posted on October 30, 2011 18:01
By Mike Handley
Scott Esker must really like long brow tines on whitetails.
The Ohio bowhunter has access to numerous properties, and he’s arrowed many fabulous bucks, one of which has graced the cover of Rack magazine. But he pretty much abandoned his many honey holes in 2010 to spend all his time on a new piece of ground where he’d seen a deer with exceptional eye guards.
While driving home from work on June 28, he passed three deer well out in a soybean field. Although he couldn’t see antlers from that distance, one of the animals seemed much bigger than the others.
Curious, he turned around, stopped and peered at them through a spotting scope. The largest was a 5x5 with 10-inch brow tines -- with two more months to pack on even more antler!
Scott wound up Googling the property in Licking County, and he knocked on a couple of doors and gained permission to hunt it. He set up a trail camera, mineral lick and spread some corn in short order. Five days later, he retrieved more than 3,000 photographs, 150 of the brow-tine buck.
Whenever the wind allowed, he hunted there from Sept. 25 until Jan. 4, when his longest season ever ended.
“I had been in the stand for about 45 minutes, waiting for daybreak,” he said. “When it came, I stood to stretch and to have a look around. I was just getting ready to sit back down when I glanced to my right and saw the buck half in and half out of the tree line only 15 yards downwind of me.
“It walked slowly into the field, and when it was 24 yards, I took the quartering-away shot and watched the illuminated nock disappear into the buck. It ran for 65 yards before collapsing,” he added.
The buck, which narrowly survived the November shotgun season (a friend of Scott’s missed it at 15 yards), is a mainframe 5x6 with three extras. Its composite score -- including the 18-inch-wide inside spread -- is 178 1/8 inches.