3-Year Quest For Huge Non-Typ ‘Lucky’ [Big Buck ALERT]

Ohio's Paul Mchugh experienced this precise scenario, but rather than simply hope for the buck's return, Mchugh instead used the situation as motivation to get proactive.

by Mark Melotik

HuntStand Pro Contributor MORE FROM Mark

When a massive nontypical buck suddenly leaves his hunting property, an Ohio bowhunter taps into the power of HuntStand to complete his three-year quest for a true Buckeye State giant.

BuckLucky1 600Have you ever checked your game cams to find they were taking more or less regular pics of a huge buck, and then have that buck suddenly disappear? Ohio’s Paul Mchugh experienced this precise scenario, but rather than simply hope for the buck’s return, Mchugh instead used the situation as motivation to get proactive. The cagey bowhunter logged onto to his  HuntStand app and went to work. Using the app’s detailed satellite and topographical overlays, Mchugh determined the buck’s likely home range included a neighboring property, where he quickly secured hunting permission. Mchugh’s reward for his efforts is a stellar buck of a lifetime, not to mention nailing down Week Eight honors in the HuntStand Big Buck ALERT contest. Here’s how it all went down, in Mchugh’s own words:

“I finally met up with a buck I named Lucky!,” Mchugh related. “My three-year quest for this buck started in 2014 when I pulled my game-cam SD cards and had him on a scrape in the middle of the day. I hunted him hard that year but never actually saw him.

M2E1L0-0R350B320“During the spring of 2015 I put in a mineral site in the same general location the buck had frequented the year before, and started getting pics of him every week,” Mchugh continued. “I couldn’t wait for hunting season to start; I downloaded the HuntStand app and fell in love with the app! I used it like the bible when I pulled my SD cards. After the season opener, Lucky’s appearance became very sporadic on my trailcams, to the point where he all but disappeared for the remainder of the year. I believed that he was still alive, though, because no one around me had shot a buck of his caliber.

BuckLucky3 600_edited-1“During the spring of 2016 I spruced-up my mineral site, anticipating Lucky to show up like he did the year before, but to no avail,” Mchugh recalled. “I started studying the surrounding properties using HuntStand, and thought he might be living on a farm that bordered the property I had been hunting. I was able to obtain hunting permission on the new property, and scattered trailcams throughout the new farm.

“Once again I found myself using HuntStand to help set cameras and stands that would be perfect for the prevailing wind directions,” Mchugh related. “When I started getting pics of him very regularly on the south side of the new farm, I was ecstatic! He was using a pinch that funnels the deer down to within 20 yards of my stand.

BuckLucky4 600“After waiting for what seemed like a eternity, constantly checking HuntStand for the ideal wind conditions, I finally had it,” Mchugh remembered. “On the morning of October 28th I settled into my funnel stand anticipating what might happen next. Then, suddenly, there he was—at 16 yards, following the script. I firmly believe in HuntStand and won’t go into the field without it! He [green-scored] 185 inches—my biggest bow kill to date.”

Congratulations, Paul, on an awesome buck and a hunt memory you will never forget. Thanks to all who have submitted photos and stories to date; successful hunters: Keep them coming!

ThermaCELL New 600For his Week Eight win, Mchugh will be sent a pair of ThermaCELL ProFLEX Heated Insoles, valued at $185. More good news? There are plenty of opportunities left to win a pair of your own.

To enter the HuntStand 2016 Big Buck ALERT contest, simply send us a clear, high-res. digital photo (or two) of your 2016 buck, along with a few sentences detailing your hunt, and how HuntStand played a part. Include your full name, age, successful hunt date and state, and also be sure to include your mailing address and shoe size. Your e-mail subject line should read: Big Buck Alert! Send your photo(s) and requested info to: [email protected]

Team HuntStand will choose one impressive buck to highlight each week on our website, as well as on Facebook and Instagram. If your buck is a weekly winner you’ll score some sweet hunt gear: a pair of Team HuntStand-approved ThermaCELL ProFLEX Heated Insoles. Their state-of-the-art wireless thermal technology with convenient remote operation delivers at least 2,500 hours (about four winters) of heavy use. Simply adjust the temperature utilizing the wireless remote control to the setting of your choice: no heat (standby), medium (100°F), and high (111°F). The result is warm, comfortable, sweat-free feet.



HuntStand is the #1 hunting and land management app in the country. It combines advanced mapping tools with powerful map layers to allow users to create and share the best hunting maps possible.