Redmond Hunt Story Contest | Tagging the Biggest Whitetail of 2021-22
November 16, 2022
Do you have a sweet deer hunting story that's worth sharing? Enter our Redmond Hunt Story Contest! Get details here on how to submit your story and win.
If you're like us, the thrill of the chase, time with family and friends, and a wonder of the outdoors fuel your drive to hunt. You tramp through woods, scale trees, sit for hours in a stand, and often come home emptyhanded—yet ready to do it all again tomorrow. And once in a while you snag a trophy and experience a memory you'll never forget.
We want to hear and see the story behind your hunt, the adversity you overcame, and the memories made. Because behind every trophy photo is a great deer hunting story that should be shared. Like this one from Kentucky resident Corey Smith, who shot a monstrous, nontypical whitetail over Redmond products last January. Experience his hunt and learn about our Redmond Hunt Story Contest below!
Meet Corey and His 260-Inch "Raspberry Buck"
It took a determined duo, a wicked winter storm, and a bag of Cherry Bomb to bring down the biggest whitetail buck recorded during the 2021-22 hunting season.
In summer of 2021, Corey Smith and his friend Dustin made plans to hunt whitetails together across their bordering states of Ohio and Kentucky when the season opened. In preparation, Dustin got permission from an Ontario farmer to scout a private field and set up a camera to see what deer the area held. When he and Corey pulled the card in August, the images revealed a jaw-dropping buck.
“I thought it was a joke at first,” Corey said of his first sighting of the gnarly-antlered deer with almost too many points to count. “My second thought was, ‘That’s a deer of a lifetime.’”
In nearly every trail cam photo, the buck was looking straight at the camera, massive rack jutting every which way and tongue out as if taunting the hunters behind the lens. The giant deer seemed to be intentionally blowing a raspberry, so… he became the “Raspberry buck.”
Corey spent the hunting season splitting his time and tags between the two states and keeping his options open.
“I wasn’t specifically going after Raspberry or dedicating all my time to that deer,” he said.
But he still kept an eye on him. And both he and Dustin hoped to catch a glimpse of the unique buck in person—and maybe have a shot at tagging him. So from Kentucky, Corey suggested Dustin put out Cherry Bomb to get the deer in Ohio on their feet during daylight hours and into the field they had permission to hunt.
“The one thing I know works is Cherry Bomb, especially in the winter when there's no food,” Corey said. “The first time I used it on my own farm, I took a 140-inch deer. The next year my wife took a 133 with a 12-inch drop tine. Cherry Bomb has the protein and minerals deer need, and they're going to come to it.”
It was mid-January, near the end of archery season, when Corey finally got a text from Dustin. "Come on up," he said. The bucks—including old Raspberry—were sniffing out Cherry Bomb and daylighting in Ohio.
With a nudge from his wife Nicole, Corey picked up and headed north, stopping just once to grab the last two bags of Cherry Bomb off a Bass Pro Shops shelf. Arriving at the farm, Corey and Dustin mixed the Bomb with a bit of corn and spread it out in a 50-foot radius in the field.
Then they hunkered down for the night to wait out a storm blowing in, with plans to begin their hunt the next day. They woke to swirling snow, 20-mile-an-hour winds, and the mercury reading a bitter 15 degrees. To its credit, however, the wily weather was working in their favor.
“You have to hunt this field on the right wind,” Corey said. “Normally, the wind blows northeast, right into the woods where the deer are. This wind was coming out of the north and pushing south—exactly what we needed to hunt the lot. It was literally the perfect storm.”
At 3:00 p.m. the weather temporarily broke and the two headed for the blind at the edge of the field. With binocs and crossbows in hand and a northerly wind blowing their way, they waited. And it wasn’t long till the deer appeared.
“We had three does and two bucks almost immediately come out to the field,” Corey said. “One buck saw the ground blind, didn’t like it and took off.”
Thirty minutes later, another buck appeared and cleared the field. Then around 4:30 a nine-pointer on their target list came out… with giant-racked Raspberry in tow. The first buck spooked, and Raspberry followed before even entering the field.
“At that point, we were pretty discouraged and trying to come up with a game plan for the next day,” Corey recalled, “but decided to just sit out the rest of our time.”
As the minutes ticked past 5:00 and daylight waned, they caught a final bit of action. A few does reappeared. Then came the bucks. And 15 minutes later, an eight-point… with Raspberry again tagging behind.
“By that time, my adrenaline was drained because of how many times we’d seen bucks enter and clear the field,” Corey said, "and there was really no time to react.”
So he reacted by instinct. Raspberry popped out into the field, walking away from the blind when the second buck cut in front of him. Raspberry turned, giving Corey a slight quarter-away shot.
“It was exactly what we wanted,” Corey said, “and I took the shot. We saw him mule-kick then take off running, and all the while I was thinking, ‘What just happened?’”
Corey and Dustin tracked the deer about 200 yards and found him in the snow with a clean pass-through lung shot and his tongue out in one last act of rebellion.
The buck was old, with no teeth, but he had an incredible rack. Beams, points, and drop tines angled out everywhere. Corey and Dustin knew they had a special deer at their feet and called up Toby Hughes, an official sizer with Buckmasters, to score it. Hughes was busy plowing the Ohio highways but asked Corey to send some pictures.
“He called me back immediately afterwards,” Corey recalled, “and said, ‘That’s an unreal deer; I’ll fit you in tonight.’”
It took two hours to score the buck, but the wait was worth it. Raspberry aged at about nine years old and scored a whopping 260+ inches. He notched the number one whitetail buck in Richland County, the fifth biggest ever recorded in the state of Ohio, and number one overall nationally during the 2021-22 hunting season.
Raspberry was truly a once-in-a-lifetime buck Corey feels lucky to have caught. But after such a trophy, one can't help but wonder how he feels about his hunting prospects this year.
“It’s always going to be exciting, whether you find a six-point or a spike,” he said. “I was out in the field yesterday and had a small four-pointer come out that got my heart racing as much as any other deer.”
Because for Corey, the adventure of hunting is really not about size. It’s the challenge.
“When I head out to the woods, it’s a thrill, it’s a chess match,” he said. “You’re going against Mother Nature. And whether deer come out in front of you or don't, that’s the challenge you have to figure out. That’s the thrill of a sport like this.”
Share Your Success and Win Cool Stuff
Are you sitting on and smiling over a great hunting tale of your own? If you’ve got a nice buck and an even better story, we want to hear it! While family and friends might have appreciated the telling around a campfire, you now have a chance to share it with a larger audience of enthusiasts. So, brush up your storytelling skills and get ready to enter.
The Redmond Hunt Story Contest runs through February 1, 2023. All deer hunting stories are welcome, and the competition is open to anyone (limit one entry per contestant). If you have photos or videos, they’ll also up your odds of winning, as we want to experience your hunt from all angles. Stories will be judged based on Redmond Hunt’s four core values, and the top three entries will win prizes and enjoy recognition on our social sites and blog. Here are the entry details.
How to Enter
Entering the contest is simple and free, with two easy ways to share. Just choose one of the options below and submit your story by February 1, 2023.
- Facebook or Instagram. Post your story on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #RedmondHuntStory for a chance to place 2nd or 3rd.
- Redmond Hunt Contests Page. Going for the grand prize? Only stories submitted on our Contests page are eligible. Include pics and videos to increase your chance of winning.
Categories and Prizes
- 1st Place: Crazy-good hunting story (and a nice buck doesn’t hurt).
Grand Prize: Mini Muleys replica, $2,000 worth of hunting gear, and your story featured on Redmond Hunt’s social pages and blog.
- 2nd Place: Biggest buck and story.
Prize: Mini Muleys replica and your story featured on Redmond Hunt’s social pages.
- 3rd Place: Most unique buck and story.
Prize: Mini Muleys replica and your story featured on Redmond Hunt’s social pages.
So, the Story Goes...
We hope you're already typing out your tale and tracking down photos and vids, because we're ready to sit back and experience the highs and lows of your hunt—and share them with others! So, click below to submit, and good luck. We'll see you and your deer hunting story on our Redmond Hunt social pages.
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