Adams County, Ohio, may well have produced more B&C bucks during the 2006 season than any other county in the nation. While the Amish "Lucky" buck and the Metzner buck stole the headlines, at least three other B&C whitetails and one monster buck that didn't qualify for the record book hailed from this big-buck stronghold.
Brian Hayslip of Blue Creek, Ohio, saw this 214 3/8-inch "dream" buck numerous times before he finally connected on Nov. 27, 2006, opening morning of the Ohio firearms season.
The 588 square miles that make up Adams County have long enjoyed an abundant acorn crop, mild winters and vigorous wildlife enforcement. In recent years local deer hunters also have become very selective about what they harvest. This all came together enough in the fall of 2006 to perhaps borrow the title "the whitetail capital of the world" from places like Pike County, Illinois, and award it to Adams County!
BRIAN HAYSLIP'S "HOMEBODY" BUCK
Brian, who lives in Adams County, first spotted this giant 20-point non-typical not far from his home on his way back from the county fair in late July. "He looked like he already had some velvet peeling from his antlers," Brian recalled.
The next time Brian saw the buck was in August in a nearby field. "When I saw him again, I knew the rack was huge," Brian said.
Then Brian spotted the buck twice in September. Several neighbors were also aware of the big non-typical.
"A couple of kids had seen him, but I don't think anyone believed what they were telling people."
Brian was unable to hunt from a tree stand last fall when bow season opened because of an ankle injury. "So I drove my 4-wheeler to the top of a hill and started hunting on the ground in a downed treetop."
Brian next saw the buck late one evening during the second week of bow season. "He was in some thick cut timber. I could only see the top of his shoulder as he walked past and I couldn't get a clear shot."
Brian saw the buck again in November as it courted two does. "They came around the point and I watched them a few minutes before they walked out of sight."
Brian was hunting in a 15-acre logged out hollow near Shawnee State Forest. The hollow was thick with second growth saplings and greenbriers. "I think the old buck had found a home in there," Brian said.
On Nov. 27, 2006, opening morning of the Ohio firearms season, Brian saw only three does and a small buck. After lunch he went back to the same hollow that he had hunted all season long. "About 2 p.m. the buck came out of a thicket of cut timber that I'm sure he'd been staying in for most of the fall. He trotted along the hillside toward the point. When he got to within about 60 yards, I aimed and fired. He ran to the other side of the point and went down."
Brian was hunting with a Remington Model 870 12-gauge smoothbore with open sights. "The minute I saw him go down I started thinking, Well, I finally got my dream buck!"
Brian had always observed this buck in the same fairly small area. In fact, he shot it only a few hundred yards from the spot where he had first seen the deer the evening he was returning home from the county fair. With a total of 20 points, the main-framed 5x6 giant had 47 inches in abnormal points. Brian's "homebody" buck from Adams County netted 214 3/8 non-typical B&C points.
THE ANDY LINTZ "FUNNEL" BUCK
Andy, who lives in Otway, Ohio (just east of Adams County), was also hunting on opening day of the 2006 firearms season (Nov. 27). He was hunting on a farm near Brush Creek State Forest. Andy's uncle, Randy Hilterbran, had seen a huge 10-point buck in this same area just after muzzleloader season ended in 2005.
Andy recently had taken a job as "pee-wee" football coach for McDermott Elementary School and this had greatly limited his bow hunting during the fall of '06. "I only got to hunt a couple of days in bow season," said Andy. "I saw a small 8-pointer, but never saw the big deer."
The remote area Andy was hunting was a natural funnel for deer. "It's in a deep hollow and the deer have to come around the edge of a steep hillside to get through it," Andy said. "We knew a good buck was using the area but it was tough to hunt. It took me an hour just to get to my stand."
On that memorable morning Andy didn't see anything until around 10 a.m. "I thought I heard something behind me, so I stood up and here came two does. The does kept looking back. Following them were four small bucks."
The big 10-pointer was bringing up the rear when Andy spotted him. "He was probably 40 yards behind the other bucks," Andy said. "A doe had stopped and urinated on the ground and every buck stopped to smell that spot. He walked up to that spot and turned, looking right at me. He was about 50 yards away. I had the scope on him but I was shaking when I squeezed the trigger and he jumped and went over the hill."
Andy waited about 10 minutes before getting down from his stand and walked over to where the buck had been standing. "While I was standing there looking for signs of a hit, I saw the white belly of deer behind a tree," Andy said. "When I started moving around to get a better look, he jumped up and ran into the hollow. So I popped over the knoll and there he was at 40 yards, sneaking away. I whistled and he stopped, and I dropped him in his tracks."
Andy was shooting an H&R single-shot Ultra Slug shotgun with a scope. Andy's great buck was a main-framed 5x5 with one additional 2-inch sticker on his left brow. Both brow tines measured 9 inches. In fact, Andy's uncle recognized the Adams County giant as being the same 5x5 he had seen in 2005 because of the deer's long, curved brow tines. With three tines over 11 inches in length, and less than 3 inches in deductions for side-to-side symmetry, Andy's buck scored 180 1/8 typical points.
GEORGE DOTSON'S "BAD BOY" RUTTING GIANT
George Dotson, who owns a local archery shop in Adams County, shot a massive 10-pointer on Oct. 27 last year. George thinks he first saw his buck in 2004. "I'm not 100 percent certain it was him, but the rack of the buck I saw had a lot of similarities."
George spotted the buck three times during the 2005 hunting season.
"I had one opportunity during the '05 bow season, but he was out too far and I didn't take the shot," said George. "I hunted
him the rest of the year and jumped him once, but I didn't see him again until gun season. Some guys were shooting at him and I saw him run across a field. Luckily, they missed!"
The farm George was hunting consists of rolling hills, open cropland and several weedy hollows that are all connected with brushy fencerows. These fencerows are favorite travel routes for deer. "When I saw that buck bolt from a thicket last gun season and run along the fencerow, I made up my mind right then that I was going to put a stand there."
George saw the deer six times in 2006. The buck was using a standing cornfield as a bedding area. "I saw him coming across an open area early in the season and he was always going into the corn," said George. "The closest I ever got to him before I shot him on Oct. 27 was probably 80 yards as he was coming out of the corn."
George finally caught up with the huge buck on a foggy, overcast morning in late October. "I put some buck lure in several of his scrapes and got in the stand with a set of rattling antlers that morning," George said. "The antlers were big and loud, but by 8:30 I hadn't seen a thing. Then I thought I saw a coyote. I left my field glasses at home, and I couldn't tell for sure because the object was probably a quarter of a mile away.
"I rattled the horns pretty loud to try and bring in the coyote (if it was a coyote). The animal would stop and listen but it never got far from the edge of the corn. When it got to the end of the cornfield it came running across the open area, and that's when I realized it was a big buck."
The buck started closing in on George, and every few steps he would tear up some brush and saplings.
"I couldn't see him anymore when he got into the thick
stuff, so I started using a grunt call," George said. "I used that for several minutes, but after 15 or 20 minutes I still couldn't see him, so I gave up on the grunt call.
"I had pretty much given up on seeing him again and I was about to get down. But then I happened to look at a tree in the field near the fencerow, and there he was, walking stiff-legged with his hair all bristled out. He got into some saplings and started raking them and breaking them off and throwing them over his head. He was pawing the ground and getting mad and ready for a fight. I really had him fooled!
"I got the bow up and ready. It took him several minutes to get within range. He was moving slow and stiff-legged. He kept looking across the fence. He was probably 12 to 15 yards from me when I triggered the release. Just as the arrow left the bow, I saw the buck turn and I thought I had blown it. I closed my eyes. I knew it was probably the only opportunity I would ever have for this particular deer."
When George finally opened his eyes, the arrow was not in
the ground and the deer was pushing hard through the thick
brush. "I saw about four inches of arrow sticking out of him and I got a sick feeling," George said. "Then I sat down and collected my thoughts. That arrow is 30 inches long, I thought. Since it's still in him, it has to be in the heart-lung area."
"It started to rain so I got down. I didn't go 40 yards before I saw the white belly of a deer. When I got up within 20 yards I saw my arrow. The deer had gone less than 100 yards. While cleaning him I found that my arrow had gone through his heart."
George was using a BowTech Allegiance, with Easton arrows and a Muzzy broadhead. The main-framed 5x5 had 4 tines over 10 inches in length. The huge buck also had 4 abnormal burr points. The massive rack grossed 187 and netted 174 5/8 typical points after deductions.
JAN MILLARD'S CROSSBOW MONSTER
Avid whitetail hunter Jan Millard of Paulin, Ohio, (Fayette County) was severely injured 16 years ago when a fall from a tree stand fractured his neck and shattered his left shoulder. Doctors told him his bowhunting days were over. For the next 14 years Jan hunted with a light compound bow and he limited his shots to less than 20 yards. In 2005 a painful bone spur developed in his left shoulder and it was time for the surgery that he had put off for so long. Surgery was followed by strict instructions not to shoot a bow. Jan went to see his doctor on Nov. 1, 2006, and received permission to hunt with a crossbow.
"My buddies called me that evening and asked me to check for deer and for any sign of the buck we had nicknamed 'Old One-Eye' on a farm in Adams County we have permission to hunt," Jan said. "So my son Travis grabbed his grandpa's old Horton Hunter crossbow for me to use and we left for Adams County the next morning."
Jan didn't hunt on the morning of Nov. 2, but Travis did. After lunch Travis went back to his stand, and Jan decided to check the other tree stands.
"We brought along the old crossbow in case I decided to hunt, and I asked Travis to cock it for me in case I saw something big," Jan said.
Jan then went to check on a stand located in a thick patch of cedars.
"Within 10 minutes a 6-pointer walked out of the cedars," Jan said. "He fed around me then went into a nearby hayfield. After he walked off I heard a grunt. I turned around and barely caught a glimpse of a large buck with a doe. Then another 6-pointer and two yearlings came by and went into the field. I heard the large buck grunt again. He stepped into an opening about 50 yards away and I recognized him as Old One-Eye! He was huge!
"I was watching him when I heard a limb snap. I turned around and all I could see was a wall of tines. This new buck was looking at Old One-Eye and his doe. As soon as he came out from behind the cedars he stopped right in front of me and I shot him straight through the heart."
Just like the Lintz and Dotson bucks, Jan's awesome buck was a main-framed 5x5 with 2 abnormal stickers. However, because those 2 points added up to 10 6/8 abnormal inches, the buck was scored as a non-typical. Despite 13 1/8 inches in side-to-side deductions, Jan's great crossbow buck officially scored 170 6/8 non-typical points.
Dave Graham, chief of the Ohio Division of Wildlife, said, "It's not unusual to see certain counties become hotspots for trophy deer, and now it seems that Adams County is the place to be!"