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June 2018
Story by Steve Kidwell
State: Ohio
Species: Deer - Whitetail

The Ohio bow season started in late September, even though I had had trail cameras out since July. I was looking for a whitetail buck I had seen throughout the previous winter on several occasions, but I never had a chance to hunt the huge whitetail until this year. The whitetail had moved into my hunting area, and I was getting numerous pictures of him. I was gearing up to get a chance to hunt this deer.


In recent years, I have had some difficulty hunting with my compound bow due to a shoulder injury. I talked to my son who works at a local bow shop, and he set up my bow with new equipment to help me be able to use my compound bow.


A week before season opened, I checked my trail camera and did not have a single picture of the buck. On opening morning, I sat in my stand and saw just four does. As I left my stand, I checked my trail camera and noticed the buck was at my stand an hour before dark. Excited to return to my stand, I got in it early that afternoon. As the sun was going down, I caught movement to my left. I immediately saw that it was the buck I was after, and he was heading towards my stand. As the buck approached at seven yards, I lifted my bow. He stood, and I started to draw my bow. However, I could not draw it. I tried three times but couldn't do it. I had only one thing to do, which was to turn away and put my bow in the air and try to get it drawn. Upon doing this, I was able to draw it. As I turned back to the deer with bow drawn, he was looking up at me. I placed my sight pin between his antlers to shoot him down through his vitals, but at full draw, I decided to wait and see if the buck would take a step and lower his head. He did and took a step. I placed my pin behind his right shoulder and released the arrow. The buck ran about 75 yards, and I then lost sight of him. I waited until dark and then got down from my tree stand and started looking for blood. I went 15 yards and found my arrow covered in blood. I immediately called my son and told him I had shot the buck and was going to wait until morning to track it.


As morning approached and after a sleepless night for us both, we went to the area and started tracking. As we walked through high grass field, my son looked at me and said he could smell the buck. As I looked to our right, I said to my son, “There he is.” We celebrated as we shared my story together. The buck scored 168 4/8”.