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Old 01-20-2009, 07:38 PM   #1
Joshua Flournoy
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Default 14-point, 170"+ late season bowkill!



I killed this buck last evening (January 19) on private land in southeast Ohio, near where I live. He has 14 scoreable points, and is the biggest buck - by far - that I have ever killed. A friend of mine and I put a tape on him this morning, and I was surprised to find that he scored a good bit better than I had estimated from his pictures. I had estimated that he would gross score in the low to mid 160's. When all the measuring was done and all the numbers added this morning, his green, unofficial gross score turned out to be 175 6/8"! Just for reference, here are a few of his measurements - 24" and 25" main beams, 18.5" inside spread, 5 1/4" and 5 1/2" g1's, 11" g2's. I shot him with a Diamond Machete bow (pre-Bowtech Diamond) at 70 lbs., GoldTip arrow and 100 gr. Wasp Boss, 3-blade broadhead. It's hard for me to express how exciting the last 24 hours have been for me.

The events of last night were the culmination of what has otherwise been an extremely frustrating season for me. Since our bow season started in the last part of September, I have at spent at least 60 days in a treestand or a ground blind. Until last night, those outings hadn't produced even one sighting of a single "shooter" buck (130" + for me). That is compared to
the last 2 years, when I had gotten a good buck each year before gun season started. This year so many things were different/weird, and it threw off my season in a big way. I didn't see rutting activity this year anywhere near what I saw the last 2 years. Their feeding patterns were very different this year in the places I hunted than they have been in the last 2 years. All of my best "buck" spots of the last few years were producing only doe sightings this year. Everything was upside down. I did manage to get some meat for the freezer, taking 3 does. Still, I was "hungry" for a little more than that after sitting for so many hunts this year. When I didn't get a buck - or even SEE a shooter - before the start of gun season this year, I was pretty despondent about the chances of the area 3 and 4 year old bucks making it through 2 shotgun seasons and 1 muzzleloader season with their hides intact. I knew if any did, though, that the late archery season in January can potentially be a very successful time to hunt. There frequently is a lot of snow and very cold temperatures, and the deer are very hungry. Find where their late season food source is, and sit between that and their bedding area, and you might just have a chance at a decent or even a good buck. The big bucks have to eat too. I had never yet killed a buck in the late season, but had observed some good ones while trying to kill a few does for the freezer the last few years in the late archery season. Every fall I plant some food plots to give deer something to help carry them through the winter.

For me to get this particular buck has extra special meaning, because I have "history" with him. He spent a lot of time eating on my place during the winter of 2007/2008. He was considerably smaller then. Then Spring came around and I got a few pictures of him at one of my mineral licks, early in his antler growth for the year. Then in June I started watching him regularly out feeding of an evening in a big weed field that has lots of honeysuckle, clover and apparently some other goodies. I saw him multiple times over the next few months, and I drooled constantly over the size of his ever-increasing
rack. I got a few pictures of him through my spotting scope during this time. In late July, I got a few pictures of him on one of my trail cameras. I named him "big 13". I didn't know until this morning that he actually had 14 points, not 13. Then, he disappeared. Completely. I didn't see hide nor hair of him again until the evening before Thanksgiving Day. I got a few trail camera pictures of him that night and the next, then he disappeared again for about a month, showing up next on Christmas Eve (I ought to call him the HOliday Buck!)

Since Christmas, I have gotten multiple photos of him and had come to the conclusion that he was definitely in his Winter feeding "pattern". Believe it or not, sometimes these big guys can be almost as "patternable" in the late season as they are in September. The late season isn't usually a very hospitable time to be in the woods, though. It's been pretty bitter cold
here for the last few weeks, and only the fact that I knew he was around and alive still, kept me going out there in temps in the teens and 20's. My pictures of him indicated that he was coming through my property to feed, sometimes very close to legal shooting light, but he would never quite get to my food plots with enough legal light left to shoot. So, I figured that if I was going to have any good chance at getting this buck, I was going to have to back off the fields and get a ways back into the woods. I set up 2 different trail cameras trying to pinpoint which trail or trails he was using, so I could
narrow things down a bit. I got 2 pictures of him in the course of about 5 days on the same trail, which allowed me to come up with a game plan. I found a good tree overlooking the main trail which was 17 yards away. There was also a secondary trail that was only about 10 feet from my tree. I hunted the spot once about a week ago and only saw 2 does.

Fast forward to last evening, when I decided to give the spot another go. I got up in my climber and was settled by 4 p.m. I saw nothing until sometime a little after 5:15, the last time I looked at my watch. At that time, I watched as a yearling 9-point and a yearling 6-point wandered towards me, on the secondary trail, coming almost straight for my tree. Shortly, a third deer appeared, and it was "big 13", I could tell instantly from about 70 yards away. His rack is very distinctive. He got to within 12 yards of me on that trail, but he was facing me. All of a sudden, one of the yearling bucks spooked slightly at something, and "big 13" turned to run. I immediately drew my bow, in hopes that he'd run about 10 yards and then stop for a second to look around, giving me a shot. Unfortunately, he ran about 40 yards before stopping to look around. I let my draw down. He didn't really know what had spooked him, he was just reacting to the yearling bucks. He stood about 50
yards away, facing me, for 10 minutes. He never moved a single step in any direction. He did swivel his head all around the whole time, though, surveying the situation. He never appeared to be extremely spooked, so I was hopeful that he might still come by me. Before I knew it a few more young bucks came into the picture behind him. They didn't know what was going on,
and they were acting normal. He took that as a good sign, and he followed them right back in my direction again. This time he veered off the trail a little and was literally coming straight for my tree. When he got to about 15 yards he started angling to one side of my tree, giving me a window of shot opportunity. When he got to 7 yards I drew my bow and held the pin high on his shoulder because of the shot angle, hoping for it to angle down through his lungs. I let the arrow go and and he immediately went on a hard run, taking all the other bucks with him. About 10 seconds later I heard quite a ruckus in the snow, but I couldn't see what exactly was going on. I was hopeful that he was down. I sat down for 10 minutes and just tried to compose myself after shooting the biggest buck I've ever had within range of me. After that, I climbed down and went to look for the arrow, which was not to be found. There was almost 3 inches of snow on the ground, though, so it was no problem for me to just follow his tracks. I soon found just a few little dots of blood, and knew I was heading the right way. I followed the tracks for about 60 yards, finding just a few little spots of blood here and there, and then all of a sudden I saw a dark mass laying in the snow. I walked over to it, and it was him, stone cold dead, lung blood bubbling up
out of the wound. My arrow was laying on the ground about 10 feet away from him, with the top (fletching end) five or so inches broken. It was covered in blood from one end to the other. There was no exit hole, so somehow the arrow worked it's way out of the deer. He had only made it about 65-70 yards.

And THAT is the story of the most exhilarating evening of my whitetail deer hunting career! Scroll down to see some pictures of my buck, including some before he was "my buck"!



































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Old 01-20-2009, 07:40 PM   #2
maglite
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WOW AWESOME BUCK! COngrats and great write up!
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:40 PM   #3
Stins
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OMG that is a nice one!
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:41 PM   #4
NateYJ
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WOW Congrats!!!
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:41 PM   #5
Killem all
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helluva buck congrats
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:49 PM   #6
rjtkdplus
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Great deer! Great LDPs! Congrats!
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:55 PM   #7
CastAndBlast
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Strong Work!!! Buck of a life time!
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:01 PM   #8
Jamesl
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One heck of a deer, congrats.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:01 PM   #9
q2xlman
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Unbelievable. What a ride and what a season! Great recap. It's been great getting my semi-live hunt for this deer all year. You stuck with late in the fourth quarter and it paid off. Congratulation one more time!
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:03 PM   #10
shawn
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Awesome buck. Congrats! How close to Cinci are you? I've got a good friend that lives close to there I think In Dayton. He gets on here as Johnb
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:04 PM   #11
Poco
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Congrats on a great kill brotha...Laters!!
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:15 PM   #12
StickEmXT
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Heck Of A deer Congrats!!!!
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:23 PM   #13
GARY
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Been wondering how your season was going.....CONGRATULATIONS!!
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:27 PM   #14
happy bowhunter
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Great Buck Josh,congrats
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:28 PM   #15
Chew
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Great stuff, Joshua! Congrats on getting the payoff for all your hard work.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:33 PM   #16
Cull
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That is a bruiser! Congratulations Joshua. Glad your persistence was rewarded.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:40 PM   #17
Double L
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What a buck and a great story. You earned that deer Joshua. Congratulations on your best ever!
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:42 PM   #18
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Awsome job! Well done Josh! Deff one to be proud of . Did you get a weight on him?

That brings back some cold memories . Are you anywhere near Clairsville? The Ex had family there that we regularly visited back in the late 1970s, when we were living in Ashland.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:45 PM   #19
Ricky T
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Good job, Josh. Great buck. Congrats.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:47 PM   #20
KingsX
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Awesome deer and AWESOME LDP'S
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:48 PM   #21
bsills
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Thanks for the great write up. I love the main beams on that deer, congrats on one hell of a deer
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:48 PM   #22
Devin
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Wow. What a great buck.

Well done, Joshua!

And, glad to see he doesn't have that "horse head" look so many of those northern deer do.

Congratulations!
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:52 PM   #23
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I've also been wondering how your season was going. Congrats on a BRUTE of a whitetail! Great story and pics also!
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:00 PM   #24
El Cazador
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Very nice...congrats! A friend of my wife (and I) lives in Albany (Athens county). We visited her over the New Years Holiday and it was cold (for us Texans) but no snow. When does the bow season run up there? I've been wanting to make a hunt up there, I just haven't made it up yet. Congrats again.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:03 PM   #25
Brock_BowTG
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Great write-up. Congrats on the kill.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:12 PM   #26
Matman
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Congrats!
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:13 PM   #27
AGAF
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Wow, what a monster. That would be a buck of a lifetime for me! Congrats
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:15 PM   #28
Fishndude
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Oh my goodness!! That's incredible. Congrats and your pics are outstanding.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:20 PM   #29
white devil
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Nice buck! congrats my brother!!!
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:32 PM   #30
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Great buck, Joshua! Congratulations!
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:59 PM   #31
RJK70
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Now that is a deer!
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:09 PM   #32
Oneway
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Sweet! Can I come Hunt next Year!
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:18 PM   #33
HooKed4Life93
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that things a monster. congrats
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:26 PM   #34
buck_wild
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sweet. Great LDPs
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:27 PM   #35
Archermike2605
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Congratulations!
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:52 PM   #36
trophyhunter
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Congrats, Josh!! Awesome buck and great story. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:55 PM   #37
Big8
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awesome
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:29 PM   #38
Longhorn
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Nice Buck!...congrats!
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Old 01-21-2009, 12:07 AM   #39
skeeter
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Wow! That is a great buck, congrats!
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:00 AM   #40
Kdog
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Your season turned around in a hurry! Way to stick with it, that is one heck of a deer. Nice write up too.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:28 AM   #41
roberts
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Thanks for sharing. Great recap and one heck of a buck. Congrats.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:32 AM   #42
NWW
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Congrats on a deer of a life time... Nice photos and write up as well.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:42 AM   #43
*DW*
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Congrats. Great trophy.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:58 AM   #44
Rounder
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Awesome deer buddy and great write up.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:03 AM   #45
BadtotheBow
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thats a hoss!
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:05 AM   #46
BrandonA
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Awesome buck Joshua. Were you smoked up?
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:18 AM   #47
Joshua Flournoy
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Thanks everyone for the nice comments. I'm still pinching myself

I just wrote a deposit check to the taxidermist yesterday, so I know it's real!

I forgot to mention last night my feelings about his weight/age. His field dressed weight is 145 lbs, we weighed him yesterday. Not a real big bodied deer for Ohio. In fact, of the 3 bucks I've killed in these last 3 hunting seasons, he is the smallest bodied of them all, by 20 pounds, even though he outscores the biggest of the other two by 30+ inches. I never saw him or got pictures of him between early August and late November, so I don't know if he ever really bulked up during the rut. The few pics I got of him in late November, he looks the same, body wise, as in the January pics. Personally, I think he just didn't have a big body. And, I know many will think this is crazy, but I personally believe this is a 3 1/2 year old deer. I have pictures of a buck last year that I'm about 99% sure is him, and he had a 9-point rack that would have scored, at the most, 120". He looked last year for all the world to me like an average 2 year old buck for this part of the state. If he was 3 years old, then he had a below average rack last year. I think he was just a freak and put on way more than average antler growth between last year and this year. This is just my opinion, I didn't check out his jaw right away and then once I thought about it, it was frozen shut. I'm hoping to retrieve it in the next few days and look it over. His neck measured just a tad over 18".

BrandonA, you bet I was smoked up - head to toe
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:24 AM   #48
Ted
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Awesome deer! Congrats!
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:27 AM   #49
Catfish270
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Great deer. Congrats!!
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:28 AM   #50
JimN
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nice...very nice. Congrats
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