Dusty Kittle’s prep pays off on day one.
The 2018 Ohio whitetail deer hunting season began Saturday, Sept. 29, and a few archers cashed in on the pre-season prep work by harvesting their prey.
Local hunter Dusty Kittle was one of those in in a tree stand waiting for his opportunity to come along. “I’ve been watching a monster buck for the past two years but hadn’t been able to get a clear shot at him, it was frustrating,” Kittle said. That frustration just turned into elation as Kittle was able to harvest the high-tined buck.
Unseasonably warm temperatures were present during the weekend, which doesn’t always bode well when stalking the big game, but it may have helped Kittle take this mature deer with a rack measuring more than 175″ on the Boone and Crocket scale.
“The weather was weird and the breeze was swirling in from the north east, which made me move to a different, rarely-used tree stand,” he said. “I have this buck on camera coming into the kill zone from one side of the wood line and I knew I needed to stay down-wind to hide my scent, so I snuck into a secondary stand and waited.”
The wait paid off as the buck meandered into within and hour of getting settled.
“I think mixing it up helped me on this hunt. This was a smart animal with great natural instincts and an amazing sense of smell. Fortunately for me and my family, he didn’t see or smell me and I got the drop on him,” Kittle said. “It was a smooth kill as I silently drew my compound bow and quickly released a kill shot.”
A big deer needs a strong crew to drag it out of the woods. Fortunately, Dusty’s uncle Reuben and brother Andrew were on standby to lend a hand.
“It’s a big deer that will provide my family with a lot of very good meat. Venison is a staple in our house. My wife and I will prepare it in a few different ways. From grilling the steaks to making jerky, this animal is a blessing and worth the effort.”