December 14, 2022
By Clifford Neames
After getting some new ground to hunt, Carson Putnam set up a ladder stand in August; and there was no debate about where it needed to go. “There is only one tree on the whole place,” Carson chuckles. “So, I set it up. And I added a cell cam to find out what might be there.”
If Carson’s name seems familiar, you have probably seen the story of his huge non-typical from last season. We featured it online (read here) then, and then we ran a longer version in the November 2022 issue of North American Whitetail magazine. He’s been on a streak lately!
On September 26th, he decided to refresh that camera during a break from an after-school activity, revealing a huge surprise. A giant buck was standing just five yards in front of his stand, during daylight in the middle of the afternoon. The deer had double split brow tines and a huge 10-point frame. The game was on!
With a little effort, Carson managed to talk his parents into letting him leave school early the next day. “I really wanted this buck,” Carson says. “I wanted it bad!”
He made it to the tree stand by 4:00 p.m., and the vigil began. “I didn’t move a muscle for an hour and a half,” he says. “Nothing was happening, so I decided to stand up and stretch.” While he was facing the tree, he heard something walking in the CRP, just off to his right.
“I didn’t want to move, but I wanted to see what it was,” Carson adds. “Then I spotted Splitz, the buck I was there for!”
The giant buck had worked his way out into the standing corn and was thrashing stalks with his massive antlers. Carson ranged him at 34 yards as he reached for his crossbow. Then the deer stepped into a clear spot, and Carson squeezed the trigger.
“The buck made a loud roar,” Carson explains. “Then he ran 10 yards deeper into the corn and crashed!”
Carson spent the next hour sending messages to family and friends. Then, he went into the corn to recover his trophy.
“When I walked up on him, the rack looked small, because his body was so big,” Carson says. “But I knew I had another monster when I put my hands on that rack!”
The big buck scores 185 3/8 green. Two giant Ohio bucks in less than a year has to be living the dream for a fellow only 17 years old!