RYAN CADY, 34 – OHIO
SADDLE GEAR: Tethrd Mantis & Predator Platform
As October came to a close in New York State, myself and my buddies made our annual trip west to Ohio in search of dream public land bucks. We towed our camper for 9 hours and set up camp in a local campground. We began scouting a new chunk of public land on November 1, 2020.
The next morning myself and buddy walked into a familiar public land piece, but only ran into hunter sign. We lasted 30 minutes before leaving to find a less pressured area. We made our way to a new area we both have never been to before, and split up to scout, both using mantis saddles and predator platforms. As I reached a wooded drainage along a CRP field, I started to find sign of bucks. Fresh scrapes became more frequent as I worked down the side of drainage. I made it to a spot that was ten feet below the elevation of the CRP field. The area was flat for 60 yards then dropped steeply into the drainage. The flat was thick and torn up with fresh scrapes, and set up perfectly for bedding according to OnX maps. I marked the spot and backed out to meet back up with my buddy to make our game plan before lunch.
By 11:30am I was back climbing a tree. I set up my mantis saddle with a stiff cold wind in my face. At 3:25pm I saw movement coming up from the bedding area. I quickly saw it wasa yearling buck. This yearling made its way to the base of my tree, unaware of anything amiss. From the same trail, I then saw a deer moving. With my bow in my hand I prepared myself. It quickly became evident that it was a buck as his antlers pushed through the sea of brush.
As the buck came within 30 yards, itwas clearly the biggest buck I had encountered in my life. The buck turned broadside and began to work one of the many scrapes. I drew back and let an arrow fly. The arrow sunk right behind the shoulder and the buck turned and ran down in the deep drainage. As the buck ran over the crest of the hill, I watched the wide antlers disappear. I heard what I thought was him crashing down the hill.
I quickly backed out and hiked the mile out to the truck. After the longest 2 hours, myself and my buddies began to track the buck. At impact there were pools of bubbly blood. After a short track his eyes reflected in the flashlight beams. The buck had made it only forty yards and died as he ran down the hill, rolling into the creek at the base of the drainage. I had finally put my hands on a Pope & Young public land beast. The next hours of dragging with my buddies will never be forgotten. It is truly a blessing to harvest a public land buck on the first day in the company of my closest friends. The buck measured 150 6/8”.