As many of us are turning our thoughts to the hunting seasons ahead, it’s still equally important to look back at the past and learn from our own or others’ mistakes and successes. And today we’re featuring a story of incredible success that I’m sure many of us can pull inspiration from for the 2011 season. JT Kreager worked hard through the off-season scouting and when the season rolled around, he ended up harvesting a true monster whitetail in Ohio. This is his story.

“Some days are just meant to be. On Sunday September 26, 2010 I was fortunate to harvest a true monster whitetail in Ohio with my bow. It wasn’t pure luck, it was the result of a lot of preseason scouting and an early season plan that came together perfectly. As we all know, it doesn’t always work that way, but on this hunt it did.

The short version of my hunt report is I found this buck by trail cam over a Trophy Rock mineral lick back in June. His pattern was surprisingly consistent compared to other mature bucks I was watching. Looking over the trail cam pictures it was amazing to see this buck explode in antler growth.

Fast forward to opening weekend, the weather cooperated, a front blew through, temps dropped 20 degrees in two days. On Sunday the NE wind was perfect for my stand and I shot him at 15 yards and watched him go down. Unbelievable! After the shot, I had to sit for a minute to get myself under control before climbing down. I thanked God for the opportunity to harvest the most beautiful buck I have ever laid eyes on. This giant deer officially gross scored 196 3/8″ as a typical ten point! Inside spread is just under 25″, G2’s are 12-13″, main beams 28″-31″, mass in the 5″-6″ range. No matter the score, it’s just an absolutely awesome whitetail and my best so far.

I thought sharing a detailed gear list would be valuable since this equipment played a critical role in my efforts to harvest this monster buck when the moment of truth came.  Experience has shown me the value in keeping my bowhunting equipment simple and reliable. Complicated and fancy doesn’t work for me, I prefer quality hunting gear that I know will take the abuse and get the job done.

To locate the buck I used a Moultrie Trail Camera over two Trophy Rock’s mineral licks. I shoot a Hoyt AlphaMax XL set at 67lbs. with a Fuse 2 piece quiver, Carbon Express Maxima 350 Arrows tipped with 100 grain SlickTrick Standard broadheads. I use a TruBall release, TruGlo Pendulum Sight and Trophy Ridge Drop-Away Rest. My laser rangefinder is a Leica. I prefer Lone Wolf tree stands like the Alpha, they are simply awesome. I wore an Under Armour Heat Gear short sleeve t-shirt, Scentlok Base Slayer long sleeve shirt and gloves in Realtree camo and a Cabela’s fleece vest.  I had Scentlok Base Slayer bottoms and Gander Mountain Realtree camo bowhunting pants. All were washed in scent free laundry detergent and hung outside for two days then put into a giant Ziplock storage bag. I wore Cabela’s rubber boots. Before heading to the woods I took a shower and washed with Dead Down Wind’s body wash and shampoo. I use a clean nylon seat cover inside my truck and a clean floor mat, you just can’t overdo it when it comes to minimizing human scent. – JT Kreager”

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