An Ohio Buck Returns, Bigger & Better [Big Buck HIT LIST]

This buck hadn't been seen since 2018; its 'return' gives a dedicated Ohio hunter hope for a successful fall hunt...and a Week 1 win.

by Mark Melotik

HuntStand Pro Contributor MORE FROM Mark

This buck hadn’t been seen since 2018; its ‘return’ gives a dedicated Ohio hunter hope for a successful fall hunt…and a Week 1 win.


One of the many cool aspects of running trail cameras is watching bucks grow from young eager upstarts with some potential, into jaw-dropping-impressive, mature animals. Adding to the intrigue are bucks that seemingly “disappear” for a stretch, even a full year or more, before magically reappearing. To this scenario, east-central Ohio’s Judy Stevens can relate. For sending in photos of a mature Ohio buck she had last seen back in 2018 as a symmetrical 12-point, Stevens, 57, is the Week 1 winner of our 2020 Big Buck HIT LIST contest. The weekly win scores Stevens a Wildlife Research Center scent and scent-elimination prize package valued at more than $60, and also makes her eligible for our September drawing to win a Wildlife Research Center prize package valued at more than $180. Enter today!

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“These trail cam photos were taken June 16, 2020, in an area we call the ‘salt block,’ Stevens wrote. “This area has thick cover, hardwoods, and a spring where a mineral block has been placed for many years. I have captured many great wildlife photos here; it is a major travel area.

“I last saw this particular buck in the 2017-2018 season. I have no photos of him from last year. He is unique because he developed perfect split tines on his g2s. You can see where they will be. I call him “Splits.” I estimate he may be 5 1/2 years old. He was a very symmetrical 12 point in 2018, and it looks like he’s headed for that again. I plan to bowhunt this coming season; I did get a new rifle chambered in 350 Legend, which I will use if I’m still chasing him come gun season.”

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To enter the 2020 Big Buck HIT LIST Contest, simply send us a few clear, high-res. digital trail cam photos (three to five) of a buck (or bucks) TAKEN IN THE SUMMER OF 2020 (Day or night images, photos accepted NOW THROUGH SEPT. 6). Be sure to include the dates and state where the images were taken, and a few sentences detailing the type of terrain/area where the images were captured (i.e. funnel leading to soybean field, favorite stand site near wooded creekbed, etc.) and some info on the buck(s) pictured. Do you have any history with the buck? Is the buck a likely newcomer to your area? Is the deer somehow unique or unusual for the area? What weapons/seasons will you use to hunt the pictured buck(s)?

Along with your photos, include your full name and age, and also be sure to include your mailing address. Your e-mail subject line should read: Big Buck HIT LIST! Send photo(s) and requested info to: [email protected] 

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We’ll choose 10 weekly winners that we began showcasing July 3rd. Each weekly winner will receive one of several different prize packages from scent and scent-elimination specialist Wildlife Research Center; our first two weekly winners will receive a prize package valued at more than $60 (see image above) that includes the odor-fighting Scent Killer Gold Personal Care Kit, the Scent Killer Tote Tamer that’s ideal for deodorizing boots, totes, and travel bags, and Scent Killer Forest Edge Air & Space Deodorizer with cutting-edge No Zone technology that attacks odors on a molecular level and is ideal for rooms, cabins, vehicles, closets and packs. But hold on, there’s more. WRChuntstandgrandprize 900At the end of the 10 weeks, all weekly winners will be placed in a drawing to receive a Grand Prize Package of Wildlife Research Center products (see image above) valued at more than $180. Included is a Scent Killer Gold 24/24 Combo, Field Wipes, Scent Killer Body Wash, Shampoo, and Antiperspirant/Deodorant, as well as Laundry Detergent, Dryer Sheets, a Magnum Dripper with Golden Scrape, Key Wicks and a variety of Special Golden Estrus Scents.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get outfitted with the some of the best scent and scent-eliminating products available, gear that will help you get the drop on your favorite Hit List buck. Enter today!



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