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MILLERSBURG – Three years ago, when Tom Horn and his son, Logan, started seeing a piebald buck on their trail cameras, the then 11-year-old made it a goal to harvest the unique animal.
“At first, we called it Socks, because of its white feet,” said Logan, “but then it became White Face.”
The West Holmes seventh-grader wasn’t the only one hunting White Face, though, as the deer was well-known in the area west of Millersburg, and the Horns weren’t the only hunters who had it on their trail cameras.
“It was no secret about the deer,” said Tom. “Everyone knew about it. … I ran into so many people who were after that deer. It was a neighborhood legend.”
First year out White Face escaped with a doe
Logan knew how many hunters were hoping to draw a bead on the 8-pointer with the white muzzle, and feared he’d never get the chance to take it down himself. Especially after missing out on the opportunity last year.
“We had him pretty close a couple of times,” remembered Logan. “Last year he was coming up a hill, and dad could see him, but I was too short to see him. All I needed was for him to come a couple of steps closer. But he lifted his head, turned around and ran off with a doe.
“I was pretty upset,” Logan continued. “But after the year was over, the next year I was back at it, ready to kill him.”
Shooting bucks is nothing new for Logan Horn, who also hunts rabbits, squirrels, turkeys and traps, as he has been hunting deer since he was 6, taking five other bucks, including ones that score more than White Face. None, though, carried the allure of the elusive piebald.
“It’s just the color, and the fact that I spent so much time (hunting) him,” Logan said.
And we’re not just talking about days in the woods with bow or rifle in hand, but days leading up to hunting season.
“Every year I get after my dad and get him off his butt and get him out there getting things done,” said Logan, who instigated all the setting up of ground blinds, tree stands, clearing brush and planting food plots on their 62 acres of hunting property. “I enjoy doing it, and I make sure things are done right. I learned it all from my dad and grandpa, and from watching hunting videos.”
Grandpa, who Logan is named after, also got in on hunting White Face, as he was called on many times to take his grandson to the hunting woods.
“Logan would call me and say, ‘I got him on camera, I gotta go after him,’” said Tom. “But I was pouring concrete, so I told him to call his grandpa and have him go with you.”
And finally, the chase is over
Finally, all of Logan’s hard work and dedication to harvesting White Face came to fruition on the last day of Ohio’s deer-gun season. But, not without some trepidation.
“We had seen some nice bucks behind our house so we hunted there, but after a while, we packed up and went over to our other hunting property,” said Logan.
While hunting behind the house, Tom got a picture from a hunting friend that showed White Face was seen on a trail camera about a mile from the Horn’s hunting property, and while they didn’t expect the buck to cover the mile by the time they got there, they headed west of Millersburg anyway.
“We’d been there about two hours,” said Logan, “and White Face came walking by, and I shot him. It was 70 yards, quartering away, and I put it right where it needed to be.”
Logan, using a .350 Legend he helped his dad pay for, dropped the buck he had dreamed about for three years, and then the tears started flowing.
“When Logan shot it, we both got a little emotional,” admitted Tom. “It was a special day in our lives. I truly think it was meant to be.”
Tom believes White Face was chasing a doe in heat, and that’s why he showed up on their property, a mile from where it was spotted earlier that day.
While most deer have black lips and noses, White Face has a white nose and lips, white hooves, and like a lot of piebald and albino deer, it has blue eyes. Tom believes the 8-pointer will score in the 140 range, but its rack size is far less important than the memories it created with him and his son, and the lessons learned in the pursuit of it.
“This is a story Logan can take with him the rest of his life,” said Tom.
Outdoor correspondent Art Holden can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
This article originally appeared on The Daily Record: Chase for Holmes deer legend ends on last day of hunting season