We’ve profiled Davey Stuckey several times in this space; Ohio’s expert whitetailer has taken some big bucks over the years, but perhaps none as impressive as this year’s big whitetail. The 228-inch giant is 18-point scored, has two drop rings, a 2-½-inch thread protruding from below the eye socket, and girth measurements over 9 inches. The giant boy was known to hunters and locals alike, and Stuckey wasn’t the only one chasing the deer. Here is his story.
It all started with two huts
Stuckey’s first encounter with a buck came four years ago when he went hunting. “I was actually looking for the antlers of another buck I had shot that fall,” he says. “I took into account this increase and there was a matching group of this money. I was more than three miles from where I finally killed the deer.”
Despite finding the large stands, Stuckey had no deer contact that fall. He had other deer to chase, so he didn’t spend much time looking for it. “But the next summer I started seeing the buck again, and sure enough, he had my attention,” Stuckey says. “He lived on a large farm that I couldn’t hunt, but I had access to an adjacent property. I spotted him every now and then, but he kept moving. ”
As the season approached, Stucky gained access to a property where he felt he had the best chance for a shot. He began to see the deer regularly, but it was still difficult to understand the pattern of the deer.
“He was all over the place and not too close to the hunting cover,” says Stuckey. “Finally, I just decided to do something stupid and stuck a camera in a random ditch on the property.” Stuckey’s gamble worked, and he began taking pictures of the buck in daylight.
Stuckey takes a shot at Buck
With some solid camera shots, Stuckey knew he had to set up a stand. He chose a windy day and discovered the gap. “I was actually sneaking around that ditch looking for sign when my phone pinged, letting me know my camera had taken a picture,” he says “I looked at my phone and there it was, walking into the CRP , there with me. . I had my bow, so I slipped that way and saw his horns in the grass. I got to 50 yards and had a good shot at his vitals, but I missed and shot straight over his back.”
After the hit, the buck actually walked a bit closer to Stuckey, before heading off into the woods. The next day, Stuckey got more first photos of the day and knew he wasn’t scared at all.
Stuckey’s had high hopes when he hung up his stand, but after the first few landings, he stopped taking pictures of bucks during the day except on non-hunting days. “After a few days of this, the light bulb finally went out; I knew the buck was watching me walk into the woods with him and he laid on his belly until he realized I was out,” he says.
Stuckey decided he needed to take a longer, more circuitous route to his stand. He knew the buck lay between his stand and the road, so he came up with an approach that would take him into a bean field 700 to 800 yards away and into the stand. On the morning of October 30, he came in and settled into his stand about 45 minutes before daylight. When the shooting light came on, he saw several of these and a smaller buck. He looked at the deer mill around for a while. Then he heard a deep roar coming from the wood.
“I looked that way and could only see his rack as some ran away from debt and went into the CRP near me,” he says. “Finally he came out and stood at 50 meters. After the hit, he ran into the canal. I waited a bit and then decided to go mark where he was walking in the wood before getting help tracking him down. But when I reached the forest, I could see him, just ahead of me. I didn’t even go to him, I just went to get some friends to join me in finding him.”
Word gets around and other hunters chime in
Stuckey called the local warden, also a friend, to come see the buck. “So many people were asking and knew about this money that there was potential to start bad rumors,” says Stuckey. “The ranger came in, checked the deer and I told him my position. He just looked at everyone and said ‘Congratulations and good job!’ I was really pleased that when word got out about the deer, I had so many positive responses.”
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Other hunters sent Stuckey camera pictures and videos they had of the buck from miles around. “That deer was such a journeyman, he was kind of a local celebrity,” he says. “Derry was at least 8-½ years old, and I think he was actually 30 to 40 inches bigger in 2021. He had more height and more girth, but when I scored him, definitely some impressive stuff. were still happening. . Although he only had a 14⅝-inch spread, his biggest drop beat was 9 4/8 inches and had 66⅞ inches of abnormal drop. He is something else.”