Public Land Giant

posted by Erik Barber on 08.18.15

Each year we spend summer months trying to locate bucks on public land with trail cameras. Usually this means walking a long ways into undisturbed areas to set up our cameras over trails in high traffic areas leading to and from food sources. Just a few days ago, however, we found the biggest surprise we could ask for without even getting a single trail camera photo. 

Aaron Warbritton, Zach Ferenbaugh and Aaron Avestruz headed out to a new piece of public land to check a camera. They were almostWe found the shed just off the side of a gravel road. We rough scored it at over 80 inches! ready to park the truck and walk in when they drove past what looked like a giant antler hanging from a cedar tree only a few feet from the gravel road. Sure enough, they got out and picked up what is the most impressive antler many of us have ever seen!

Here's where things get even more interesting. This is the antler from the same buck that Erik Barber missed in 2013. Aaron shot a buck after being in the stand for only an hour, so he took over the camera and Erik sat in the hunter stand. You can watch the full hunt here. 

Zach Kurzejeski and Jared Kison got trail camera photos of this buck in 2014. The photos and shed were found 3.5 miles from where Erik missed him in 2013!

In 2014, interns Zach Kurzejeski and Jared Kison got trail camera pictures of this buck following a doe in the same area that we found the shed. However, the shed and trail camera pictures were taken 3.5 miles from where Erik missed him in 2013! 

Needless to say, this buck will be our number one target this season. We haven't relocated him with trail cameras yet, but we're not too worried about it. This buck is obviously a traveler, and we will continue to monitor trail cameras in his area with high hopes of getting some pictures of him. During the rut, our strategy is to set up in funnels caused by ditches, ridges and creeks that create travel corridors for cruising bucks. 

You can follow our season week-by-week right here at We'll bring you the latest deer hunting action on a semi-live format that allows you to learn the latest tactics that are working at certain times of the year.

- Erik Barber