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Season of Trophy Bucks


Ohio-based Blocker Outdoors ambassador, Ben Rising, has spent most of his life doing two things: hand-logging hardwoods and chasing monster bucks.

“I’ve been logging since I was 16 and started my own logging business in 2000, working with a sawmill and managing three crews. Besides bowhunting, timber is all I know how to do,” says Rising.

As far as the whitetail season progresses, Rising starts chasing Kentucky velvet bucks in September. In early October, he sticks around his home parts of Ohio, drifting westward into Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa, as autumn advances—depending on the tags he draws.  

Over the years, Rising has become a notable whitetail hunting personality, filming for the Drury’s starting back in 2001—which he did until 2014 and then launched Whitetail Edge TV.

Besides working for the Drury’s, and running his own digital outlet, Whitetail Edge TV, Ben Rising makes frequent appearances on the Team 200 Show, Bone Collector, and other media outlets, both digital and TV.

Season Of Trophy Bucks

We caught up with Ben after we learned he had taken three giant deer. Of course, we wanted to know more…

If you would, please tell us about your first big buck of the season, your third 200-inch plus with a bow.

Rising: The first one was a 215-inch Illinois deer I call “Ranger.” I had a little bit of history with him from last year, the first year I’d ever hunted that farm, and that deer just happened to be there. So I started putting together a game plan.

I felt like he needed a year to mature. I know he could really blow up if I gave him a year; my only worry was someone would get him, but they didn’t. He survived into this season. So, I started implementing a plan of attack, doing some habitat improvement here and there, and then hunting smart.

A big cold front came through in early October and that got mature bucks on their feet during daylight hours. It was a real blessing that I was able to capitalize on. I moved in on “Ranger,” seating one sit, did not get a shot, but knew there would be other opportunities. In short, two days later I moved again and was able to capitalize on the position and get him at 18 yards, all on video.

By the way, you can watch the entire episode on YouTube here

Where and when did you take your second big buck, the 19-pointer?

Rising: I shot my second big buck of the season in Illinois, too, a deer I named “Insider.” He measured 160-inches and had a typical frame with some inside points – 19 in total. I ended up shooting him my first sit in a bedding area that I was fairly sure he was bedding in.

I’d slipped in a few days before and hung another Novix treestand on the outskirts of his bedding area, trying to catch any big mature buck going in and out of this bedding area that was basically a big, swampy bottom. My camera guy and I slipped in one morning in the dark, got into position, and had a really good feeling.

I had a few pictures of this deer in that general area. So, we thought he might be one of the deer we’d see. There was another giant eight-pointer around, too.

It was a really cool, rainy morning and at about 9 am I saw deer legs moving through the thicket and could tell it had a good rack; there he was, the “Insider.” So, I worked him with a grunt call, got him kind of fired up, and he started making a big rub thrashing some trees.

Within 5 to 10 minutes, I coaxed him and he came walking broadside at 20 yards and I arrowed him. He ended up scoring 160-inches and 19 points. He was pretty young, and probably should have let him go, honestly—at least given him a year. He would have become a real giant.

Now tell us about the last big deer of your season so far? What did you call him? “Superstar”?

Rising: Unlike my first two big bucks of the season, which came hunting Illinois, “Superstar” was an Ohio buck that I’ve seen over several years. He had been wounded at some point and his rack had one bad side. Then, in 2023, he snapped out of it—which I’ve never seen a deer do and his rack got real heavy on that previously wounded side. “Superstar” was a big 10-pointer who measured right at 170, which I shot on November 27th during Ohio’s shotgun season, but with my bow.

“Superstar” was close to a bedding area. He had been roaming the area hard and the neighbors were after him. He was getting rambunctious, but most of the does were out of heat. He was on his feet looking for opportunities, searching frantically for more does and just wearing himself out.

He did not want to quit. So, I knew I had to position where a lot of does were hanging out between bedding areas. And I caught sight of him in the distance one windy and cold afternoon at 3 in the afternoon. Then, around four o’clock, I knew we had a good hour and a half before dark, and if it was going to happen it would be soon.

“Superstar” was up on his feet going from one bedding area to another, about 70 yards out in a cornfield, and I did not want to take that shot with a bow. It was just too far, and the wind was treacherous. Honestly, it was one of the coldest and windiest days I’d hunted this season.

So, I let him get into the woods. Once he got out of sight, I grabbed my rattling antlers and banged them together as hard as I could trying to get him to hear it. Five minutes later, he was circling me, approaching downwind and I shot him at 18 yards.

Season Of Trophy Bucks
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