Predators & Small Game
Rack Report: Devin Danflous' Ohio Stud
Buck: Rough-scored at 200 inches
Hunter: Devin Danflous
Location: Johnstown, Ohio
Time of Year: Nov. 28, 2011
Weapon: Winchester 1200 20-guage
To a lot of hunters, the opening day of gun season is about a lot more than just filling a tag.
It certainly is for Kyle Danflous and his 14-year-old son Devin. The Ohio residents look forward to the shotgun opener every year for two reasons -- to kill a big buck and, most importantly, to share time in the woods together.
"Devin is my favorite hunting buddy," Kyle said. "On the first day of shotgun season this year, we sat together and it was a morning neither one of us will ever forget."
Ohio's shotgun season begins the Monday after Thanksgiving each year. It's a time of year when the rut has started to wind down but isn't completely finished as a few does are still cycling and create just enough interest to get the attention of bucks looking for one last go-round.
With that in mind, Kyle and Devin opted to sit on the edge of a brushy draw that led to a wooded hillside that was a known bedding area. The idea was to catch a buck as it moved to bed or cruised the area looking for one last hot doe.
But things didn't quite work out as planned.
"About 8 a.m., the buck started coming down the hill for no apparent reason," Kyle said. "There were three does with him but he was actually out in front of them. They all ended up coming to within about 15 yards of us."
With the hunters right on top of them, the group of deer quickly figured out something wasn't right and came to an abrupt stop. Devin, who was toting a 20-guage Winchester 1200, was already locked and ready. When the buck stopped, Devin shot and dropped the deer where it stood.
"He went right down and seemed to have expired very quickly," Kyle said. "But we waited about 15 minutes and didn't move. We just wanted to make sure he wasn't getting up. Our initial thoughts were that the buck was a big 12- or 14-pointer."
Those initial thoughts were wrong. It's fairly common for bucks to exhibit a bit of "ground shrinkage." This one, however, did the opposite.
"Even though we were only 20 yards from the buck, it was hard to tell from the way it was laying just how big it was," Kyle said. "It wasn't until we put our hands on him that we knew exactly how big he really is."
And big it certainly is.
Devin's buck has 21 points, an inside spread of 21.5 inches, 27-inch main beams and the type of mass that could satisfy a stout man pondering the options at a buffet.
The buck has yet to be officially scored but preliminary measurements indicate the buck will come very close to the vaunted 200-inch mark.
"Devin said it happened a little fast for him to get too excited," Kyle said. "He was definitely more worked up after the shot. He's extremely excited about the deer and as a dad I couldn't be more proud of my favorite hunting buddy."
Submitted on December 28, 2011