Scott Branden bought a 61-acre property five years ago in Hocking County, Ohio as a family hunting property. Scott’s son, Avery, has been a good farmer and hunter since he was 6, collecting squirrels, turkeys and deer from the area during those years. He’s scored three dollars so far, including a 138-inch 8-pointer taken with a magazine through the muzzle. But none are more memorable than the 12-point giant he has scored this season.
“When we got the spot, a lot of the wood was clearcut, but much of it has now reached a 15-foot-high thick blanket that deer love for litter and grazing,” says Scott, 45 years, branch manager. for “Fifth Third Bank” in nearby Chillicothe, Ohio. “We made five food plots this year, with turnips, feed oats and clover, and the deer hit them hard.
Although Ohio allows crossbow hunting during archery season, Avery developed a passion for archery and spent the summer preparing for the season. He helped plant food plots and worked the family’s 61 acres. He also shot on target in 3D, even placing third in an IBO tournament this year.
The father-son team placed three cell phone surveillance cameras around the property this summer and watched a lot of game on their grounds. They would watch a good number of males and watch their antlers develop and grow during velvet season.
New to the farm this summer was a buck Avery wanted to hunt as his first bow buck.
“We never saw him until this year, he just showed up,” said Avery, a seventh grader.
The Brandens hunted every weekend after the Ohio Bow Season opened on September 25. Most of the hunts took place in the afternoon, depending on the weather, schoolwork and business.
“The first night we sat down at a booth I had a nice 8-pointer, and just after dark another big dollar came out, but I wasn’t sure the angle. shooting, and it was starting to get dark, so I didn’t… try it, ”Avery said.
On the afternoon of October 22, 2021, they chased a blind and Avery had a very good 10 points from 18 yards. They later checked the footage from their remote cameras and the big dollar that Avery wanted to have shown that same afternoon, but at a different booth.
The next day, October 23, they moved to the booth where photos of the big buck were taken the day before, entering the closed raised awning at 4 p.m. They immediately started to see deer. Many does, showed a pair of 6 points, eventually five different cocks were sailing around their blind.
Finally, at 6:40 p.m., the big money makes the scene. The male arrived within minutes of being recorded by their remote cellular camera the day before. The buck emerged from a tangled bedding area jungle 20 yards away, worked a scrape, and Avery readied his 46-pound Matthews bow for a shot.
“He came sixty feet wide, then turned to look at does in a field, so I shot my bow,” Avery says. “But he turned to them just as I was drawn, so I couldn’t shoot to his side. So I had to drop the full draw and wait for a better shoulder shot. “
Doing this quietly is not easy, even for experienced bow hunters. But Avery did so silently, without scaring the male. The deer turned sideways again, delivering a perfect second shot. Avery pulled, released, and watched his 24-inch arrow go deep behind the male’s shoulder.
“The male jumped out of there and rushed into a thicket 50 yards, then we lost sight of him,” Scott recalls.
Father and son knew it was a perfect shot and started celebrating blindly. But suddenly a short downpour struck, and they feared the trail of blood towards the male would go away. They waited 30 minutes, then slipped out of the blind and returned to a cabin they own on the property. They had dinner and waited three hours for friends to arrive and help with the work of tracking the males.
They went to where the male was hit, but there was no blood. They walked in the dark to where they last saw the deer and found Avery’s arrow. From there the blood trail was easily followed to where they found the dead male a short distance just off a field edge. The male had fallen seconds after being hit.
“Everything worked out really well, and this money is all I could have wanted,” said Avery.
The non-typical heavy rack has 12 notable points. Although he has yet to be marked green and Scott is reluctant to make a prediction, he believes he will be around 148 inches tall.
“I hope 150 inches,” adds Avery, laughing.