I cannot blog about buck bachelor groups, as I did earlier in the week, without my mind going back to John Schmucker and the enormous buck he killed in Ohio way back in 2006.

That summer, John spent many evenings sitting on the roof of his carriage house in his backyard, watching an unbelievable buck through his binoculars. “I saw him almost every night when he’d come out into that bean field,” he said. “Some weeks, I’d see him 5 out of 7 afternoons.”

Every time John spotted the 36-point giant, the deer was traveling with 3 smaller bucks, and he filed that away in his subconscious.

When the Amish hunter went out with his crossbow on September 30 that year, the first deer he spotted was one of the little guys. He figured the monster was close, so he got ready. A few minutes later there he was! John’s bolt was dead-on. The Schmucker Buck, with a non-typical net of 291 2/8, is one of the largest whitetails ever shot with a crossbow in Ohio or anywhere else.

The lesson: As you glass a bachelor group this summer, study the makeup of the band and remember the individuals, because often some of those bucks will still run together in bow season. If you spot one of the little bucks close, get ready, because there’s a good chance a shooter might be coming too.