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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog


Steve Esker

By Mike Handley

When it comes to deer hunting, brothers Steve and Scott Esker are "all in," both figuratively and literally.

The twins from Ohio have put more than 2,310 inches of antler in the record book during the last decade, several of which have appeared within and on the cover of Rack magazine.

The Eskers have lots of ground to hunt, and they're able to pick and choose which bucks to target by patterning them throughout the summer. Last year, both had eyes for a whitetail with exceptional brow tines, and they took turns hunting from the lone blind on the property.

Steve was in it on Oct. 18, and he drilled the buck during the last few minutes of daylight.

When he texted his brother for help tracking it, Scott was playing in a poker tournament.

"He was winning and couldn't leave right then," Steve said.

Eager to join Steve at the farm, Scott tried several times pushing all his chips to the center of the table – an all-or-nothing gesture that meant he could leave when he was out of chips. Every time, however, he won.

"He finally told the guys that he had a crappy hand and that someone needed to call him," Steve grinned. "That's when he finally lost."

They found the deer together, and it was Scott who found the single drop of blood that kept them on track.

There's a lot more to the story behind Steve's sixth entry into the BTR, which carries a composite score of 201 1/8 inches. You can read Ed Waite's telling of it in RACK magazine this fall.

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