Girl Next Door Tags Monster Suburban Eight-Point Buck Next Door

Fallon Kunevicius didn't hesitate to bag this buck when it crossed through a narrow ravine between backyards on her family's suburban property in Independence, Ohio. On the evening of November 3rd, as the buck quartered slightly away, she raised her crossbow, center-punched the slammer, and with some help from a tight-knit community, recovered the giant main-frame 8-pointer from her neighbor's front-yard shrubbery.
Just south of Cleveland, the small city of Independence hosts an archery-only suburban deer season, during which Kunevicius hunts more-or-less in her back yard. "My family owns about 9 acres of land, with several empty lots between the houses of family members," she says. "My stand lies between my house and my grandparents house, overlooking a ravine that funnels deer traveling between two larger woodlots. I can see three houses from my where I sit."
At 27, Kunevicius already has 15 years of deer hunting under her belt. "When was 12 years old, my dad took me to get my hunter-safety course, and I got my first buck that year." She took this nice nontypical with the same crossbow she uses now.
She's also taken numerous does, including this one of two she took last year.
And she's an avid angler...
...very avid.
On the afternoon on November 3rd, Kunevicius climbed into her stand for a short sit. "I had plans to go to dinner with a friend and knew I'd have to leave my stand a little early. Just as light began to fade and I started taking the arrow out of my crossbow, I caught movement behind me. I turned and saw this monster buck coming toward me across my grandmother's yard."
The buck stopped at 37 yards, quartering slightly away. "It was a long shot for me, but I felt comfortable and confident," Kunevicius says.
"I touched the trigger and saw my arrow hit right where I'd aimed, a little ways back behind the near shoulder. I called my friend and said, 'Sorry, dinner is off.'"
"Next I called my friend Tom to help me find my deer." After all, things seemed to have worked out well the last time Tom helped. Last fall, he told Kunevicius he'd like to take her out and asked if she wanted to go get a bite to eat. "Actually, I just shot a doe," she answered. "You want to come help me drag it out?" That was their first date. "On this buck, I felt like I made a great shot," says Kunevicius. "The blood trail was thick, and we went after it pretty quickly. We found part of the arrow in the ravine. but we bumped the deer. At one point, we saw him standing in the beam of a motion-detector security light. We back out and returned in the morning."
But no luck. There was blood where they last saw the buck, but no trail leading anywhere. "My neighbor Gary helped me look around his property, and my Dad helped me search a nearby wooded area, but we came up empty. I've never missed a deer. I was really feeling bad and even praying about it." Having pretty much given up hope, she we went back to her treestand that evening.
Suddenly, she heard her mother calling from an upstairs window, saying Gary had found the buck. Kunevicius met her neighbor at his house, and sure enough, there was the buck lying in the shrubbery seen in the background of this photo.
The buck is a main-frame 8-pointer with a 22-inch spread and a large sticker off the base of the left main beam. "A friend who has scored a lot of deer came up with green net total of 172 inches."
"It's a very different way of hunting in this urban setting," says Kunevicius. "But you've still got to pattern the deer, be in the right spot, and make the shot. We don't feed the deer. We just have a good funnel between woods."
"Most people think of bow hunting as a individual sport, but here it's almost a community experience. I'm blessed to have such good neighbors, and I've really come to love it." So much so that she and her father will soon go live with a new website (urbandeerhunter.com) dedicated to urban deer hunting.