December 14, 2021
Breaking News Bucks 2021
Carson Putnam comes from a family of serious whitetail hunters. Carson, his father Brad, his mother and two sisters, hunt together as a family each fall. They live in Ohio, where whitetails can get big, really big!
At just 16 years old, Carson has already killed his share of bucks. But the one he shot on the second day of the 2021 youth season may take a while to top.
Carson is a big-time shed hunter in the offseason. He uses the offseason to keep his eyes open for deer sign as winter turns to spring and then to summer. He also has great neighbors; neighbors who share intel. When one of them reported a giant in the area, word spread quickly through the Putnam family. And all were eagerly watching for the elusive buck.
Carson and his father hunted during the archery season and logged many hours in the stand. Both hunters passed on more than one mature buck. They knew something greater was out there, but the big buck proved to be elusive and remained unseen.
Eventually, the rut arrived. And the Putnam family upped their hours outdoors.
Just by chance, Carson’s sister’s boyfriend spotted the heavy-framed buck during the youth season. This small piece of intel put Carson on the right track, but filling his tag was still a tall order.
When Carson finally saw the deer himself, it was late in the day. The buck was out in a field with a group of does over a half-mile away. As he peered through his spotting scope, Carson was sure the deer was far bigger than any he had taken before, but he was still uncertain as to how much larger. So, Carson planned to get closer, and the real hunt began.
The group of deer were milling in and out of a small woodlot—the only cover available in the area. Carson knew this was where he needed to be to take a shot, so he slipped in quietly with Brad and settled in.
Within minutes, the two were staring at a giant non-typical, far bigger than anyone had expected. It was go time!
Carson shouldered his CVA single shot, took aim and fired. The buck soaked up his 450 Bushmaster round and ran back into the woodlot for cover.
Carson and Brad followed the trail, but they jumped the buck out of his death bed. So, they had no choice but toback out and give the buck some time.
After waiting some time, the pair went back after the buck. Upon returning to the woodlot, they bumped the buck and saw that the non-typical wasn’t lethally hit. Carson fired several quick follow-up shots, hitting the buck. Carson and Brad felt the deer would expire quickly, but they decided that the best thing to do would be to wait overnight.
The next morning, Carson and Brad decided that they would increase their odds as much as possible and follow up with a tracking dog. The decision was a smart one, as they recovered the non-typical that morning.
Want to read the full, longer version of Carson’s story? Well, you’ll just have to subscribe to North American Whitetail Magazine and catch the rest of the story in print. The Carson Putnam buck will be one of many big buck feature stories running in 2022.
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