Kentucky Man Comes Away with a Trophy Buck from Wayne National Forest

Shane Allen with his trophy buck.Nelsonville, Ohio-  Two weeks out of the year, Shane Allen from Floyd County, Kentucky can be found in southern Ohio hunting on the Wayne National Forest in Lawrence County. On opening day, during the January 2015 Ohio four-day white-tail deer muzzleloader season, he harvested the largest buck of his 24-year hunting career.

“It was a 16-point buck, green scored at 189 ¼ gross non-typical,” said Allen.

The morning hunt started out slow, but quickly began to pick up for the deer hunter. With an hour of daylight left, he settled into a field that had been reclaimed from mining activity, where deer had been feeding. He started glossing the wood lines across from him and made out what he thought was a rack.

“I raised my 0.50 caliber muzzleloader, and looked through the scope. Right away, I could tell this buck was a shooter, but all I could see was his rack and ears,” explained Allen. I sat down to rest and tried to make out exactly where his shoulder was through the thick sage grass. I estimated the deer was 200 yards and later would range the shot at 230 yards. I slowly squeezed off a shot.”

As Allen walked over to the deer, he started to see abnormal points and could tell the deer was bigger than he first thought. He immediately called his father, the man who taught him to hunt, to help recover a deer of a lifetime.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), hunters harvested 13,726 deer during the muzzleloader season.

The 244,000-acre Wayne National Forest and the ODNR Division of Wildlife work in collaboration to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities.

“We work to improve and monitor wildlife habitat and construct and maintain access points on the Wayne National Forest,” said Tim Slone, District Ranger for the Ironton Ranger District. Our goal is to provide a landscape that provides high-quality wildlife habitat, including an abundance of food.”

Generally, hunting is allowed anywhere on the Wayne National Forest. An exception is recreation areas with designated boundaries (campgrounds, picnic areas, parking areas, designated swimming areas and trailheads) or areas where otherwise posted.

On the Wayne National Forest private land is interspersed with public land and hunters must obtain written permission from landowners to hunt on private property. Hunters are urged to be aware of their location at all times, to avoid inadvertently straying off public land onto private ownership.

Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through sales of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservationpublication.

Allen adds, “Yes, I spend about $2000 a year on hunting-related expenses. We also pay for an annual Forest Service special-use permit to access our private land, located adjacent to the national forest. I’ll soon be paying a taxidermist to mount the deer.”

Slone adds, “We are grateful that the national forest helps boost the economic prosperity of our local communities. I’ve seen hunter license plates from all over the region parked at access points to the Wayne National Forest.”

Allen proudly noted that in the coming weeks his trophy buck will be added to the Buckeye Big Buck Club Record Book Search.

“I hope to rank in the top five for Lawrence County,” said Allen.

For more information about hunting in Ohio, visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov and the Wayne National Forest website at http://fs.usda.gov/wayne.

Follow the Wayne National Forest on Twitter: @waynenationalfs and on Facebook.