Booner Buck: Deer Drive Produces Possible New State Record

White-Tailed Deer


Booner Buck: Deer Drive Produces Possible New State Record

Posted 2017-01-23T13:12:00Z  by  Michael Pendley

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Rack Report Details
Time of Year:December 17, 2016
Place:Morrow County, Ohio
Weapon: Shotgun  Shotgun 

Josh Kraus killed this giant typical on a deer drive. (Josh Kraus photo)

Josh Kraus's Ohio season had been an active one. Between the archery season and the state's early firearms season, he had seen and passed on several bucks, including some pretty nice ones that most hunters would be happy to take.

The reason for Josh's selective attitude came in the form of a trail camera photo. He, along with several other deer hunters in the area had gotten photos of a massive 7x7 main-frame typical buck bigger than anything most folks have ever seen. Based on the location of other hunters' photos, the buck had an extended home range that covered several square miles. But Josh had something more than a photo. He had actually jumped the buck during an earlier hunt.

I am almost positive it was him. I only got a glimpse, but the buck was huge and very wide, Josh said.

A trail camera photo of the buck reveals just how big it was. (Josh Kraus photo)Like Josh, just about everyone in the area was on the hunt for the buck. The deer had grown to local legend and garnered several nicknames throughout the years. Ribcage was one of the most popular, and hunters for miles around knew what buck you were talking about when they heard the name.

Despite his fame, Ribcage had made it through several seasons, including this year's Ohio bow season and the main shotgun season. All of that changed on the 17th day of December. That was the first day of the two-day late shotgun season in the state.

Josh and three of his buddies chose to do a deer drive on a piece of timber in an area he had hunted all of his life. They decided that two of them would drive the cover while the other two stood at the end to watch for any deer that had been pushed out. As the drivers drew close, several does busted from the cover. A flurry of shots followed as the foursome worked on putting some venison in the freezer.

As the excitement died down, the hunters began to call out to each other to tally up the deer total. That is when Josh noticed movement in the edge of the cover. It didn't take long to realize it was a buck, and that it was a huge one.

The buck stood between Josh and his buddy, trying to decide which way to go. Kraus watched as the wily old buck made his decision and bolted from the cover. Throwing his Mossberg 20 gauge to his shoulder, Josh found the buck and pulled the trigger. The massive deer skidded to the ground, hit hard, but was still alive.

Josh made his way toward the buck. At 50 yards, he was able to get a finishing shot. The buck was his. I was excited, really excited. I just couldn't believe how high the antlers stood off the ground, Josh said.

It had a remarkable 26-inch tip-to-tip spread. The buck sported a 7x7 main-frame with split brows and a kicker on the right side for a total of 17 scorable points. The main beams are a massive 28 inches long. The left antler comes in at a remarkable 97 plus inches, the right side has just over 95.

All of this adds up to a gross score of 218 inches with a green net of more than 201 inches. With Ohio's current typical record holding at 201 1/8, the Kraus buck will definitely be in the running for a new state record if the score holds after the 60-day drying period.

Word quickly spread around the area that Ribcage had been taken. Other hunters began to share trail camera photos they had of the massive buck. One of those hunters shared a photo from an astonishing two miles away from the spot Josh killed the deer.

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