Are The Infamous Hochstetler and Troyer Bucks Genetically Related?

Are The Infamous Hochstetler  and Troyer Bucks Genetically Related?


On December 5, 1975, Eli Hochstetler shot a massive whitetail in Holmes County that scored 261 6/8”. The massive buck was the #1 non-typical at the time and ranked #6 in North America. Fast Forward to November 7th, 2018, and Junior Troyer illegally shot a 26 Point buck that was estimated to gross score between 235” -250” in Coshocton County.

The irony is that the location of the Hochstetler buck and the Troyer buck are only a few miles apart. Could there be a superior gene pool in the corner of Coshocton, Holmes, and Tuscarawas counties? Could the Hochstetler buck be a great, great, great granddad of the Troyer buck or is it just mere coincidence that two giant non-typicals were poached a few miles apart?

The Hochstetler Buck
The ODNR alleged that Eli Hochstetler shot the deer 30 minutes before legal shooting time. At the time Eli adamantly denied any wrongdoing. Several years later a fellow hunter and friend of Eli who was with him that fateful morning admitted that Eli had shot the buck in the headlights of the truck. There were many rumors throughout the community as to why Eli's friend turned on him.

After a lengthy court battle the DNR confiscated the head and charged Eli with poaching. Had the same restitution fees been in place in 1975 as we have now, he would have been required to pay a penalty of about $43,000 The head now hangs in the Akron offices of the ODNR and is listed as a pickup by the ODNR in the Boone and Crockett record books and is not even listed under the Buckeye Big Bucks club records. Since this buck was shot 47 years ago many of the facts are hazy as people we interviewed recalled the incident but not the exact details.

The Troyer Buck

On November 7, 2018, Junior Troyer of Millersburg Ohio illegally shot a 26-point Coshocton County buck. The issue was that earlier on that same day Troyer had filled his Ohio buck tag with an 8 pointer. Troyer who is 43 years old plead no contest to five charges. (1) providing false information while game-checking a deer; (2), attaching a game-check number to a deer that was originally issued to another; (3) taking more than one antlered deer in a licensed year; (4) possessing deer or deer parts (26-pointer) without valid tag and/ or permit; and (5), attaching an antlerless doe game-check number to an antlered deer.

Judge Timothy L. France of Coshocton County found Troyer guilty on all five charges, fining him $150 on each charge and another $87 for court costs. France then ordered Troyer to pay a $27,904.46 “restitution” fine to the state of Ohio for the value of the deer. Total in fines $28741.46

Troyer also had his hunting privileges revoked for two years and given 60 days jail time, but France said that if Troyer paid his fines in full, he would suspend Troyer’s jail time and cut his revoked hunting privileges to just one year. Troyer paid his fines totaling $28,741.46 in full.

Today the buck hangs in the Coshocton County Commissioners office and maybe be signed out for special events.


Is the area where Coshocton, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties meet a hot bed for huge non-typicals? Before you state that those two bucks were killed 43 years apart think about the facts. The area receives high hunting pressure from the local Amish families and when you are feeding a family of 10 or more most are not very selective in what they harvest. Could it be possible that over the years many button bucks, yearling bucks and even does that carried the genes to produce giant non-typicals have been harvested at an early age?

It will be interesting to see if this part of the state produces anymore giant non-typicals in the future. Fingers crossed if they do the deer will be harvested legally and not fall to the greed of another poacher. 


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