Justin Metzner'™s Adams County Monster Bow Kill

Justin Metzner'™s Adams County Monster Bow Kill

Not many hunters get up at 3 a.m. to drive nearly three hours to their favorite hunting grounds. But Justin Metzner did -- and was rewarded with one of the biggest bucks ever taken by a hunter! (July 2007)

The Metzner buck has exceptionally long tines and remarkable symmetry, with only 4 inches of deductions.
Photo courtesy of Justin Metzner

It doesn't take much to make Hunter's Soup: Take three brothers who are competitive and love to hunt, add a dad who'd rather give up his shooter's spot on a deer drive so his son can take his first deer, and throw in a young man dedicated enough to get up at 3 a.m. so he can drive nearly three hours to sit in a tree all day, and you've got something cooking.

Now toss in one 10-point 196 6/8-inch whitetail buck and have yourself a bowl of Justin Metzner's Hunter's Soup.

Being a resident of Ohio and holding the Pope and Young world record for non-typical whitetails, I am privileged to hear of just about every giant buck that hits the ground in Ohio.

This year was no different. It seemed that Adams County was one of Ohio's hottest spots, first with the famous Amish Schmucker buck, and now with the Justin Metzner buck.

Metzner has been hunting for several years. His biggest buck so far scored around the mid-130s. His dad, Tony, and his brothers, Bill and Chad, have always been a big part of the family tradition.

On Oct. 21, 2006, Justin and his hunting partner, Jeremy, headed out to one of their favorite hunting spots.

It was a 2 1/2-hour drive to their destination, and they had to leave home at 3 a.m., which didn't leave much time for sleep.

"I always see deer when I go there," Justin said. "It's my favorite place to hunt. I see more deer in one day in Adams County then I do in a week of hunting around my home.

"But I only get down there two or three times each year during bow season. I've hunted that farm for four or five years now."

After stopping for some snacks and drinks, the hunters arrived at their spot around 6 a.m.

The farm is a mixture of corn, wheat, pasture, and gently rolling clover fields. It shares a back boundary with a public hunting area in northern Adams County.

Justin had taken a couple of small bucks during previous gun seasons and knew the area well. Prior to the 2005 season, however, he hadn't done any pre-season scouting.

"With work and everything, it's hard to get time to scout," Justin said. "But I knew the spot where I wanted to hunt because I'd seen a lot of sign there before."

Justin had about a 10-minute walk to the ridgeline he wanted to hunt.

He'd picked the spot based on all the sign (rubs and scrapes) he had found the year before. Plus, other hunters had seen a couple of good bucks in this area.

Justin normally hunts from a ground blind, but decided to try his climbing tree stand. By the time he found a tree and had ascended to about 20 feet, daylight was breaking.

At about 25 yards, the buck slowed and hesitated in an

opening. Already at full draw, Justin settled his pin on the buck's vital area and let fly.

He tried calling a few times with The Can and a grunt tube. At around 8 a.m., a couple of does came in, and Justin decided to take one.

The deer had worked their way up the hill and were just about eye-level with him, so his movements had to be limited. Picking an open lane, Justin drew his bow and took the shot. The doe jumped up and took off.

Justin surveyed the situation and found only hair -- there was no blood.

While making sure he had missed, he found a spot where deer were crossing the creek frequently.

As he went back to his tree, he ran off a few deer from around this stand, so he gathered his gear and went back to the car.

After meeting up with Jeremy, the boys went to grab some lunch and talk about the morning hunt. They decided to start their afternoon hunt around 3 p.m. or so.

The hunters exchanged their "Good luck"s and made their way back into the woods.

Justin climbed a tree next to the creek crossing that he had found earlier that morning.

Settling in for the afternoon hunt, he thought back on his morning miss and became a little drowsy from an already long day. But something told him to stay with it and make the most of his trip.

He called occasionally and watched for movement, but the only things moving were squirrels and birds.

An hour or so before dark, Justin hit The Can call a few times, and a doe came running out of the woods on the other side of the creek.

Acting sort of jittery, the doe ran off and came back a few minutes later, acting like she was being pushed.

Justin stood up and got ready, thinking a buck might pop out where the doe was.

But -- as they always seem to do -- the buck appeared in a different spot, some 40 yards away on the same side of the creek that Justin was on.

The buck started walking down the creek toward Justin. At about 25 yards, the buck slowed and hesitated in an opening. Already at full draw, Justin settled his pin on the buck's vital area and let fly.

The arrow hit the buck, and the deer ran toward Justin and past the tree he was sitting in. At this point, he didn't know how big the buck was; only that it was definitely a "shooter."

To Justin's disbelief, the buck fell only 30 yards from his tree. That's when he realized the buck wasn't just big -- he was huge!

Taking a deep breath and trying to calm himself, Justin climbed down to check out his deer.

He could not believe what just happened, all in the blink of an eye. Justin stood there staring at the biggest typical buck he'd ever seen.

After taking a few moments to

let it all sink in, Justin gave thanks to the Creator for a great hunt, tagged the buck, dragged it to the creekbank and field-dressed the deer.

Then reality set in. He had to find a way to get the mature buck up out of the creek bottom and back to his vehicle.

After being officially scored by the Ohio Big Bucks Club, Metzner's trophy ranks as the second-largest buck taken by a bowhunter in Ohio.

Justin went in a search of Jeremy, and found him on the edge of the field he was hunting. Jeremy had shot a 4-point buck and was just tagging it.

Now each hunter had a deer on the ground! They contacted the landowner, who let them use his tractor to haul the bucks back to their vehicle -- Justin's wife's compact car!

Finally on the road, the hunters stopped at some check stations, only to find they had all closed. In his frustration, Justin called his brother Bill for advice on checking in their bucks.

Bill told Justin to relax: After church tomorrow, they'd go check the deer in. (Ohio hunters must tag their deer within 24 hours of the kill.)

After being officially scored by the Ohio Big Bucks Club, Metzner's trophy ranks as the second-largest buck taken by a bowhunter in Ohio.

It is also the fifth-largest deer taken in the world, according to Pope and Young records.

The rack has a total of 12 main points, with just 4 1/8 inches of deductions.

Its inside spread is 19 5/8 inches, and the longest tine is 15 6/8 inches long.

Its gross score was 206 5/8, and its net score is 196 6/8.

A few weeks after that hunt, Justin and his brother, Chad, hunted in Indiana during the gun season and Justin took a nice 130-class buck.

Hats off to Justin's dad and brothers for doing such a good job of teaching him to hunt and to be a woodsman!

This young man has a lot of skill, and with a little luck on his side, who knows what may happen this season?

I don't know about you, but this writer is getting hungry for a bowl of my own Hunter's Soup!

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