U.S. hunters have bagged some unique bucks this hunting season. Previously, a Missouri hunter snagged a deer with another’s skull and antlers tangled in its own. One Ohio hunter, however, bagged an equally rare buck, with his own deer growing an antler from beneath its eye.
Davey Stuckey is a 44-year-old hunter out of Fayetteville, OH. He represented just one of a handful of local hunters tracking down a legendary buck known to have a two-inch tine growing beneath its eye socket. Stuckey had spent several years tracking the buck. Sometimes, he tracked it on property that he had permission to hunt. Other times, all he could do was observe. Finally, this season, after a multi-year search, Stuckey saw his chance.
Speaking with Outdoor Life, the OH hunter said that this year was finally his year. The buck with the antler in its eye moved into a ditch in an area Stuckey could legally hunt.
“There were like six or seven guys hunting this deer,” he said to the outlet. “There were trail camera pictures all over social media.”
As such, Stuckey kept his mouth shut, heading straight for the ditch. Soon enough, he learned this was actually one of the non-typical buck’s primary bedding areas. After hanging a trail cam there, pictures flooded in. They showed the buck with the antler in its eye spending up to seven hours a day in that spot. Suddenly, though, the area was struck by a cold front which spurred the deer to his feet.
The hunt was on.
A Three-Day Standoff with a Legendary Buck
Once the cold front moved in, Stuckey said the buck was on the move more frequently. After leaving its bedding area the first time, the hunter immediately grabbed his crossbow, heading to the ditch.
“There were like these 30 mile-per-hour winds one day, and I snuck up in this grass,” he recalled. Unfortunately, he admitted, “I shot and missed at 30 yards…He didn’t know what happened, he sort of ran up on me at an angle and looked around then trotted away.”
Stuckey managed to avoid a total miss this hunting season though. After the first shot at the buck, Stuckey said he set up a tree stand in an area across from the antler-eyed buck’s ditch, tracking him during peak daylight hours. Day 3, though, concluded a long, stressful hunt.
“The third morning I hunted him,” Stuckey told the outlet, “he stepped out bumping some does, grunting and lip-curling, and I shot him at 53 yards.”
After he was struck, the deer ran into an open field before returning to his ditch where he, finally, met his end.
“I went down and he was just across the ditch in the wide open,” he said.
Unfortunately, because he felt people might express jealousy and frustration that they missed out on the legendary buck, Stuckey said he immediately reached out to the game warden to confirm the legality of the kill.
“With me not having much except trail camera pictures,” he explained, “I just wanted to cover all my bases.”
Apparently, it was a good idea, because while the OH hunter says he’s seen significant support following the kill, some people have issued negative comments.