fbpx
18 point huge buck

A Huge Buck [And Other Unforgettable Archery Bucks]

If seeing pictures of a huge buck and reading the play-by-play story of the hunt excites you, then read below for some great stories about some unforgettable archery bucks.

“Close Call”: The Backstory Of This 18-Point Monster Buck

I saw this deer on camera around mid-December of 2016 and became obsessed. I had hundreds and hundreds of pictures of him. In February, I noticed he hadn’t been to the area or fed at the feeder, so I started looking for his sheds.

I found one side (which was the side I wanted the most). He was at my best guess a 15 point, and had 10 points on the shed I found. It sucked my attention in even deeper. My wife got so sick of hearing about “close call.” I never name deer, but he had what looked like a gunshot wound in his right ear, so I dubbed him “close call.” After I found his shed, I focused a lot of attention on the area where I knew this huge buck was.

The Re-Appearance

In April of 2017, he showed back up, with just 2 or 3 inch nubs on his head. Of course, because of his ears, and my obsession, I knew it was him. He stuck around for a few weeks, and then of course, disappeared again and remained out of view until around June, when he came back. He stayed close by and on camera sometimes 3 different times a day from June on.

I’m from Kentucky, and our season comes in really early, so I was counting down the days and doing my very best to just keep him around.

Around the first of August, he quit feeding at the feeder, but was still visible in the open. Our archery season opened on September 2 this year, and in my mind, I had him in the bag. I ran up to 4 cams to keep my eyes on him, and one was a Spartan cell cam. It kept me from frequenting the area, and I knew instantly when he was there. On August 31st I have video of him in the broad daylight at what would have been an 18 yard shot for me.

My confidence was out the roof. The season opened and I spent the next 6 days in the stand. I only hunted him of an evening, seeing I never had a picture or anything of a morning of him. But, over those 6 days, he never showed his face at all.

The Crush

I was crushed. In my mind, I knew he was probably just laying low and in the process of shedding his velvet. I back off for a few days and would keep my eye on my cameras, thinking I had applied too much pressure. He finally showed back up but had gone completely nocturnal. Around the 15th of September, he had completely vanished. I just knew someone else had gotten him I told no one but a very tight group about this deer.

Then, one day I was at my son’s football practice and heard someone talking about a huge buck they had seen in the area where the buck lived. I then knew he was still alive, but it worried me that someone would do something stupid to him. For the next 2 weeks the buck would only show up about ever 4-6 days for a brief minute, and in the middle of the night. He was playing hide ‘n seek. At least I knew he was still alive, is all I could think of. I stayed away and didn’t hunt for weeks.

On September 26, while away from home, my cell phone dings and there he is. It’s 4 in the evening and I’m not in the woods, so I figured my one chance had come and gone. I looked closely at the forecast and figured I could hunt the 28th and 29th because there was a cool front coming, and the wind would be perfect. I hunted the 28th and nothing. Not a single deer.

Permission Granted

I was kind of skeptical, but wouldn’t give up. My wife and I had plans for the evening of the 29th, but she was okay with me hunting for a few hours that evening. I got there around 4:30 that evening and it was calm and perfect. I texted my wife and told her, “this would be the perfect evening for him to show up. It’s so quiet and calm.” She told me that it was okay if I stayed till dark, before we went out. She understood my obsession more than anyone. At around 5:45, I had a small buck come in. He wasn’t there long and left.

The Staredown And An Errant Shot?

I was just enjoying the evening being in the woods. Around 6:25 or so, I decided I’d try a little very light rattling (seeing it worked the year before). About 10-15 minutes after I heard what sounded like a cough or something from the hill across from me. I focused my full attention to that area. I saw movement coming my way…. a small basket 8 point I had on cam.

As soon as he came out, I saw a second deer coming. It turned out to be the small 3 point that was there earlier in the evening. After he came out, it still sounded like more deer were coming. Low and behold, I look in the timber and here he comes. I instantly began become overwhelmed. The buck came out, just like I had planned, but he looked right at me. He turned around like he was going to head back into the timber, so I drew on him. He was quartering away at 21 yards.

I held tight and left the arrow fly. Instantly I knew I had just messed up on the buck of a lifetime. The shot looked super high. I was sick. I set back and text my wife and told her I had just shot him. Then, I went over the shot in my head 100 times. I went and retrieved the arrow and looked it over. It appeared to have really good blood, so I wasn’t so sure I had hit it high.

The N1 Moment

My wife finally showed up, and we went looking. It was the first time she had ever tracked and she was super excited. We continued to find good blood, then about 70 yards in the timber, there be laid. The buck of my lifetime….the one I had become so obsessed over.

This buck gross scored 177 7/8”, even though he was only 14 ½” wide. He has 18 scoreable points. This buck is my biggest to date, and the most gratifying as well. Come to find out, in the middle of September when he disappeared, it was because someone had tried to poach him. He was shot with a small caliber rifle, just above the shoulder. I got very lucky to be able to harvest such a huge buck. What a tough and awesome animal.

But then, the next year another huge buck made his way into my life…

Big Kentucky Buck Fame Comes Again!

Kentucky Buck John Workman Picture
John Workman saw trophy buck success again in 2018, with this Kentucky bruiser

I would have to say the story of my success in the 2018 Kentucky deer season has to date back to September 29th of 2017. On that date, I was fortunate enough to take a Boone and Crockett class Kentucky buck (the full story above.)

Once the word got out about that deer, my social media went kind of crazy. One day, while roaming through Facebook, I noticed I had a random message from someone in my area. He asked questions and persistently talked about my 2017 buck.

I kind of blew it off at first, because when it comes to hunting, I usually keep my stuff mainly a secret. But, one thing led to another, and we talked a little here and there.

One day I was at the local archery shop just hanging out, and in came this same guy. So, we finally met face-to-face and began to develop a friendship. His name is Kyle Groce. He is a bit younger than me, but we both share a passion for deer hunting.

Let’s Make A Deal

As the winter progressed, he learned that I do a lot of food plotting. He wanted to develop his hunting property into a sanctuary so that the deer don’t have to travel to get what they want. In mid-April he offered to let me hunt this same land if I would do the food plots for him. I knew the area, so I agreed without hesitation.

In May, the weather finally cooperated so hat I could get started on the plots I agree to cut, till and sow. I began the process of bush hogging. While cutting a plot, this buck comes out and watched me like he was in awe that someone was there doing something. At the first look, I realized he was going to be a good buck worth chasing once the early seaons came.

Adding Him To The Hit List

So, after hours of studying maps of the land, and once the food plots were finished, I eased my way back into the woods where I thought this buck was coming from. I took my minerals and my trail camera and got things set up where I wanted, and where I thought I might have a great chance to ambush this buck once the season began.

The very first day the camera was there, I got pics of this buck. Immediately my focus was on this one particular animal.

As part of my permission to hunt the land, I was free to do as I please. So, I kept this buck a secret, as I thought he’d go 160 plus inches.

Kyle and I became great friends and spent all summer locating more deer for him to get set up on to hunt.

Opening Day Of Bow Season

September 1st finally arrived and Kyle and I already had our game plans set in stone. He was getting some good deer on camera, and I was getting my buck in two different locations during the daylight hours.

On opening day, I got in the stand around 5 o’clock AM, fearing that I might bump this big boy going in.

That first morning came and went. I saw a lot of deer and some small bucks, but not the big Kentucky buck I was after. Of course, early September in Kentucky its pretty warm… like, 90 degrees warm! So, I got out of my stand and headed home. There was no way I was staying all day in the stand in that heat.

Around 3:30 that afternoon, I started to get ready to head back to the stand. I showered, gathered my equipment and headed that way. I got in the stand around 4:30 and got things set up, and instantly I had action.

2018 Workman Buck
Mature bucks like this one, come as a result of scouting, persistence and game planning.

>> Does this story make you want to say Bowhunt Oh Yeah? <<

A mature doe and her fawn came in and stayed in my area for about 30 or so minutes, so I was upbeat and positive. Deer came and went all evening, both bucks and does. Around 7:15, I saw a nice buck working toward my location and instantly knew it was a great 8 point. I had guessed he was about 140″ or so. Right behind him I saw the big 12-point I had been watching all summer. Both bucks came in on a string to 19 yards. But, the big mature buck was no dummy. He stayed right behind the 8-point the whole time, and I couldn’t get a shot at him.

All I could do was sit and watch him walk away.

Day Two And Beyond

Day two was much of the same. There was a lot of deer activity, but no shooters. Kyle, however, did fill his tag on that second day with a real nice 8-point that was on his hit list.

I hunted hard over the next week, and saw the big 8 on multiple occasions, but he never had the buck with him I was looking for. I even had him within 30 yards of me for 29 minutes one morning, but I still let him go.

On Wednesday, September the 12th, I had decided to hunt, but I was going to change things up and head to a blind at the edge of a food plot. Once I got to the farm, I realized the wind was totally wrong for that location and went right back to my stand where I had the earlier encounter.

The wind wasn’t totally right for me, but it wasn’t totally wrong either. I was on a ridge, so I knew my scent would blow above anything that came in.

Around 5:30 I had a small buck come in, and it brightened my outlook somewhat. That buck left and a doe and fawn came in. They stuck around for 20 or so minutes, but then wandered off into the thick brush.

At around 6:30 a small really good up and comer buck came in. I had seen this deer many times, and he was always with more deer and never alone, so I focused hard on the direction he had came from. About 3 minutes later, I could see the big 8 coming, and this time he was out of velvet, and looked bigger than I had thought.

As he was walking up the hill, he kept looking over his shoulder to check something behind him. One of my deer hunting tips is, when a mature buck is watching behind him, it only tells me that something bigger may be lurking. Well in this case, there was.

Coming straight at me was the buck I was after. He came in just like I had planned, but I didn’t plan on the other two  bucks being there with him. For nine minutes I had to watch him and the other bucks mill around and feed.

Finally, the big 8 swung around to the back side of the 12. I had been waiting on this, because I knew it would turn the 12 where I could get a shot off.

He turned around to chase the 8 and gave me the quartering away shot I needed. I let my arrow fly and instantly knew I had fatally hit him. The angle he gave me was a little steeper than I had hoped for, but I was super confident in my shot.

>> Was the arrow Just Pass’N Through? <<

I immediately called my wife, and then Kyle, to tell them I had shot. Kyle and another good friend, Nick McWhorter, had begged me all summer to film my hunts, and I had blown them off until about 2 weeks before season. They got me set up, and ready to film for this season.

John Workman Buck and Kyle
Even though John has experienced some incredible success in taking huge bucks, it’s the time with friends that has made it all the more special.

Well, knowing the deer had my arrow, I chose to not even attempt to look for anything until I got to see my footage to confirm my shot placement. I met Kyle at my truck, and we reviewed everything together. In our opinion, that shot had been perfect. By this time, my wife and son had shown up, and were excited to start tracking.

We headed back to my stand and began to look, but there was nothing to find. No blood, no arrow, no nothing. I knew which way he had ran, so we started in that general direction first. Travis, another buddy had came to help track and to get him out of the woods. Travis saw my Nockturnal lighted nock glowing bright, so we headed straight for it.

Big Kentucky Buck Down

There he laid; the buck I had studied all summer in hopes for one chance. I got it, and the shot was perfect. I ran my arrow and broadhead from in front of his back left hip, all the way up to his front right shoulder, just like I had intended.

Just like that, it was all over. He ended up being a mainframe 10, with two abnormals on his left side. He scored 155 inches. I was tickled to death.

I have been blessed to take some nice bucks, and it drives my addiction to the outdoors even greater! So not only did I kill a great Kentucky buck, but I also made a life-long friend in the process. That’s what hunting and the outdoors is all about.

– By John Workman

 Shop N1 Apparel

Bonus: Huge Buck Story #2 (The Coat Hanger Buck)

This was one N1 Moment™ that 30-year old Garrett Schmidt could hang his hat on… literally.

non typical buck picture
Garret Schmidt will forever remember the day he harvested the “Coat Hanger” Buck!

Opening day of archery season in Kansas

It was a 10-hour drive from League City, Texas, to the Southeast Kansas property he and some friends had recently gotten permission to hunt. But this was opening day of archery deer season in Kansas. It wouldn’t have mattered if it was 100 hours.

“I knew it was going to be hot and possibly rain. But, I get so jacked up for the start of a new season that I didn’t care,” he said.

Scouting intel

Garrett had noticed something his previous spot-and-stalk hunts on the property. The deer would jump the fence in the afternoons and hit the bean fields on the south end. But he knew he needed a North wind to hunt that part of the property. He also knew that having an opportunity to harvest a trophy Kansas buck is worth some sweat — and a little luck never hurts either.

“I ended up walking a mile in the heat around 3:00 pm and finally made it to the edge of the beans where I thought was going to be the best spot to shoot.”

 As dusk was quickly approaching, Garret noticed a rack of horns sticking out of the beans 150 yards away.

“I knew he was a good buck,” he said. But the beans were so tall I did not see the trash he had, especially the coat hanger drop tine on his left main beam.”

 But, drop tine or not, Garret knew time was running out.

Bean field belly crawl

“I had only 45 minutes to make this happen. With the wind in my face I made a 100-yard belly crawl through the beans. I ended up within shooting distance of this non-typical buck,” he said. “I stood up fast out of the beans, drew my bow back, found the sweet spot, and let the Rage broadhead do the rest.”

The “coat hanger buck” goes down

 The “coat hanger buck” was down. And, while Garret didn’t have his friends with him on this trip to help share in the excitement, the part they played wasn’t overlooked.

“When it was all said and done I wasn’t able to take fancy pictures or share this moment with a buddy. But, none of this would have been possible without the help of my good friends putting in the time and work over the year to get everything ready for this amazing opportunity.”

Shop N1 Deer Hunting Apparel

Bonus: Huge Buck Story #3

man with deer in velvet
This velvet trophy buck may have never been harvested had Khavon not made the walk all the way back to his truck to get his forgotten quiver!

Friday afternoon, September 30, 2016, I arrived to my lease in Natchez, Mississippi. I unloaded the truck and ranger and headed to the woods to check my two cameras to decide where I was going to hunt that weekend. As I was scrolling through 800 pictures of does and bucks, my buddy told me to stop and back up. I scrolled back and there was a giant 8-point buck in full velvet.

This was the first time I had seen a picture of him. I kept scrolling and the past few evenings he had been coming out right before dark. I immediately got nervous, since I’ve never had an opportunity to hunt a deer like him before. So I decided to not hunt there in the morning and to save the spot for an evening hunt on opening day.

Don’t walk away from me

The evening hunt on opening day approached and I began to get anxious, wondering how the hunt would go. It was very warm, so I grabbed my bow and took my time walking to my stand, because I didn’t want to sweat. I arrived at my stand at 3:55 pm and climbed up. As I got my bow in my stand, I realized something looked funny. I forgot my quiver back at the ranger! Trying not to get too upset, but still frustrated, I climbed back down and started walking back to the ranger. I decided to take my shirt off so I wouldn’t sweat on it, since it’s a good 10-12 minute walk up and down the hills.

Eventually, I made it to the ranger, got my quiver, and made my way back to the stand. I climbed in, nocked an arrow, turned the Thermacell on, put my shirt back on, and painted my face. By then, it was about 4:25 pm.

A Just Pass’N Through Archery Moment

I was checking my phone at 4:30 and I looked up and boom! There he was, 35 yards out to my left. He walked out into the food plot and stopped. Then he turned around and started heading back to the woods where he came from. As soon as he got to the wood line, he stopped again.

I didn’t have a clear shot and I was thinking to myself, “I’m fixing to watch this huge buck walk out my life!” He then turned and started walking directly toward me and stopped at 10 yards. He made another turn back out to the food plot and stopped at 15 yards, quartered away from me. I waited for the opportunity to draw back when he wasn’t looking.  As soon as he looked away, I drew back, controlled my breathing and let the arrow fly. I made a great shot on him and the arrow was Just Pass’N Through! He he only ran about 70 yards. It was the best hunt of my life.

-By Khavon Ghassemi

Shop N1 Bowhunting Apparel

first archery buck girl

First Archery Buck, A Second Chance Buck And An Archery “Sight”

If you love unforgettable outdoor moments, enjoy the stories below of a first archery buck, a second chance buck and a and the best kind of archery sight…

My First Archery Buck Moment

I started hunting while I was in high school. But, it was not until after college that I realized hunting was something I had a great passion for. The 2017 season held a lot of firsts for me, including my first animal with a bow. I practiced shooting my bow nearly every day until the season started, so I knew I would be ready to take my first archery buck…

A perfect hunting day

It was the first cold front of the year. It was mid-October in Washington County, Pennsylvania, the night it all came together for me. The wind was perfect. I had a feeling in my gut something was going to happen this night. I had hunted the morning this same day but did not even see a deer, but I was not discouraged.

The buck shows up

With a good amount of time until last light, this 8-point buck came walking in the field to my left. He came in quickly past me like he was on a mission entering the timber. He stopped to eat 38 yards away from me. He was standing there, quartering away. His body was literally only visible between two trees. I thought the shot would be too far for me, but I wanted him. I ranged him a second time before I pulled my bow back…

The buck stops here

I took a deep breath and took the shot. I watched my arrow sink into him, hitting his vitals. Then, I watched him jump, and then run away with the arrow stuck in his side. I heard him crash no more than 50 yards away from where I hit him. “I got him!” I thought and immediately called my boyfriend to tell him the news. I went back to the house and gave the deer some time before going to look for blood. The blood trail was hard to miss, you could say.

The N1 Moment

As I walked up to my deer, I felt grateful and proud. The hours I spent practicing all paid off.  It was such a special moment for me. I’ll never forget my first archery buck!

– By Jennifer Danella

 Shop N1 Archery Apparel

 

A different story about a second buck…

second chance buck pic

This was my first year hunting, and to say I was excited was an understatement. We had gone out scouting and sat for a while the first night when a monster buck came out. I was so excited and filled with adrenaline that I ended up missing. I was devastated and was so down on myself that I wasn’t sure I wanted to try again.

My husband had to give me many pep talks to get my moral back up, but when I got the courage to go back out, that’s when we came across this awesome guy.

Ready, aim, fire… N1 Moment

I got my gun ready and shot. I dropped him at 320 yards with my 22-250. Then, I dropped to my knees just as I was told would happen! There were a few tears of pure joy as I knew I was able to provide food for my family. Such an amazing experience and awesome N1 Moment!

-By Keeley Sanders

Read N1 Apparel Info

 

Blindness And A Bow

archery sight deer story pic

For the bowhunter, a chance to harvest an animal at close range is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. But, in an age of trophy-taking, sponsorships and social media competition, bigger often gets the looks and the “likes.” For 24-year-old Austin Carpenter, however, this N1 Moment™ means more than any wall hanger ever could.

“About 7 years ago I got hit in the eye, causing severe trauma,” he said. “For a few months I had so much inflammation behind my eye, I was literally blind.”

Months of treatment finally cleared up the inflammation, but left Austin with permanently blurred vision and a form of visual arthritis that flares up often, making it difficult to see at all, much less shoot a bow. Because of the discouragement and challenges caused by his condition, Austin’s bow lay untouched, collecting dust, for several months prior to the 2016 archery deer season.   

“I honestly had zero interest in it or in hunting,” he said. “I nearly let the adversity beat me.”

But that “itch” a hunter gets before the season begins can be a powerful thing.

The draw of archery season

“Right before the season started, I picked up my bow just to shoot around a bit,” he said. “One shot later, I realized what a mistake I was making, giving up a passion without a fight.”

From that moment forward, Austin began working overtime, getting back into the groove of shooting as accurately as he could and making adjustments. His first opportunity to hunt in the 2016 Georgia archery season presented an opportunity to take a doe that, prior to his condition, he might have taken for granted. But, this time, appreciation preceded and followed the shot. 

“If I told you the emotions and nerves didn’t take over, I’d by lying badly,” he said. “After everything I’ve battled, it took everything in me not to break down.”

But, there was no time for tears. Austin was about to experience an N1 Moment™.

An emotional moment

“I made a less than perfect shot, but she didn’t make it far at all before she expired,” he said.

And while the excitement of the harvest took center stage, Austin knows that there is so much more to this moment than pictures and a full freezer. 

“I’m incredibly blessed and thankful, to say the least. And, I’m thankful to all those who stood behind me and pushed me through all the ups and downs.” 

This is one N1 Moment™ that Austin will see clearly for years to come.

Shop N1 Apparel

Cart