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A Bittersweet Ohio Deadhead

A Bittersweet Ohio Deadhead

By Patrick Dunning

In January 2022, Stephanie Barber shot what would have been Ohio’s #2 overall semi-irregular in the blackpowder category, and the #1 semi-irregular felled by a female in Ohio. That is if she recovered and placed her tag on the whitetail during the state’s deer season.

Stephanie got a crack at this world-class buck at 105 yards with her .50 Cal CVA Optima V2, located a blood trail and grid-searched the area with her fiancé and dad until a downpour forced them to back out for the night.

The next morning, nearly 12 hours after the shot, her dog tracked the wounded deer to a bedding area 150 yards from the field edge where Stephanie and her dad had been staged. The Australian Shepherd jumped the deer, and it ran out of sight onto a neighboring property the Barbers didn’t have permission to access.

A farmer found the deceased buck during planting season and gave it to the neighbor without much thought. As luck would have it, the rack made its way back into Stephanie’s hands nine months later in September.

Even though Stephanie knows it was the deer she shot, it was never tagged with an Ohio buck harvest tag, and therefore must be classified as a pick-up, or a buck found rather than harvested. Despite that technicality, she will still be able to display this central-Ohio stud on her wall. Buckmasters master scorer Toby Hughes measured this buck at 194 6/8 inches.

Stephanie nicknamed this buck Heartbreaker, for good reason. You can read the full story in the fall issue of Rack magazine.

— Read Recent Blog! 200-Inch State Record Taken on Fort Knox! Colt Stumbo's Bluegrass Bruiser has a BTR score of 209 3/8 inches.

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