Big Buck 411 Blog

Hunting A Kentucky Legend

Hunting A Kentucky Legend

By Mark Melotik

For Kentucky’s Ryan Ederer and his wife Jodi, bowhunting whitetails is a team effort. That’s because the Grant County couple’s 2- and 6-year-old children keep them plenty busy when out of the woods, but the plan seems to be working nicely.

Case in point? The gigantic Bluegrass State stud bagged by Ryan Ederer on Sept. 14, 2023. The mainframe 10-pointer tipped the BTR scales at 210 5/8 inches with 14 scorable points and a 22-inch inside spread. It’s now Kentucky’s 8th Largest buck in BTR’s Irregular Compound category.

“It was hot, dry and still that day, some very consistent weather, but typically not a great hunting day,” Ryan Ederer recalled. “But the wind was consistent, and my wife talked me into going. I slipped back there into our box blind, and he came out early. At that point there was a lot of texting back and forth with my wife.”

It had been Ryan’s turn to man the elevated box blind on the edge of a food plot on the couple’s private, 40-acre Grant County tract they had been dutifully managing, specifically for deer. And last fall, their target was an outsized buck they had known about for four years.

Jodi had been hunting the deer in the very same blind the evening before, but on Sept. 14, it was Ryan who got to watch in amazement as the giant suddenly sauntered into the field in daylight.


Ryan watched intently as the outsized monarch marched slowly around most of the perimeter of the smallish food plot — before strolling casually into point-blank range. Was it a dream? At 13 yards, Ryan drew his bow and cut the shot. A slightly high hit dropped the great buck instantly.

Just a random lucky night on stand? Hardly. The whitetail-obsessed Ederers had been hunting this particular buck, and building toward this moment, for more than four years. They’d known about the buck they had named NoGo beginning when it was a promising 2 1/2-year-old, 120-class deer they vowed to avoid shooting until it reached its full potential. Hence the NoGo moniker.

When it was 3 1/2 years old, the Ederers guessed its rack would score in the mid-150s. The buck hit its stride in 2022 when, as a 4-year-old, it blew up to more than 200 inches via some 25 points. It was game on, but that year the elusive buck had other plans.

In October of 2022 Ryan missed the big deer after it ducked an arrow as it fed near the center of a food plot with another buck. Ryan thought he’d never get another opportunity, and mostly true to form, the buck remained reclusive until the very end.

“In the four years we knew about this buck, I saw it on the hoof just three or four times,” Ryan said. “You know, my biggest takeaway is that bowhunting is not easy. These mature bucks can kick your butt. This buck kicked my butt for three years. For the last two years, hunting him was my whole world. I’d eat, sleep and work my tail off to seem him in daylight, but he was mostly a ghost. In the end, I missed him one time and killed him the other time.”

For the full story of this amazing Kentucky buck, including some stunning trail cam photos that show its amazing year-over-year growth, be sure to check out the next issue of Rack magazine.

Copyright 2024 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd