Ryan Ederer and his wife, Jodi, passed this buck in 2020. Then he missed the deer in 2022. This fall, Ederer made good on another chance
|Rack Report Details|
|Time of Year:||September 14, 2023|
|Place:||Grant County, KY|
It was 2020. Ryan Ederer and his wife, Jodi, were in the stand together when a remarkable young buck stepped out. Jodi instinctively reached for her bow, but Ryan couldn’t help but notice how young the buck looked, despite sporting an already impressive set of antlers. “No go,” he whispered to Jodi, “let’s hold off on this one.”
That’s was the start of a four-year chase with the deer that was nicknamed “NoGo.” The next year, the young buck was even more impressive, sporting a wide set of non-typical points that seemed to jut in every direction. Unfortunately, in early November, the buck broke his main beam just above the brow tine. That gained him a pass for another year.
Ryan and his wife, Jodi, were hunting together when they first saw the buck in 2020 and decided to pass because he was so young.
In 2022, NoGo exploded in antler size. “I’d guess he was pushing 200 inches at this point. He had points and drop tines going everywhere,” Ryan said. After watching the buck get busted up early the previous season, Ryan knew he needed to get on him before the fighting of pre-rut kicked into high gear. He got the opportunity on October 7th when NoGo stepped into an opening in front of his stand for a rare daylight sighting. Ryan took the shot and missed him clean.
After a clean miss last season, Ryan was hoping for another shot at the buck this year.
Hoping he’d get another chance, Ryan kept a close eye on his cameras. Soon after the shot, NoGo disappeared. “He was gone for a total of 52 days, only showing back up on camera on Christmas Eve,” Ryan said. While he hunted hard the remaining few days of season, Ryan never had another daylight sighting of the buck.
In August of this year, NoGo showed back up. He’d lost some of the small kickers from the previous year, but gained even more mass and length in the remaining points. His frame was a good 5 inches wider than the year before.
The buck showed back up in the food plots during daylight hours more often this summer.
Ryan depends heavily on food plots. He’d planted soybeans and surrounded them with an electric fence early, only opening them once season was about to come in. NoGo was a fan. “It was kind of strange. After always being almost completely nocturnal, the buck was showing up regularly in daylight. I even got to watch him in the beans through binoculars one evening. He was even more impressive in person than on camera,” Ryan said.
After setting blinds and hanging multiple stand sites around the food plots, Ryan started hunting as soon as the Kentucky season came in on September 2nd. “I only hunted stand locations with favorable winds so I didn’t push the buck out of the area,” he said.
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While the buck was still showing up on trail camera, Ryan didn’t see him from the stand during the first several hunts. On September 14, he got into a blind early that afternoon.
Soon after getting settled, he looked out into the beans and was shocked to see NoGo feeding in broad daylight. The buck picked his way through the beans and into the clover strip that surrounded the plot. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity to the waiting hunter, the buck worked into bow range.
The buck lost a few kicker points from past years, but gained mass and width.
“I was surrounded by oaks and the buck got in to about 20 yards. There were several leaves and small limbs between us, but I could see his vitals. I told myself I may never get this close to him again, that it was time to make the shot,” Ryan said.
He drew his bow and picked an opening in the cover to snake an arrow through. At the shot, the big buck collapsed in his tracks. “I still don’t know if I just shot high, or if my arrow clipped one of the small limbs between us, but I spined him and he dropped right there. Not the exact shot I wanted to make, but the result was good,” Ryan added.
Ryan Ederer is waiting on an official score, but estimates the rack between 205 and 210 inches gross.
Based on trail camera photos, the buck had shed his velvet just 3 days prior to the hunt. True to form, he had already broken off his largest drop tine and snapped a few of the smaller points, too. Despite that, the remarkable rack still sported 22 scorable points plus 3 smaller kickers that are questionable, and featured a massive 22-inch inside spread.
While he is waiting for the Quest Hunt Co. Tournament Banquet to have the buck officially scored, a quick check of the tape turned up an impressive ballpark measurement of 205-210 inches, making NoGo a buck of a lifetime and proving that letting young bucks walk, no matter how impressive they are, can pay off with huge dividends once they mature.
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