November 01, 2022
There is not much more devastating news to a whitetail hunter than hearing the property you hunt is getting clear cut. Young Carter Sanders had high hopes to take a world-class whitetail he had located in southern Ohio. Then a logging crew rolled in, and the big buck boogied!
Carter had taken a 160s deer during the previous gun season, and he really wanted to best that feat with a bigger buck. But that was then, and this was now. The mammoth 10-point he called “Mr. Maybe” was gone, and there was nothing he could do to change that.
Then, in an incredible stroke of luck, the monster buck reappeared on another tract he hunts, nearly two miles away. With this fortunate turn of events, his father, Jacob, took extraordinary measures to ensure it stayed around. He relinquished an area where he wintered cattle, planted a food plot and even erected a fence. Trail cameras soon revealed that the buck was using the field, along with several other deer. That was music to Carter’s ears, and he was ready!
Unfortunately, all but one trail camera photo of the buck had been taken at night.
Despite his high expectations, the archery season opened without an opportunity at the buck. Then the wind was wrong for the next two days¬¬, blowing directly toward the buck’s suspected bedding area. Carter wanted to stay after him, but at 13, he is a busy fellow. School and football practice take up a lot of time, especially when your main desire is to be in the woods! And those 48 hours Carter spent not hunting the buck seemed like forever.
On Tuesday, conditions were right again. His dad rushed him home from football practice, to get in a short hunt. After a quick change of clothes, they hurried to a double-set tucked in a hickory tree overlooking the small food plot. A few minutes after they settled in, a group of young bucks and a lone doe entered the field, and two of the bucks began sparring.
The sound of hitting tines was enough to lure the target buck in just before dusk. He jumped the fence and stepped into the beans intently searching out the younger bucks; and he was completely unaware that Carter was lining up the sight on his crossbow.
The huge buck was quartering away as the bolt launched, and because of the low light, Carter and his father were unsure of the hit. So, they slipped out and decided to wait until dawn to look for the buck.
Returning at dawn, they discovered he was down in the beans, just over the rise in the field. He had gone just a few yards before expiring!
The tape stretched over 22 inches inside the beams and tallied over 43 inches of mass. Extra-long beams and tines pushed the unofficial gross score to 194 2/8 inches. This one is as real as it gets!