After years of busted hunts and near misses, Isaiah Carpenter used a grunt tube to lure the giant whitetail to within 20 yards
|Rack Report Details|
|Time of Year:||October 30 2023|
|Place:||Morrow County, Ohio|
|Weapon:||Diamond Infinite Edge Pro|
For three years, a giant whitetail buck had given 17-year-old Isaiah Carpenter the slip. The buck lived near Isaiah’s home and he his dad, Ryan, had trail camera photos of the deer, had seen it on multiple occasions, and had even had a few close encounters while out hunting. But the pieces never came together. “I’d been on this buck a bunch. He always ended up just out of range, or he’d come in from the opposite direction I expected and wind me,” Isaiah said. “I was beginning to think he’d never be killed.”
After three years of near misses, Carpenter finally arrowed the buck.
To compound the difficulty, the buck was well-known in the area, and neighbors were after him too. The buck managed to elude everyone and this year, was beginning to show his age. While he was still huge, the buck’s antlers were regressing. When Isaiah compared trail camera photos from late last summer to this summer, he noticed the rack was smaller. “Just looking at photos from last year vs. this season, I’d guess he had lost up to 20 inches of antler,” he said.
The buck was well known in the area and several other hunters had been after him as well.
Even so, the buck was still big enough to be at the top of everyone’s target list. Isaiah hunted him hard during the early season. He had a close call, but the big deer seemed to have some sort of sixth sense that kept him in just the right spots to avoid the hunter. Isaiah decided to give the deer some time and move to another nearby property. “I hadn’t really seen anything that compared to him on the other farm, but I went anyway. I just needed some different scenery and some time away,” he said.
The buck’s rack had decreased in size from the year before.
But the lure of the big buck near their house was strong. “I was out in the yard one afternoon trying to decide where to hunt. Dad came by and suggested I head out back and give the big buck another try. The wind was good, so I headed to my stand,” Isaiah said.
Carpenter had nearly given up on ever taking the big buck and had started to hunt another property.
The stand he was hunting was located near thick bedding cover. Isaiah quietly slipped in and climbed up to get into position. He gave everything 30-45 minutes to settle down, then he hit a grunt tube a couple times.
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At the sound of the grunt, a deer stood up from the bedding cover just 60 yards away. It was the big buck he’d been after, and he was directly upwind from Isaiah’s stand, a perfect set up. The buck started walking toward the sound of the grunt.
Soon after climbing into his stand, Carpenter used a grunt call and the big buck stood from his nearby bed.
As the deer closed the distance, Isaiah grabbed his bow and got ready. When the buck’s head disappeared behind a large tree, he came to full draw. He grunted to stop the buck broadside at just 20 yards and released the arrow.
The buck’s rack featured heavy mass and additional points gave it a ton of character.
The shot looked perfect. The big buck ran about 60 yards before going down within sight. Isaiah called his dad and told him he had just shot the buck they’d been after and that he was down. His dad cautioned him to stay put and wait for him. “I didn’t want to take a chance on bumping him if he wasn’t dead. We’ve all seen how far they can go when you jump them up after a shot,” Ryan said.
It took Ryan a couple hours to get there. The wait seemed like forever, especially since Isaiah could see the buck he’d been after for so long laying there. Once father and son got to him, the celebration began. The rack featured a 14-point main frame with 21 total scorable points and tremendous mass all the way out the beams. A Buckmaster’s scorer measured the deer at a massive 200 ⅜ BTR.