming in. The wind was out of the south and the red moon guide said deer movement would be at 6:03 p.m. near the field edges,” Ty says.

Ty decided to hunt the evening of Sept. 5, doing everything that he could for scent control since the wind forecast was marginal for his spot. Ty got in extremely early that afternoon, taking his time and walking slow to reduce his noise and sweating. After getting to his stand overlooking the mineral site, Ty began ranging various landmarks nearby to see what the distances were.

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Around 5:58 p.m. he saw a deer stand up in the bean field. After originally thinking it was a doe, Ty could not believe it when he realized it was the buck he was after. Ty readied his bow as the deer walked in his direction. When the buck got to the edge of the woods, he turned and walked north.

“I thought he would walk to the 28-yard range where there was an opening that I had marked earlier. But he stopped in his tracks with the wind in his face,” Ty says. “But he did not go quite far enough to catch my wind.”

Knowing deer of this caliber are extremely smart, and seeing the buck was coming into the mineral stump with the wind in his face, Ty decided he’d shoot the buck when it cleared two trees between them. Right as the buck got to the two trees, Ty drew his bow and let his arrow fly as the deer entered the opening.




The arrow hit a little high, and Ty watched the buck run off as he sat there shaking from his adrenaline. About five minutes after the buck ran off, other deer began blowing in the field below him. Ty assumed the buck was crashing around and causing other deer to blow.

As Ty caught his composure, he started texting his close friends to let them know that he had shot the deer. A storm front was coming in, but Ty still sat in the tree until 7:30 p.m., knowing that there might not be a blood trail since the arrow did not pass through. With the rain looming, Ty decided to get down from the stand and walk about 50 yards, where he found his arrow lying on the ground.

The arrow had blood approximately 11 inches up the shaft. Ty decided at that moment to make the hard decision to back out and wait until the next morning to track his deer.

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“I did not sleep a wink that night,” Ty says.

Ty went back to track the buck alone the next morning. Knowing it had rained all night and continued to drizzle, Ty went straight to his arrow and headed down the hill towards the bean field. Not knowing which direction the buck went once in the bean field, Ty decided to walk straight across the field looking both ways.

“I thought if he was in the bean field, I would never find him,” Ty recalls.

When he got to the other side of the bean field, Ty looked toward the creek. The water had risen from the rain and was about waist deep, but luckily Ty had his hip waders on. As Ty looked down the creek both ways, he saw the side of a body just barely out of the water. Ty slid down the steep bank and quickly waded out into the creek. When he got up to the deer, there were five or six snapping turtles chewing on it; they scurried off as Ty went to reach for the buck. Reaching below the water, Ty felt the antlers.

“When I pulled them out of the water, I realized that it was him and I never felt so relieved in my life,” Ty says.

After a long drag, Ty loaded him up and stopped to show the buck to some of his friends in town. A few days later, Hunter Schmittou scored the deer at 207 3/8.

“It took me 50 years of hunting to finally kill a 200-class deer with my bow,” Ty says. “Many people dream of accomplishing this goal, and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity.”

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