Hunting Deer In Kentucky
The Patrick Worley Buck
The first day of rifle deer hunting season 2021 in Kentucky was fairly uneventful until about 45 minutes before dark. Sitting in the blind with my nephew Logan, I hear him whisper “buck, big buck.” I look out the window of the blind and sure enough a good looking buck was making his way up the creek line and was just a few steps away from offering Logan an opportunity at his first buck! I helped Logan get his grandfathers old 30-30 ready and told him to take a deep breath and calm down as he was visibly shaking already.
He got the gun out the blind window and the buck stepped into his opening. “make sure you can see him real good through the scope” I said. He replied he could see him real good. The buck stopped as if it was scripted and I hear the 30-30 bark! The buck mule kicks about as high as I have ever seen and bounds off up the hill. “did I get him?” Logan nearly screamed. “yeah buddy, I think you got him.” I told him.
We waited in the blind for about 45 minutes and right at dark, I made my way over to where the buck was standing when Logan took the shot. My heart began to sink as I didn’t find any blood, hair or anything to make me think the deer was mortally wounded. I made my way the way the buck ran off for about 50 yards finding nothing aside from some of his tracks. I called Logan over and told him I thought it was best to leave him overnight and come back tomorrow looking for him. He agreed so we headed home to try and get some rest.
The next day, Sunday, my wife and I went to church and immediately after church I went to meet my brother in law, father in law and 2 nephews at the farm to try and find Logans buck. When we got there, a slight drizzle had started. Mike, my father in law, asked where the buck was and I showed him. We all made our way there and none of us found anything exciting. Having hunted this farm for over 20 years, I had a good idea where the buck might have headed so we all took off up the hill over to a small ravine and started working our way up the ravine.
We made it about 200 yards and still had found nothing but a track. Then, I looked up ahead and standing in the field about 180 yds away was Logans buck. Or so I thought. Thinking we may have just bumped him, and worried we would never find him if he took off again, I pulled up my Howa 30-06, laid the crosshairs on him and pulled the trigger. The buck folded up right where he stood. “what was that?” Logan said. “I think we just spooked your deer buddy, so I shot him again to make sure he wasn’t suffering and that he wouldn’t run off any farther.”
The Truth Unfolds
We all made our way over to the buck and as we approached, bumped a doe that was nearby. Logan was all smiles as he sat down next to his buck…..I told him, “he was facing the other way last night when you shot him, so let’s roll him over to see where you hit him.” We grabbed the bucks legs and turned him over. There was a large exit wound from my shot and we all looked all over that deer for the other shot….even rubbing the hair backwards trying to find it. It was a different buck.
Logans heart began to sink. I apologized profusely to the lil man thinking he was mad at me or would be. He said “its ok uncle p….You just can’t shoot anymore bucks and I can. We will get me one another day!” I was amazed at what I just heard. He was right, I was done as far as a buck went.
The Deer Drag: A Big Part Of The Deer Hunting Tradition
I field dressed the deer while they looked a little more for Logan’s buck. Never finding anything, they made their way back over to me and my buck. My brother in law and myself grabbed him by the horns and started dragging him out. We made it about 100 yds and got to where he thought he might be able to get his truck back to us. So he headed off for the truck and my father in law and myself stayed behind chatting. “I don’t think he’s going to make it across that creek.” My father in law said. I agreed. It was pretty rutted out from the farmers tractor being thru there recently.
We grabbed horn and took off. Luckily it was all mostly all downhill from this point. We dragged the buck about 200 yards of the creek where Kenny had stopped. Kenny said I cant get across the creek. We all took turns from that point getting the deer across the creek to where Kennys truck waited. We loaded up the deer and headed off to our homes.
Memories Made Hunting Deer In Kentucky
This is a hunt I will never forget. The buck, while not the biggest I had taken, was a mature buck. Biologist aged it at 4.5 yrs old. A hunt is not always about the kill to me. It’s about the memories made. And this hunt provided me with a memory I will cherish the rest of my life.
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