Ohio deer hunter’s monster buck measures 211 inches [photo]
Unionville, Ohio — A southeast Ohio man shot a massive deer on Oct. 26 that could be one of the larger bucks shot in Ohio this season.
And, it is a story about a hunt that almost didn’t happen.
Jim Bebout, of Stockport in Morgan County, on Oct. 26 arrowed a 15-inch non-typical buck that measured a gross 211 inches. The tall-racked buck had a 21-inch inside spread, a 61⁄2-inch drop tine on the right side of the rack, and another 3-incher going out the back. The main beams are 29 and 30 inches.
“It took me 53 years to kill a big one,” said Bebout, who’s 65 now. “I’ve got three entries in the Ohio Big Buck Club, but nothing like this one … It’s a true giant.”
It is a buck that Bebout has spent a lifetime hunting, starting when he was a young boy hunting with his father.
“The farm touching (my property) is 400 acres and I’ve been hunting it since 1957,” Bebout said. “When I was 5 years old, my dad took me hunting there. But the last eight years, it’s been leased … Everything is getting leased up around here.”
To keep up with the deer-hunting Joneses, Bebout leases his own piece of land to hunt. And, he knew this particular buck was somewhere in the vicinity, or at least he hoped it was.
“I hunted this buck hard in 2014,” he said. “And, I’m very glad that he didn’t come in during the late season. I was getting a lot of (trail cam) pictures of him, but he was only in the 150s then. I am so glad I didn’t kill that deer before he reached his prime.”
There were no pictures and no sightings of the buck in 2015 and 2016.
“Then, my son went out in April (2017) looking for mushrooms and found half his shed under my treestand,” Bebout said.
The big buck was largely a mystery in the area, aside from a few trail cam pics here and there.
“We were running seven trail cams out there, and when I shot him he was within 25 yards of a trail cam, but we still had no pictures of him,” Bebout said. “But, after I killed him, two of the adjoining leases sent me trail cam pictures of him … He was on the neighboring properties, and for some reason he came over.”
Now, the story.
“This was a hunt that almost never happened,” Bebout said. “I drove all the way out there (to his lease) in the fog. It took me like 25 to 30 minutes (to cover the 15 miles). So, I’m listening to the recap of the World Series the night before and it was just starting to break daylight. I got out and got dressed and realized I hadn’t brought my Scent-Lok jacket.”
So, Bebout made the 30-minute drive back to his home to retrieve his hunting coat.
“When I pulled in the driveway, I said if my wife’s up I’m not going back out,” he said. “I saw that all of the lights were still out in the house, so I grabbed my jacket and headed back.”
After arriving back on his lease, Bebout made the quarter-mile walk back to his treestand. He had company, too.
“There were deer running and snorting in every direction,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many deer I ran out.”
After climbing his treestand, Bebout decided to sit for a spell and just watch what was happening around him.
“Being that I had already blown things out, I thought every 15 minutes I’ll rattle and grunt,” he said. “It was about the third time that I grunted and rattled and I could see him coming in sideways. He tried to skirt around behind me, and I could see one side (of his rack). I thought this is a really nice deer.”
Bebout grunted three times, and on the third motion the buck swung his head around.
“So, there he comes. He was about 80 yards out. There are a lot of treetops and ravines in there, and I could see him working right to me,” he said.
“He gets about 50 yards from me and I could see through the treetops that this was a 200-inch deer,” he said. “It was so foggy that my rangefinder wouldn’t work, though. I never could get a range, but I was guessing him at 25 yards. When he came up that bank and around the tree, I took the shot.”
And, the shot was true.
“I still didn’t get nervous, even after all of this,” he said. “He took off and I climbed down. Walked over to where he was shot and seen all the blood. That’s when I started shaking. It got to me. The adrenaline got to me.”
Bebout started tracking the blood trail, which was leading right back to his truck parked alongside the road.
“I wondered if I was pushing this deer too hard,” he said. “But there was so much blood that I couldn’t walk on the blood trail. I had to walk beside of it.
“It was dripping off the weeds and dripping off the briars,” he said of the blood. “And I thought ‘Maybe I shouldn’t push him.’ It was getting thicker and thicker.”
Bebout cut his way through the briars and brambles, and happened upon the wounded deer. The animal jumped up upon seeing Bebout.
“I thought ‘Oh, no, I’ve messed up now,’” he said. “But, he went 10 feet and fell over.”
Bebout pulled out his cell phone and texted his sons, telling them he had just killed a 200-inch buck.
“They both texted me back ‘BS’,” Bebout laughed. “So, I couldn’t get anybody to believe me. I grabbed the deer and I drug him about 20 yards and stopped. I thought ‘that’s far enough.’”
Bebout marked the spot where the deer lay with a couple of paper towels so he could find it later.
Back at home, he formed a small group of family members to help gather up the deer.
“We didn’t find him right away, so I had to retrack him to find him,” he said.
Then, the pictures started, and the rest is history.
“Everybody’s who’s looked at it has said the frame is bigger than what it looks like in the picture,” he said. “As you can see, I’ve got my knees clear up to the buck’s head and I’m 6 foot tall. It is a magnificent buck.”