By Mark Kenyon
I’ve been hunting Ohio for a couple years now and have seen first hand the big buck potential for my neighboring state to the South. And while lots of people are discovering the potential of the Buckeye State, you still don’t see it featured on camera too often. That will be changing next year though, as our pal Skyler Wirsig of Heartland Bowhunter will be showcasing on the next season of their show a dandy buck he shot in Ohio this season. A true Midwest brute. Congrats Skyler on a great buck! – MK
“The Ohio hunt got started back in 2011 when Clayton and I met Justin Dill while filming in Illinois for another show called “Campbell Outdoor Challenge: Top Outdoor Producer.” Justin shot interviews for the show and we got to know him pretty well throughout the week. Fast forward to Summer 2012. Justin invited us up to his stomping grounds in Ohio for a November hunt. It took about a split second to take him up on the offer! Clayton and I had never hunted Ohio so November couldn’t get here soon enough.
November finally rolls around and we hit the road for Ohio. Prior to November I already had a magical season. I filmed my dad shooting his biggest buck with a bow in North Dakota and his first bull elk in Arizona, all in the month of September. Then in early October I shot a great buck in Missouri. I then devoted the rest of my time to filming Clayton. I was determined. A month rolls by and Clayton still didn’t have any luck. Next thing I know we are headed to Ohio. I told Clayton I would like to get a couple sits under my belt as a nice change of pace from filming so much.
Three hunts in and still no luck for Clayton. I give it a shot on the fourth hunt. No luck on that hunt but it felt great to have the bow in my hands again. The next morning as we were getting ready Clayton and I were going back and forth on who was going to hunt. I insisted that he hunt. He insisted that I hunt. Then he got me when he pointed to me and said “I’m in camera mode. Don’t you mess with that.” I grabbed my bow and we hit the woods.
The sun rises and it’s a cool crisp morning. In fact it was the coldest morning of the year so far for us. It didn’t take long and I catch movement. Just a doe. Then I see a giant rack behind her. I knew it was a shooter immediately. He was on a hot doe so I just prayed she would bring him by us. Several minutes pass by but she eventually brought him by. I got a shot at 35 yards and put it where it counts. He ran just out of sight and expired.
I was absolutely elated. I really just went crazy. I just killed the biggest buck of my life and it had a drop tine/droopy beam to boot. He ended up scoring 165 inches. I am so thankful. To Clayton for filming and letting me hunt that day. To Justin and his wife for welcoming us with open arms and being incredible hosts. To God for blessing me with an incredible season. One I will certainly never forget!
One last thing… Clayton ended up eating tag soup in Ohio, but little did I know that he would have a chance at his #1 hit list buck in Kansas just two weeks later. Fortunately there is a story to tell about “Slick Willy.” I will leave that one for Clayton to share 😉 ” – Skyler Wirsig
For more from Skyler and the HB team, visit HeartlandBowhunter.com.