by Edson B Waite Jr.

After spending the entire first day of the Ohio gun season afield and seeing nothing, Mark Long and his hunting partner Russ Ferrell, stepped into the woods for the second day. Hoping there were better things to come, they set up on the 116 acre parcel of private land they always hunt. Mark took his usual stand atop a 10 foot high storage tank for a nearby oil well. His partner Russ would be posted on the opposite side of the large wooded area. They were both in position by 6:30 A.M. and waited for the cold gray dawn to come on.

The temperature hovered at 25 degrees and there was the usual cold breeze and wisps of snow from the northwest. Both men remained on stand through-out the day, fighting off the cold with hot coffee from the thermos. By 4:00 P.M., Mark, who is disabled with Rumatoid Arthritis, was frozen out. He climbed down from the tank and headed out to look for Russ. Coming to the edge of a large field, he looked about for his friend. For several minutes he looked in all directions and did not see Russ. Suddenly he saw eyes looking back at him and realized that he was staring, eye to eye, at a deer about 125 yards away, just at the edge of the field.

At first, Mark was not sure weither it was a doe or buck. The deer was standing head-on in some low scrub and it's headgear blended in quite well. After staring for several minutes, Mark decided to take a shot (the Ohio gun season is buck or doe). He raised his Mossburg 12 ga. Slugster and fired a single shot, missing to the left. The deer angled towards him and to the right, then stopped long enough for a broadside shot. This shot found its mark and the deer dropped, Then, just as suddenly the buck jumped up and ran another 30 yards back to the edge of the woods. At 100 yards, it stopped, turned, and looked back one last time. Mark fired his third and final shot, hitting the buck in the neck and taking it down for the count. He ran to the deer and saw clearly, for the first time, the size of the rack on this dream buck of a lifetime.

After counting the sixteen points several times, it finally sank in, this was a genuine trophy. Mark started yelling for his friend, and Russ came in very quickly. After much hand shaking they field dressed the buck and loaded it in Mark's truck for the trip to the check station. The buck weighed in at 275 pounds dressed.

The buck was scored on October 12, 1996, by BTR Master Scorer Ed Waite. This trophy scored 167 6/8 in the typical category for shotguns with just 2.6% of irregular points.

To view the official score sheet, click here.

 Congratulations Mark!!!