Another huge buck was harvested in Adams County, only this time it was taken during opening day of the just past statewide muzzleloader season. Gary Stevens from Marion, North Carolina made his first trip to Adams County to hunt Larry Baldwin’s Riverhills Whitetail property on Jan. 4 and came away with the trophy of a lifetime.
Steven’s massive 11-point whitetail was unofficially green scored by Buckeye Big Buck Club scorer Brian Smalley from Peebles who came up with 202+ B&C points. Official scoring for the books can only be done after a required 60 day drying period. 200-inch class typical whitetails are in a league all their own and rare. Steven’s buck will go down as perhaps the top typical in the state for the 2013-2014 season.
“It was cold morning,” said Stevens, “but I was dressed for it.”
The buck was coming down a hillside when Stevens first spotted him.
“I think he was after those does I saw earlier,” said Stevens who anchored the buck on his first shot when it was about 60 yards away. “I knew he had good rack, but I didn’t know he was that big.”
Baldwin believes he has the deer on a trail camera picture from last season, “If that’s the same buck his rack nearly doubled in size from the previous year.”
Stevens tentative plans are to bring the buck back to Adams County prior to the Deer & Turkey Expo in March. As of yet Stevens doesn’t know if he’ll get the buck officially scored in North Carolina or Adams County. Stevens’ complete story will be featured in NA Whitetail.
For the rest of us Ohio muzzleloader hunters this past season was a cold brutal hunt and possibly reflected in the deer take which was down nearly 24 percent across the state from last year’s muzzleloader season. In all Ohio’s hunters who braved the cold harvested 16,464 deer, which is down from the previous season’s take of 21,555. Adams County hunters didn’t fare much better with a decline of nearly 15 percent from last year.
Adams County had 296 deer checked, down from the 347 tagged last season. All the neighboring counties were down as well. Out of Ohio’s 88 counties, 86 recorded declines in the deer take. Still up is the remainder of archery season which is open through Feb. 2.
In other noteworthy news that biologist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife propose removing the Bobcat from the threatened species list. First added to the endangered list in 1974, bobcats have made a tremendous come back in the years since. Although not common, this secretive animal has found a home in the mountains of Adams County.
Sightings are becoming more and more common and, according to biologist, Shawnee State Forest is noted as having one of the healthiest populations of bobcats in the state. The increased numbers of bobcat’s sightings in Adams County are believed to be a direct result of a growing population in Shawnee. If removed from the threatened list bobcats will still be considered a protected species in Ohio.