November 09, 2021
Cody Frank first encountered this giant 6 1/2-year-old buck in 2019 but decided to give it another year to grow. Then, in 2020, he never caught a glimpse of the buck or captured a single trail cam image of it. Things changed this fall when the buck returned.
"I immediately started doing everything I could to keep him close, knowing he was going to start to travel again soon looking for those first does in estrus," Frank recently told Game & Fish. "I made mock scrapes everywhere I could within my food plot. I used cell cameras to limit pressure of going in and out and was very careful with my wind."
On Oct. 23, the 15th or so day he'd hunted the deer, everything came full circle. The weather was overcast and drizzling rain. A cool, 60-degree breeze blew out of the northwest.
200-Inch Ohio Hammer
- Hunter: Cody Frank
- Date: October 23, 2021
- Location: Fairfield, Ohio
- Method: Compound bow
- Score: 205 inches
Frank had spent most of the day hanging treestands with his oldest son. They finished up a little later than expected and rushed to get ready for the afternoon hunt. His wife dropped him off at his treestand to save time.
He carefully approached it, checking to make sure he didn't spook anything, and settled in. He glassed the rolling hills covered with timber, multiflora rose and greenbrier all around him, but his primary focus was the small food plot he'd planted in the spring.
About 20 minutes after ascending the tree, the plot started filling with deer. About 10 to 15 does and small bucks walked in and out of view. Frank had seen the buck two days prior, so he hoped the deer might still be in the area.
Then, around 5:55 p.m., he heard a stick snap at the edge of the timber and slowly turned his head to look for the source of the sound. There was the giant, slowly walking into the food plot.
"When the buck came out, every deer on the food plot stopped and stared at him," Frank said. "He stood there for five minutes. As he entered the field, I was still seated because I had 10 deer within shooting range. Little by little, I stood up, got my bow off the hanger and into position. I could feel my heart about to come out of my chest."
After several tense moments, the buck eventually offered a 22-yard, quartering-away shot opportunity. Frank calmed himself, drew back, settled the pin and released the arrow. It struck true, and the buck bolted for cover.
"I saw my lighted knock disappear in him," Frank said. "I knew that I had just killed a buck of a lifetime. He ran about 70 yards, stopped for a few seconds, then crashed."
Frank called his wife, dad and some buddies to tell them the good news. Then, he climbed down, checked the impact site for blood, found good sign and backed out. About an hour later, he, his wife, father, sons and friend started the blood trailing process. It didn't take long to find the buck.
"I'm so grateful to God and blessed to have taken this beautiful animal," Frank said. "He rough-scored 205 inches with 20 scoreable points. Getting to share this memory with the people I love has been the greatest. To shoot him on my own property, which I have worked so hard to make a buck paradise—it meant so much to me."