Drew Egli didn’t have trail camera photos of big bucks, but he knocked off work early one November afternoon and arrowed the deer of a lifetime
|Rack Report Details
|215 ⅜ BTR
|Time of Year:
|November 15, 2023
|Stark County, Ohio
Drew Egli hunted some as a kid, but never seriously. This year, he decided to take up bowhunting. “Some of my friends hunted, and they would show me trail cam pictures of some pretty big deer on farms located around the farm where I could hunt. I had a feeling my place would probably hold some big ones too,” Egli said.
While he didn’t have any trail cam photos of his own to go on, that gut feeling that big deer were in the area made Egli excited to be in the stand. He’d hunted hard since season opened, but by mid-November, had only seen does and some young bucks. On November 15, Egli got off work early. He added, “It was a good afternoon to hunt, so I thought why not. I grabbed my bow and headed to the stand.”
Ohio hunter Drew Egli hunted some as a kid, but just got back into the sport this year.
Things started off slow that evening. No deer were moving by his ladder stand, which was situated in hardwoods next to a field of standing corn. Then, a few minutes after 5 p.m., he heard movement in the corn just a few yards away.
“I eased my head that way and saw this monster buck step out of the corn just 7 yards away. I was turned wrong and kind of in shock and I didn’t even try to get a shot,” Egli said. The big buck passed the stand, crossed a dry creek bed, then disappeared into a patch of tall grass. Egli stared at the grass, waiting for the big buck to reappear, but it didn’t. Several minutes passed, and so Egli decided to try calling. He eased his grunt tube up and blew into it. The giant buck immediately emerged from the grass, looking for the source of the sounds.
While he didn’t have any big bucks on trail cam, Egli knew there were nice ones in the area.
Egli grabbed his bow. “I was already shaking, but everything was happening so fast that I didn’t have time to really think about it,” he laughed. The buck stepped into an opening just 12 yards away. Almost instinctively, Egli drew his bow and shot. “It was almost like something took over and I had tunnel vision,” he said. The big buck jumped at the impact, bolted into an open field, and then walked slowly out of sight.
Egli called his hunting buddy while he gave the buck some time. Once his friend got there, he climbed down and they started looking for sign of a hit.
The giant buck first passed by Egli’s stand at just 7 yards but offered no shot.
They soon located the arrow, along with some blood. The pair started following the trail, which was pretty steady. Both hunters expected to walk up on the buck at any time, but they didn’t. Yet, the trail kept going. Sometimes the blood was heavier, sometimes lighter, but it was always steady enough to follow.
***Don’t Miss: *IS THE SECOND RUT EVEN REAL?
One mile passed, then almost two. Doubt was starting to creep in, but the trail was still plain and easy to follow. More of Egli’s friends showed up to help trail. Then something crashed through the darkness in front of them. It was the buck. He had been bedded down, but was still alive.
Egli and his buddies backed out. After waiting several more hours, they headed back to the spot where the buck had bedded to resume the trail. Thankfully, this time the search was a short one. The buck had only made it a few more yards before succumbing to the liver hit.
The shot was back a bit, and the big buck made it almost 2 miles before falling.
Once he got his hands on the rack, Egli began to realize how truly large the buck was. The 5x5 main frame sported several kickers for a total of 18 scorable points. The right side G2 and G3 were heavily palmated.
Don’t Miss: GRILLED VENISON SAUSAGE AND BOUDIN SHOTS
Buckmasters certified scorer Toby Hughes put a tape to the rack and came up with a massive 215 ⅜” in the Buckmasters Irregular category. Egli says that even though he didn’t have photos of the buck on trail cameras, since word got out, several others have shared photos from area farms, including some velvet photos from late summer that were taken 2 miles away from where the buck was killed.
An overhead shot shows off the rack’s incredible mass and many kickers.
Egli laughs about taking such a trophy as his first buck. “Everyone tells me this one is going to be hard to beat. That’s OK, because I got him. And you never know.”