One For the Books by Hunter Coe

One For the Books by Hunter Coe

Kevin Mennett

February 1st, 2018


The morning of November 15, 2017 is a day I’ll always remember.  I was in Dresden, Ohio on the last morning of our five day hunt.  We hadn’t been seeing much movement in the mornings so I had decided to wait until daylight to pull my stand and do a little scouting for my last sit.  My stand was located in a creek bottom overlooking a point where three heavy trails converged.  I had an encounter with a shooter buck that came in at dusk two nights ago.  My plan was to move my set farther up the trail to offer more daylight in the hopes he’d make a return visit.


I set out shortly after sunrise.  The sun threatened to burn off the early morning frost.  I double checked the temperature, 12 degrees;  it looked like it was going to be a beautiful day to sit in a tree stand.  I was almost tempted to forget about moving my set, but I had a plan and I wanted to stick to it.


I knocked an arrow as I headed into the wind toward the hilltop that overlooked the creek bottom where my stand was hung.   The top of the hill was flat and covered in weeds and high grass.  I had noticed a few beds in there on my previous hikes in and out of my stand.  Just as I crested the top of the field, four deer jumped up out of the high grass; two of the deer had big racks.  I  quickly drew my bow.  The deer only ran about 25 yards and before stopping to look back.  I hurriedly guessed the yardage and settled my pin on the larger bucks front shoulder.  As I touched off my release, time seemed to slow down.  It felt like it took forever for the arrow launched from my Matthews Creed XS to cover the distance between me and the buck, but as soon as it did, time sped back up. The arrow hit looked solid and I felt I had good penetration as the deer quickly fled down the hill towards the creek bottom.


I stood there staring at the spot where the buck disappeared and realized I was shaking badly from excitement.  After giving myself some time to calm down, I pulled a water bottle from my pack and placed it on the ground to mark the spot of the shot.  I backed out as quietly as I could and headed to my truck.  I wanted to give the deer some time to expire so I didn’t push him and ruin my recovery.  On the drive back to the cabin I called my dad and my buddy to tell them I just shot a monster.  Dad told me to give the buck at least an hour before trailing him.  I tried to listen to his advice but it was harder than it sounded.  I paced around the cabin, I even tried to watch some TV, but 40 minutes later I was in my truck heading back to my hunting spot.



I was nervous that I wouldn’t find him.  I was confident about my shot but I was hunting public land and was worried someone else might recover the buck before I did.  I made it back to my water bottle marker and shortly after found my arrow.  It was coated bright red, indicating a solid shot.  Trailing the deer proved fairly easy both because of the sign and I had remembered the direction he ran.  As I neared the edge of the hill and looked over, I could see his white belly lying about 50 yards down in the creek bottom!  I quickly phoned my dad to tell him I had found the buck and he stayed on the line with me as I made my way down the hill.  Putting my hands on the buck, I was having difficulties explaining just how big he was.  Dad asked how many points and I counted 13, I think I actually counted them twice!  After telling Dad to finish his hunt, I called my buddy to tell him I’d found the deer.  He quickly offered to help drag the big deer back to the truck.


Dad pulled into the parking lot shortly after we had loaded the deer.  We all took turns guessing the buck’s score.  In the end, after finally putting the tape measure to him, we ended up with a score of 184 5/8 inches!  It was definitely one for the books and a hunt I will never forget!


Hunter Coe


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