In 2011, the buck was a heavy-horned symmetrical 8-point. In 2012 he added a drop tine. And then, in 2013, he added a matching drop tine on the other side. Bill Wilson had his heart set on the double-drop monster Ohio whitetail, but on January 12, 2015, he got some bad news. A neighbor had shot him and Wilson’s three-year hunt was over.
“I felt a little bit ripped off. I’d been after him for three years, and now someone else got him.” Wilson was feeling down, but as often happens with married men, his wife picked him back up. “She told me I needed to get back in the woods, and so on the evening of January 19th, I did.”
Heading out that evening, Wilson still had high hopes, as earlier that year he’d caught another giant drop-tine on trail camera. But this buck never showed up during daylight, and seemed to have a knack for appearing on trail camera about 30 minutes after dark.
That night though, luck was on Wilson’s side. As he got settled into his stand he heard gunshots from the direction of a neighboring property, near where Wilson believed the giant was bedded. It sounded like someone was having a little fun with target practice, and soon after, a flash of movement appeared from that direction.
“There was snow on the ground and when I saw the buck, I instantly knew it was him, [the new buck],” recalled Wilson. But just as soon as Wilson took notice of the buck, the deer noticed him, too.
“He looked right up at me. We were in an eye-to-eye lockdown and I realized I wasn’t breathing,” said Wilson. “I tried to get a breath without moving, but I almost coughed. And I remember thinking that if I blew this now, it would be just horrible.”