Rack Magazine

Trading a Soup Spoon for a Fork

Trading a Soup Spoon for a Fork

By Mike Handley

After five years, discriminating deer hunter collects meat for his soup and bone for the wall.

It took half a decade for Husky Hummel to leave Ohio with something more than a nonresident hunting license in his pocket.

The 48-year-old car dealer from McClure, Pennsylvania, is accustomed to eating tag soup. He prefers it to the notion of shooting a deer for the sake of shooting a deer.

“I’m really fussy,” he said. “I want to shoot only big whitetails.”

His quest has sent Husky to 16 states and three Canadian provinces, to both private and state-owned lands. In fact, his first two seasons in Ohio were spent learning and hunting public ground.

He now leases 48 acres.

The first year Husky hunted the lease, in 2014, he passed up a promising 11-pointer six times because he thought it was only 2 1/2 years old. He nicknamed it Goalpost because of his tall and symmetrical brow tines.

“He strolled past my stand at 10 yards,” Husky said. “As a 2 1/2-year-old, he had maybe 145 inches, but he weighed only 115 to 120 pounds. From that moment, I knew he was special and that if he could survive, which I doubted, his rack could explode.”

Husky retrieved his first trail camera photograph of Goalpost in July 2015.

“Explode is exactly what happened,” he said. “As the season neared and his velvet dropped, I guessed him in the mid-170s as a 3 1/2-year-old. That gave him another season pass.”

Husky saw the distinctive buck twice from a treestand, in November and during the January muzzleloader season, and he allowed the buck to keep on trucking. Subsequently, he wound up with his fourth helping of Ohio tag soup.

Trading a Soup Spoon for a ForkHe might not have taken a deer in ’15, but he found a great place for a stand, at least when the wind was blowing out of the northwest. It sat 25 feet high on a poplar tree overlooking a bench between two ridges. The bench was near a power line as well.

Reaching it required a 200-yard hike.

In preparation for the 2016 season, Husky set out trail cameras in June. He didn’t return for another 30 days.

During the long drive from Pennsylvania to his Ohio lease in July, Husky was pumped. He couldn’t wait to see if Goalpost was back and how much he’d grown.

“I was like a kid at Christmas,” he said.

He was shocked when there weren’t any photos of the buck. August, September and October were busts, too.

“Finally, on Nov. 4, my first pic came. Then for the next three days, he was a regular,” Husky said. “But he always came at night. There were no daylight pics.”

Husky returned to hunt on Nov. 10, and he was prepared to stay through Nov. 17. He saw a lot of deer movement the first three days, and he passed up a nice mid-150s 10-pointer on the fourth.

“Then on Monday, Nov. 14, at 8:42 a.m., I heard a twig snap to my left. I turned and saw Goalpost in all his glory just 40 yards from me,” he said.

“The next 30 seconds seemed more like 30 minutes. He walked right past my trail cam, which captured the first and last daylight pic of him in 2016. When he cleared the tree, he stood broadside at 32 yards.

“I already had the scope’s crosshairs on him and the safety off,” Husky continued. “When I squeezed the trigger, the bolt was right on the money.”

Goalpost ran straight downhill for 40 yards, and then he collapsed.

“I was in shock,” Husky said. “I sat back down and said ‘Did that just happen?’”

Thus ended five years of holding out for a mature and impressive Buckeye whitetail.

This article was published in the March 2018 edition of Rack Magazine. Subscribe today to have Rack Magazine delivered to your home.

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