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How Mark Owen Got to the Stand in the Dark without Spooking the Huge Ohio Buck


Editor’s Note: Twenty-seven-year-old Mark “Buck” Owen of Wooster, Ohio, found and took a buck of a lifetime wearing Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity camouflage. He says, “I really like Mossy Oak, because I am also a turkey hunter and like a more-open pattern. I wear the camo I use for deer hunting to hunt turkeys. I’ve been wearing Mossy Oak for 6 years. I was in a sporting-goods store and saw a really-nice coat. I didn’t even look at the camo pattern. I just liked the way the camo looked. I knew it would fit into the terrain I was hunting. So, I bought the coat. When I learned it was Mossy Oak, I started buying my hunting pants, shirts and the rest of my clothes in Mossy Oak. I stuck with the pattern and company, because my success has been in Mossy Oak. I believe that when something’s working for you, you don’t need to leave it. I’ve been a fan of Mossy Oak for a long time, and I see no reason to change.” Owen used his PSE Dream Season DNA bow to take the big buck. The story of how he found the deer, how he got permission to take the deer, and the agony of his defeat before the thrill of his victory makes this story unusual, exciting and a dream come true. This week Owen gives us the secrets of finding big bucks and getting permission to hunt them, as well as the techniques he used to pinpoint when and where that buck would appear, and the way he took this 2nd biggest Ohio bow buck ever.

For 8 days, from the time I had permission to hunt the big buck, until the day I climbed into the tree stand, I hardly ate. I had butterflies in my stomach the entire week. I really didn’t realize I wasn’t eating. All I could think about was trying to use my mental powers to make sure that buck would come in on opening day. Too, I was thinking how I would walk into the stand. I wanted to make sure I could get to the stand without using a light. I talked to the landowner and he explained, “I always fill the feeder that the buck is coming to at the same time every day – 9:00 am. I think your best plan is to walk exactly the same route that I walk when I am putting corn in the feeder, since the deer are accustomed to smelling human odor there, and it doesn’t spook them.” 

BuckOwen3_llI asked the landowner if he would mind pacing-off the route he took to put the corn in the feeder. He always parked his Gator at a corner post. Then, he walked 60 steps to the spot where he put out minerals, turned left, walked 24 steps to the feeder and then walked 40 steps from the feeder to the tree where we had the tree stand. My plan was to park my truck about 450-yards away from where the landowner parked his Gator and walk as quietly as I could to that corner post and follow the landowner’s route. Once I got to the feeder, I would be able to see the tree where I had hung my tree stand, because it was the biggest tree in the area. 

On the morning of the hunt, I had all my Mossy Oak clothing that I had washed with Hunter’s Specialties Scent-A-Way and a little mat that I also had washed in Scent-A-Way. When I got to the place where I planned to leave my truck, I took my other clothes off, took the mat out of the scent-free bag, stepped onto the mat, put on my Mossy Oak camo, put on my Hunter Safety System safety harness, took out a Hunter's Specialties Fresh Earth Cover Scent Wafer, sprayed down with Scent-A-Way and then walked to my tree. No, I am not being paid by Scent-A-Way – I just believe in the product. When you expect to be that close to a monster buck, you have to do everything to keep that buck from seeing or smelling you. I like the fresh earth scent wafer, because the earth scent is as natural as you can get. When I got to the tree, I tied my PSE Dream Season DNA bow to my pull-up rope, climbed into the tree, pulled up my bow, hung my fresh earth scent wafer, put my bow on my bow hanger, tied my back pack with sandwiches, water and a bottle to go to the bathroom into the tree and waited on daylight. I planned to stay in the tree all day to have a chance to take this monster buck. I had my Gold Tip Pro Hunter arrow shafts and the new Hypodermic Rage Broadhead, one of the newer broadheads from Rage. I had been shooting Rage Broadheads ever since I first started shooting my bow. I was as ready as ready could be to take this big buck. 

I chose the PSE Dream Season DNA when I wanted a new bow for hunting after shooting three bows from every archery company that the bow shop I visited had in the store. I like a lot of speed from a bow and plenty of kinetic energy delivered to the point of the broadhead. I liked the weight of this bow and its warranty. The PSE Dream Season DNA just had come into the shop, when I was trying to pick a bow for hunting. The DNA I bought was the first PSE DNA to leave that shop. I have had the bow technicians at this shop work on every bow I ever have had. And, they promised they could deliver service after the sale, which was important to me. 

Day 2: Mark Owen’s Dream Comes True When He Hunts a Monster Ohio Bow Buck

Tomorrow: How Mark Owen Took His Ohio Bow Buck That Scored 256

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