I have been a pretty blessed deer hunter. I live in an area of Ohio with great genetics and quality deer. So if you hunt smart and spend enough time in the treestand you can usually harvest a great buck. With that said, the 2014-2015 deer season has not been what a typical deer season is for me. Usually I spend nearly every single day off work in October and November hunting and scouting. Being I’m a 24 on/48off shift firefighter and typically take vacation from Halloween to mid-November… that’s a lot of hunt time. But with the birth of my wife and I’s first child, Cooper, my time in the tree stand was severely decreased this season. Please don’t take that statement for anything it’s not…. I love him more than I ever though possible but having children changes things….as many can attest!
Even so, I found a fair amount of time to scout, hunt and run my Guide Service this season. I attribute this to a very understanding wife that knows my deep passion for hunting big mature whitetails. I had several quality sits, passed few pope and young bucks and even passed a shot at one of my target bucks because of fading light on Nov. 5th. Soon after that hunt my clients left camp and I was free to hunt any deer I captured on trail camera in 2014. Before I go any farther I need to explain a little something about how I hunt and run my Booner’s Acres Guide Service. I have several great farms but only a few that clients can hunt. The farms I run clients on are OFF LIMITS to me every year until I have ran all my clients. My last client left camp Nov. 11th, So after that my list of “hit list” bucks and priorities changed….Christmas Tree was now my #1 target.
I hunted Christmas Tree all late November, shotgun season and a little during muzzleloader with no luck. With time running out and only a few weeks left to get the job done I switched to “the dark side” of Ohio’s deer hunting tactics and started running a corn pile at my farm. It didn’t take long for Christmas Tree to start using the pile with consistency and in daylight hours. I hunted him three times with good winds and he never showed. He then disappeared for a few days and I thought maybe I educated him.
But then…two nights ago he showed back up and hit the pile well before dark. I figured he would do it again the very next evening and I moved in for the kill. By 5:40 last night I had 14 does and a half shed 6 point in front of me. Soon after Christmas Tree circled the pile, drank from a watering hole at 25 yards and lip curled his last doe. Rage 2 blade ate him up and he only went 30 yards. First buck I’ve shot off my farm since buying it in 2011. After a long but eventful season, it feels great to be done.
Christmas Tree was my favorite buck I had on trail camera this year. It’s a bittersweet harvest because I love managing a growing big deer. I passed this buck last year when I believe he was 3 1/2 years old.
That makes him 4 1/2 this year and the management side of me wonders how big he MIGHT/COULD have been. But I can’t pass a deer like this. He has great mass and character. Not much for spread and thus I don’t think he will score all that high…but nonetheless he is one hell of a buck. I have not had time to tape him out yet but will soon. Thanks for reading and good luck to all the Ohio hunters with a tag left to fill.