Young hunter’s Ohio 6-point may be world record-breaker


Wooster, Ohio — It wasn’t the buck David Yoder was chasing last fall, but the 6-point buck he ended up shooting might just make the record books.

Yoder’s long-tined 3×3 was officially scored by Buckmasters at 145 2⁄8, possibly making it a world record for a 6-point buck.

“It’s a very rare deer,” said Yoder, a 27-year-old Amish man.

The story starts last fall when Yoder was hunting on a property in Wayne County for the first time.

“If I don’t have anything patterned, I like to wait until October to start hunting cold fronts,” he said. “I’m a big fan of hunting cold fronts.”

Yoder actually did have a personal encounter with the 6-pointer early on in the fall when the buck walked to within 30 yards of the stand he was sitting in.

“I know this sounds crazy, but I actually passed him up,” said Yoder. “I was watching a bigger deer.”

But, after talking with his brother and brother-in-law after the hunt about the 6-pointer, Yoder changed his mind about the potential to harvest him.

“I didn’t know at the time what caliber deer this actually was,” he said. “I knew two of the tines were 11 inches or so, but not much else. But, looking back now it was a pretty stupid thing to do to pass him up.”

Even Yoder’s wife chimed in on the discussion, deriding him for passing up on the mature 6-pointer.

“I hunted a couple of other times and my second encounter with (the 6-point) was in late October on a cold front,” Yoder said. “He was with a doe and he was chasing off other bucks and it just wasn’t hard to tell that he was king of the mountain.”

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The 6-point came as close as 70 yards from Yoder’s stand, and it seemed as though the doe he was tending wanted to move closer.

“But, he wasn’t having none of it and he took her back into the thicket,” Yoder said.

After the second encounter, Yoder did lay eyes on the bigger buck he had been chasing. But, that deer never came close enough for a shot and “I couldn’t do anything with him,” he said.

Good thing, as it turns out.

Yoder figured he had one more good crack at the 6-pointer before gun season rolled in. So, he hunted the afternoon of Nov. 25, a Saturday, in hopes of having another encounter.

“It was the tail end of the rut with a cold front moving through,” he said. “The weather was changing. Before I went that afternoon, my wife said ‘if you get a chance at the big 6 you’ve got to take it.’ ”

That day, Yoder was in his stand right on the edge of a bean field. The wind was in favor of Yoder.

Soon after getting settled, Yoder was able to see through binoculars the 6-pointer in the field with a bunch of does.

Finally, the buck was alone in the field as the does had scattered in all directions. This was good, he was all alone, Yoder thought. He might just have a chance at him.

“There were too many does around to try to grunt or anything,” he said. “I thought that as long as the does were around I’m just going to be quiet and let this all play out.”

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The 6-pointer was now alone in the bean field with just a couple of other small bucks, but still 175 yards away from Yoder’s stand. Eventually, Yoder pulled out a grunt tube from his satchel.

“This is the kind of stuff I see in magazines, it ain’t happening to me.”

— David Yoder

Yoder believed the buck was soon headed into a thicket to bed down for the night. When the 6-pointer sure enough started making his way toward the thicket, Yoder hit the grunt tube. The first call didn’t seem to register with the buck so Yoder hit the grunt tube a second time.

“I snort wheezed one time and he swung his head all the way over,” said Yoder. “That’s when I knew I had his full attention.”

For the next several minutes, Yoder remained quiet and the 6-pointer indeed walked into the adjacent thicket, eventually kicking out a bunch of does that had apparently already been there.

The 6-pointer again emerged from the thicket and sauntered over to the other two small bucks that were also in the field.

“He felt safe, I’m guessing,” Yoder said.

By this time, the 6-pointer had worked his way across the bean field and was now about 100 yards out.

“And he just kind of put his head down and starts slow walking across the field,” Yoder said.

“I got adjusted and got myself ready.”

Long story short, the 6-pointer came in on a path behind Yoder’s tree stand and was at about 20 yards out.

“He came in and looked up right at me,” Yoder said “He had that (snort wheeze) sound pinpointed to where it came from. And this was at least 30 minutes later.”

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Yoder hit the grunt tube once more with the 6-pointer at 18 yards and the buck stopped in his tracks.

“That’s when I stuck the arrow through him,” he said. “ … He took off, going downhill just hammer down. So, I just backed out.”

A couple hours later, Yoder, his brother and his brother-in-law went back to track the deer.

When they found him piled up some ways away, it looked like Yoder’s crossbow bolt had hit both lungs.

“I didn’t at this point know what caliber of deer it was,” he said. “I just knew it was a big 6-point and the next week I started getting calls from people wanting to know what he was going to score.”

The Buckmasters scorer believes Yoder’s 6-point could be both a state and world record for a whitetail its size.

“I was thinking ‘this is too good to be true,’” Yoder said. “This is the kind of stuff I see in magazines, it ain’t happening to me.

“It’s been a humbling experience to shoot a deer of that caliber and that rare,” he said.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>